Satellite timelapse: Construction of a new Iraq-Syria border crossing by an Iran-supported militia

A recent report from ImageSat International documented the recent construction of an outpost near the closed Al Bukamal-Al Qa’im border crossing. Over the past month, large earthworks and construction have been taking place at a location southwest of the crossing. The report suggested Iran-backed militias were building the new border crossing. If so, it could be used as a land bridge for Iran to ship weapons, oil, and personnel from Iran to Syria and Lebanon (to Hezbollah) and vice versa.
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BREAKING: Rebel groups capture key town from Syrian Army after intense assault (maps)

During the night of May 21/22, rebel forces led by jihadist group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, fighting alongside Islamist Ahrar al-Sham and moderate Jaish al-Izza, launched a fierce attack against the Syrian Army inside the town of Kafr Nabudah, one of the main towns captured by the Syrian Army during its operation earlier in May. A prolonged rebel heavy infantry assault lasting twelve hours finally succeeded in forcing the Syrian Army’s elite Tiger Forces out of the town.

Rebel forces of the Free Syrian Army and National Liberation Front used truck-mounted rockets as well as Kornet anti-tank missiles and Panthera F9 armored troop carriers recently supplied by Turkey. The jihadist group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham used at least two suicide car bombs, several armored tanks, GRAD rockets, ‘elephant’ rockets, Milkor grenade launchers, RPGs, motorbikes, and teams of gunmen.

Both sides killed several dozen of the other’s troops, with at least a hundred wounded. Rebels captured two tanks and destroyed one BMP. The Syrian Army is currently bombing and shelling the town and attempting to regroup and launch a counterattack.

jihadist group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham used suicide car bombs, tanks, GRAD rockets, homemade rockets, and teams of gunmen. Both sides killed several dozen of the other’s troops, with at least a hundred wounded. Rebels captured two tanks and destroyed one BMP. The Syrian Army is currently bombing and shelling the town and attempting to regroup and launch a counterattack.

The following are maps of the situation before and after, along with brand-new satellite imagery of the town just a few hours before the rebel assault began:

Satellite image of Kafr Nabudah town on 21 May, just hours before the final rebel assault. Craters and frontline positions are visible, including defensive trenches dug by the Syrian Army along the southeast perimeter of the town and circular outposts to the northeast. These locations were all overrun by rebels. Bombed-out buildings are also visible.