America Is Trying to Dismantle the Iranian Terror Network in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen

On Sunday, the U.S. and Britain launched airstrikes, for the second day in a row, against the Houthis, the Iran-backed Yemeni group that has been harassing international shipping in the Red Sea. America also attacked Iran-linked targets in Syria and Iraq on Friday. Perhaps more importantly, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan promised that there will be “additional action” against Tehran’s regional proxies in response to the killing of three American soldiers in Jordan. Sullivan declined to make any guarantees that the U.S. won’t attack inside Iran.

Reuel Marc Gerecht has argued that only retaliation inside their borders will deter Iranian leaders, which would mean that this weekend’s display of force won’t achieve its aim. Ron Ben-Yishai, by contrast, takes it more seriously:

Some 85 targets were struck by fighter jets and cruise missiles, far more than the ten or so attacks after previous and even more deadly attacks on U.S. forces. The targets chosen were strategic. This was not a response to the source of fire or direct retaliation against the militias who launched the killer UAVs at the American base [in Jordan]. These were strikes targeting the logistical and operational center of the Shiite militias which Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had established for them on the border between Syria and Iraq.

Until now, [U.S.] attacks against the Houthis were considered warnings, but on Saturday they were more extensive and lasted for a longer period of time, again as an indication, and a message to Iran, that America means business. . . . What is becoming apparent is that the U.S. decided to destroy systematically the military network of Iran’s proxies as well as that of the IRGC, used to attack Israel and the West.

What the U.S. and the UK along with their allies are doing by attacking the IRGC and their proxies is akin to what Israel is doing to Hizballah across its northern border.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security