Airstrikes targeted positions of pro-Iranian forces and allied militias in eastern Syria overnight, killing 18 fighters, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights announced on September 9th, adding that It was not clear who carried out the raids, which took place in the region of Albu Kamal near the border with Iraq, AFP has reported.
However, the Britain-based Observatory, which has a vast network of contacts across Syria, stated, "18 fighters were killed but their nationalities have not yet been determined".
Albu Kamal lies in Deir Ezzor province, which covers much of Syria's remote eastern desert, where the Isis group's so-called "caliphate" made its last stand this year. US-backed Kurdish fighters and groups aligned with the Damascus regime, which is supported by Iran and Russia, also claim control over that area.
Iran, its allied militias and Russia have backed Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad in the country's devastating eight-year civil war. Pro-regime forces in Deir Ezzor are operating with the backing of various armed groups, including Iraqis and Iranians.
The Syrian conflict, which broke out in 2011 with the bloody repression of anti-regime demonstrations, has become a complex war, dragging in regional and international powers and leaving more than 370,000 people dead.