By Shahriar Kia
New satellite images indicate Iran’s regime is building a border crossing at the Syrian-Iraqi border, which would open up a coveted land route from Iran to Lebanon, according to Western intelligence sources.
The images, obtained exclusively by Fox News and captured earlier this week, show a new construction in the Albukamal Al-Qaim crossing.
The area is under the control of militias affiliated to the Iranian regime. Last summer, Iran’s regime increased its presence in the area.
According to analysts for ISI, which captures satellite data, the existing border crossing is still closed and destroyed, and the Iranians have put a lot of effort and resources into building the new one.
Photos obtained by Fox News showed an Iraqi army base near the deserted post.
The border crossing would enable Iran’s regime to maintain land access in Syria, Beirut and the Mediterranean Sea. Regional and western sources told Fox News the Iranian regime is planning to use this new route for smuggling operations, including trafficking weapons and oil, to avoid the looming U.S. sanctions. Without Syrian or Iraqi supervision, the Iranian regime and its allies would have an unprecedented advantage in transferring whatever they wish, experts say.
Earlier this month, U.S. President Donald Trump canceled waivers permitting countries, including Iraq, Turkey, Japan and China, to purchase Iranian oil without violating U.S. sanctions.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in an interview Thursday with “Fox & Friends,” spoke about the sanctions and said “there’s a long history of Iranian terror that long predates our sanctions efforts, so this isn’t just about our sanctions, this is about the nature of this theocratic regime, these kleptocrats in Tehran. We’re determined to push back.”