Iraq’s Disintegration Threatens Israeli Security

June 8, 2021 | Jonathan Spyer
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Last week, a heretofore unheard-of Iraqi militia, likely sponsored by Tehran, threatened to “bomb” the Jewish state. The week before, Iran-backed guerrillas launched a rocket at an Iraqi military base used by the U.S. military—one of many signs that the Islamic Republic’s terrorist network in the country is stepping up its attacks. Jonathan Spyer notes a common thread connecting these events:

The Iranian strategy for Iraq is clear. . . . The intention, along the lines of what [Iran] has already achieved in Lebanon [through Hizballah], is that the formal structures of representative government should remain, but should be hollowed out of any meaningful content. Political [and] military structures in the service of Iran will enjoy freedom of action and will possess military capacities superior to those of the nominal forces of the state.

The territory of the country will then be used both for the transportation of men and materiel in the direction of Israel, and for the deployment of missiles capable of reaching the territory of the Jewish state. . . . Iran has already deployed missiles in the deserts of western Iraq, in the hands of its militias, that have Israel within range.

In the event of the “First Northern War” as Israeli defense planners call the scenario of a general war between Israel and Iran with its proxies, Iraq would play an important role in the transfer of weaponry. The Shiite militias would be used to provide additional manpower for the Iranian side, as seen in the Syrian civil war. Missiles would almost certainly be launched from Iraqi soil.

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