By Trey Yingst
November 20, 2019
Iran is continuing construction on an army base along the Iraq-Syria border, according to satellite images taken Sunday and obtained by Fox News.
The Imam Ali base had been partially destroyed during airstrikes in early September.
The new images, examined by analysts at ImageSat International (ISI), showed eight zones of construction or reconstruction.
Each zone had hangers big enough to conceal trucks and large quantities of equipment. There also was a checkpoint on both sides of the compound with fortified walls around the complex.
The news of reconstruction at this base came as thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets in several cities across the country, protesting the latest spike in fuel prices. Iranian security forces have killed at least 12 people, according to reports.
Iran’s economy has been influenced greatly by the crippling sanctions that President Trump has imposed following the U.S. withdrawal from the controversial nuclear agreement in 2018. The country’s currency has tanked and prices of medicine and food have soared, leaving people in dire conditions. There were growing indications that civilians have been frustrated with Iran spending money in other places such as Syria and Yemen.
According to ISI’s intelligence report, while the construction has been intensive at the Imam Ali base, the nearby border crossing remained closed and had yet to be operational.
Fox News exposed the classified Iran enterprise on Sept. 3. According to security experts, it was approved by top leadership in Tehran and was being completed by Iran’s elite Al-Quds Forces.
According to security experts, this was the first time the Iranian military was building a base of this scale from scratch in Syria. There’s been an American army position less than 200 miles from the new Iranian compound. In recent months, Israel has targeted Iranian military facilities in Syria and destroyed structures that were used to house weapons and troops.
Iran and Iranian-backed Shia militias have been using the chaos caused by the Syrian civil war to strengthen their presence in the region.
In May, Fox News reported that Iran was building a border crossing not far from the new compound in Syria. The previous border crossing between Iraq and Syria in this area, Albukamal Al-Qaim, sustained heavy damage earlier this year.