In Yemen, Iran Is Preparing for Its Next War with Israel

Sept. 20 2021

In the past few weeks, Houthi rebels backed by Iran have escalated their attacks on Saudi and Emirati positions in Yemen. On September 4, they also launched multiple ballistic-missile and drone attacks on several Aramco facilities within Saudi Arabia. The U.S. removed some of its anti-missile batteries from Saudi Arabia a week later, rendering the kingdom even more vulnerable. The Houthis—who mark every missile and drone launch by chanting their slogan, “God is great, death to America, death to Israel, curse the Jews, and victory for Islam!”—are part of the network of militias and proxy groups Tehran dubs the “axis of resistance,” which also operate in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and the Gaza Strip. Michael Segall writes:

Iran has turned Yemen into its testing range. . . . The repeated Houthi airstrikes on targets deep in Saudi Arabia as well as ground battles in various areas of Yemen against the Saudi-led [anti-Houthi] coalition, provide Iran with extensive knowledge and operational experience in the use of various weapons. In some cases, members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, as well as members of Lebanese Hizballah, are involved in operating the Houthis’ systems and in training. Iran is also closely monitoring the operation of Saudi air-defense systems supplied by the United States.

[Iran diffuses its know-how] through instructors in various areas and visits by Hamas and Palestine Islamic Jihad operatives to Iran to study the technology and means of production, and to coordinate the smuggling of components for the construction of heavy rockets, missiles, and other weapons. . . . During the May 2021 war in Gaza, several attempts were made by the terrorist organizations to launch Iranian-designed drones into Israeli territory. Iran is constantly working to equip all elements of the axis of resistance with asymmetrical capabilities for striking deep into Israeli territory and the lands of its regional rivals, mainly in the Gulf and Iraq.

In recent years, Iran has been trying to increase the linkage and fine-tune the coordination between the various components of the axis of resistance and improve their military-operational capabilities. According to Iran, the camp will eventually . . . be able . . . to act as one entity during a confrontation with Israel, the United States, or an Arab coalition, whenever Iran decides to do so.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Gaza Strip, Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Saudi Arabia, Yemen

Why the Leader of Hamas Went to Russia

Sept. 30 2022

Earlier this month, the Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh and several of his colleagues visited Moscow, where they met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian officials. According to Arabic-language media, Haniyeh came seeking “new ideas” about how to wage war against the Jewish state. The terrorist group has had good relations with the Kremlin for several years, and even maintains an office in Moscow. John Hardie and Ivana Stradner comment on the timing of the visit:

For Moscow, the visit likely reflects a continuation of its efforts to leverage the Palestinians and other issues to pressure Israel over its stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine. Russia and Israel built friendly relations in the decades following the Soviet Union’s dissolution. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, Jerusalem condemned the war, but made sure to tread carefully in order to preserve working ties with Moscow, lest Russian military forces in Syria disrupt Israel’s strategically important air operations there.

Nevertheless, bilateral tensions spiked in April after Yair Lapid, then serving as Israel’s foreign minister, joined the chorus of voices worldwide accusing Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine. Jerusalem later provided Kyiv with some non-lethal military aid and a field hospital. In response, Moscow hardened its rhetoric about Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian issue isn’t the only way that Russia has sought to pressure Israel. Moscow is also threatening, on seemingly spurious grounds, to shutter the Russian branch of the Jewish Agency.

Moscow likely has little appetite for outright conflict with Israel, particularly when the bulk of Russia’s military is floundering in Ukraine. But there are plenty of other ways that Russia, which maintains an active intelligence presence in the Jewish state, could damage Israel’s interests. As Moscow cozies up with Hamas, Iran, and other enemies of Israel, Jerusalem—and its American allies—would do well to keep a watchful eye.

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Subscribe to Mosaic

Welcome to Mosaic

Subscribe now to get unlimited access to the best of Jewish thought and culture

Subscribe

Read more at Algemeiner

More about: Hamas, Israeli Security, Russia