The U.S. Shouldn’t Reward Iraq for Allowing Attacks on Israel

Early yesterday morning a drone hit a naval base in the city of Eilat, located at Israel’s southern tip. It appears to have been fired by one of the many Iran-backed militias in Iraq, which have been integrated into Iraq’s military and political structure. Yesterday, Israel also struck a building next door to the Iranian embassy in Damascus, killing two generals in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

Benny Avni observes that the strike on Damascus is a sign that Israel “is changing the rules of the game, with a direct hit to the Iranian head of the snake.” Avni also notes that one of the strike’s targets was likely involved in planning the drone attack on Eilat, which itself is the first of its kind. Now the question is how America will respond:

Congressional Republicans are calling on President Biden to disinvite Iraq’s prime minister, Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, and scrap his scheduled April 15 Washington visit. . . . Following quiet negotiations between Washington and Tehran officials, Iran-backed Iraqi militias all but stopped attacks on American troops based in Iraq and Syria. The Iraqi militias are part of the country’s security apparatus, and Baghdad must be held responsible.

Apparently, whatever deal was made between the White House and Iraq didn’t rule out attacks on Israel. It should.

Read more at New York Sun

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, Iraq, Israeli Security, U.S. Foreign policy


Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security