The Pro-Syrian, Palestinian Terrorist Group That Was Likely Struck by Israeli Missiles

Yesterday the Lebanese government claimed that Israeli drones had attempted an attack on Beirut. More credibly, there have been reports—as yet unconfirmed by Jerusalem—that the IDF struck a military installation along the Syria-Lebanon border belonging to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLP–GC). These attacks were likely an attempt to thwart Hizballah retaliation for Sunday’s air-strikes near Damascus. Sunniva Rose explains the PFLP–GC’s origin, and the threat the organization poses:

A pro-Syrian militant group, the PFLP-GC was formed in 1968 by Ahmad Jibril. . . . In 1965, Syrian intelligence had helped [Jibril] establish the armed Marxist-Leninist group [now known simply as the] Palestinian Liberation Front. Jibril entered negotiations to be part of the unified PFLP but withdrew before it was officially created in 1967 and established the PFLP-GC.

In its five-decade history, the PFLP-GC developed a name as a troublemaker in Lebanon and Syria. . . . The militants entered the 1975 Lebanese civil war—which raged for fifteen years—on the side of the Syrians, gaining notoriety for looting gold from banks in central Beirut. . . . Unlike the PLO, the PFLP-GC does not recognize any peace agreement with Israel.

After Lebanon’s civil war ended in 1990, the PFLP-GC was one of only two Palestinian factions to refuse to disarm. . . . The PFLP-GC has also fought alongside Syrian regime forces since the start of [that country’s] civil war.

Read more at The National

More about: Israeli Security, Lebanon, PFLP, Syria

An American Withdrawal from Iraq Would Hand Another Victory to Iran

Since October 7, the powerful network of Iran-backed militias in Iraq have carried out 120 attacks on U.S. forces stationed in the country. In the previous year, there were dozens of such attacks. The recent escalation has led some in the U.S. to press for the withdrawal of these forces, whose stated purpose in the country is to stamp out the remnants of Islamic State and to prevent the group’s resurgence. William Roberts explains why doing so would be a mistake:

American withdrawal from Iraq would cement Iran’s influence and jeopardize our substantial investment into the stabilization of Iraq and the wider region, threatening U.S. national security. Critics of the U.S. military presence argue that [it] risks a regional escalation in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Iran. However, in the long term, the U.S. military has provided critical assistance to Iraq’s security forces while preventing the escalation of other regional conflicts, such as clashes between Turkey and Kurdish groups in northern Iraq and Syria.

Ultimately, the only path forward to preserve a democratic, pluralistic, and sovereign Iraq is through engagement with the international community, especially the United States. Resisting Iran’s takeover will require the U.S. to draw international attention to the democratic backsliding in the country and to be present and engage continuously with Iraqi civil society in military and non-military matters. Surrendering Iraq to Iran’s agents would not only squander our substantial investment in Iraq’s stability; it would greatly increase Iran’s capability to threaten American interests in the Levant through its influence in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon.

Read more at Providence

More about: Iran, Iraq, U.S. Foreign policy