Syria Today – U.S. Al-Omar Base Hit; Syrians Arrested in Buenos Aires

Your daily brief of the English-speaking press on Syria.

On Tuesday evening, a missile struck the US-led international coalition base located in Syria’s Deir-ez-Zor Governorate at the Al-Omar oil field. Additionally, three individuals, nationals of Lebanon and Syria, were apprehended at Buenos Aires’ Jorge Newbery Airport by Argentinian federal police on suspicion of having ties to terrorist activities.

Over 1,000 civilians killed in Syria in 2023

Over 1,000 civilians were killed in Syria in 2023, mostly by Syrian regime forces and allied militias, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) has said.

SNHR said that killing “has been committed in a systematic manner primarily by Syrian regime forces and pro-regime militias”.

Among those killed were over 250 children, as well as more than 130 people died as a result of torture. The Syrian regime also arbitrarily arrested over 2,300 people in 2023.

The rights group added that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) killed the second-highest number of civilians, followed by Russian forces and the former al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

Last year saw almost the same number of civilians killed across Syria as in 2022.

US base in Al-Omar oil field attacked

The US-led international coalition base in Al-Omar oil field in Syria’s Deir-ez-Zor Governorate was the target of a missile attack on Tuesday evening. The attack came shortly after the Islamic Resistance in Iraq group announced that it had targeted three coalition bases in Al-Hasakah Governorate, in north-east Syria.

Local sources told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that explosions were heard at the Al-Omar oil field, where the US troops are based as part of the international coalition against Daesh. They added that the explosions were caused by four missiles hitting Al-Omar. Drones then flew over and around the oil field. A similar drone attack was apparently foiled on Monday by the coalition’s ground defences. Nothing has been confirmed about any casualties.

Joint surveillance and reconnaissance patrols are carried out by the US troops and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by helicopters. The patrols have become routine with the continued targeting of coalition bases in northern and eastern Syria.

Before targeting the base at the Al-Omar oil field, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq announced that the Al-Malikiyah and Rumailan bases in Al-Hasakah Governorate had also been targeted, as had the Al-Shaddadi base in the south of the governorate. “The drones and missiles hit the targets accurately,” claimed the group.

The attacks on coalition bases come in light of the Israeli offensive against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip that began on 7 October. Reports say that the Islamic Resistance in Iraq is an operations room that includes a group of Iraqi armed factions affiliated with Iran. According to AFP, Washington has recorded more than 115 attacks against its forces in Iraq and Syria since October.

3 Lebanese, Syrian nationals arrested in Buenos Aires airport over alleged terror plot

Argentinian federal police arrested three men at the Jorge Newbery Airport in downtown Buenos Aires on Tuesday for suspected links to terrorist activities.

According to Clarin, an Argentine newspaper, security personnel detained the three after receiving intelligence about Syrian and Lebanese nationals entering Argentina and the shipment of a parcel from Yemen whose contents are unclear.

Clarin reported that the parcel, weighing some 35 kilograms, was sent to the home where the three suspects intended to stay.

The newspaper added that Argentine security forces were alarmed by the information, due to the fact that the Pan American Maccabi games are currently being held in Buenos Aires.

The games, which are held every four years, are hosting some 4,200 Jewish athletes from 22 countries.

Recently elected Argentine President Javier Milei, a right-wing, pro-Israel firebrand who has publicly mulled conversion to Judaism, spoke at the Pan-American games’ opening ceremony on December 28, saluting the athletes in Hebrew while reaffirming his “unalterable commitment to the State of Israel and the Jewish people in their fight against Islamic terrorism, for peace and freedom.”

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