ANALYSIS: Israel and the Coming Multi-Front-War With the Iranian Axis

Israel is aware, but is it adequately prepared for the major Iranian-led assault that is looming?

By Yochanan Visser | | Topics: Iran
Is an Israeli strike on Iran imminent?
Is an Israeli strike on Iran imminent? Photo: Israel Air Force

Middle East experts are convinced that Iran orchestrated the recent wave of terror that ravaged Israel during the seven-day Passover celebration.

The same experts warn that this and other terror waves are intended as tests by the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran.

The ultimate goal of all of these actions is to identify the weaknesses in Israel’s defense strategy in preparation for future actions against the Jewish state. The question now is what Israel can do to avert the impending doom.

That doomsday scenario is increasingly being discussed openly by some of the Israeli media, and concerns Iran’s long-anticipated multi-front war against Israel.

More on that later.


The Role of the Quds Force

Ismail Ghani, the commander of the Quds Brigade, was in Damascus and Beirut prior to the Passover terror.

Ghani apparently decided to mobilize the Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) against Israel and asked the Palestinian terrorists to launch a salvo of rockets from southern Lebanon and from southwest Syria.

This came after the Israel Air Force (IAF) carried out four strikes against Iran-related targets in Syria in the week preceding the Passover festival with each of these attacks designed to frustrate the Iranian military buildup in Syria, while at least two military advisors of the IRGC were also killed in the airstrikes.

Iran initially responded to the IAF attacks by sending an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) into Israeli airspace. It was shot down by the Israeli army (IDF) over the Golan Heights.

The leaders of PIJ, Hamas and Hezbollah then met during the festival for planned talks with the Iranians and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

The course of the Passover terrorist attacks showed that there was coordination and a conscious effort to test Israel’s responses.

The same thing happened last August when PIJ in Gaza fired salvos of rockets into southern Israel which were intended to test the effectiveness and limits of the Iron Dome anti-missile shield.

Now, the Quds Brigade used Hamas and PIJ to test Israel again with Hamas using social media to stir up the Arab masses and to incite violence through the old myth about an Israeli threat against the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

It was Hamas that fired rockets from Gaza and southern Lebanon while PIJ was responsible for the increasing shooting attacks, mainly in Samaria.

The Iranian-funded and armed terror organization has turned the city of Jenin in northern Samaria into a military base from where the new terror war against Israel was started last year with the help of the Quds Force.

IRGC commanders openly bragged about their ability to supply weapons to the terrorists in Judea and Samaria during Quds Day celebrations last Friday.

PIJ’s Syrian affiliate was also responsible for the rocket fire on northeastern Israel during Passover.

This rocket fire, and that from southern Lebanon, was fully coordinated with Hezbollah, which deliberately stayed out of this round of violence because it is Iran’s greatest asset and will be used later in the anticipated multi-front war against Israel.

That this war will come is an established fact for most experts in Israel. The only question is when.


Israel prepared?

The question now arises whether the Israeli army is sufficiently prepared for such an unprecedented confrontation on four and possibly five fronts.

These fronts are Gaza, Syria, Lebanon, Judea and Samaria, and possibly Yemen, where a front is formed by the Ansar Allah, or Houthi militia.

This fully Iranian-controlled and armed militia has indicated in the recent past that it has the readiness and the weapons to attack Israel.

Iran itself will not take any military action against Israel from its own territory, but instead will deploy the “uniting the fronts” doctrine of the Quds Force that was devised by its assassinated commander Qassem Soleimani.

Soleimani’s doctrine has always been to fight the enemy through satellite states, foreign militias, and terror movements.

The slain Quds commander said long ago that Iran had become the champion of asymmetric warfare because of this doctrine.

There is controversy over whether Israel is currently adequately prepared for the long-awaited major confrontation with Iran.

The most pessimistic analysis of the current situation, with Israel facing serious internal problems, came from Dr. Mordechai Kedar, a Middle East expert with extensive experience in Arab affairs and Islam.


Kedar’s analysis

Writing in the Makor Rishon newspaper, Kedar said he had been hesitant to publish his analysis because it was likely to cause panic among the Israeli public.

Kedar wrote that one of his contacts, a Middle Eastern refugee now living in Europe, told him that Iran is currently preparing “a combined attack on Israel with all Arab forces and other militias at its disposal.”

Kedar mentioned, among other things, the 17 militias that Iran has at its disposal in Syria and that, despite the many IAF attacks in the country, have sophisticated weapons such as guided missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) at their disposal.

The Middle East expert further wrote that Iran is also likely to use the Ansar Allah militia in Yemen and militias in Iraq that also have UAVs and long-range missiles ready for use. When all these militias together with Hezbollah, with its more than 140,000 missiles, and the Palestinian terror groups launch a combined attack with missiles and UAVs, Israel will soon see a shortage of Iron Dome missiles and other air defense weapons.

The IDF will then soon be overwhelmed, according to Kedar.

That will be the first phase of the war that should lead to enormous problems in Israel within a day and that aims to disable air bases and other military facilities.

This phase will also be accompanied by extensive cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure and vital installations in Israel.

The next phase, which should begin after just two days, will be an attack with ground forces who will be using SUVs and motorcycles to carry out raids on Jewish villages in border areas.

The invaders will then have to take people hostage and that will significantly increase the psychological pressure on the Israeli population, Kedar thinks.

The assumption of the Iranians is that the IDF will need several days to mobilize the reserve forces (400,000 of the total potential of 526,000 soldiers).

By that time, the Iran coalition will have created so much chaos that the Israeli military response will be too late, Kedar says.

In this scenario, the Palestinian terrorist movements will not limit themselves to rocket launches and terror attacks, but will also incite the Arab masses and incite large-scale violence including in the Arab towns in Israel.

The violence during Passover will be dwarfed by what the Iranians plan to do during this multi-front war, according to Kedar.

The Middle East expert thinks something must be done quickly to restore unity in Israel and believes that the people are currently not awake.

Kedar expects little from the world community in the event of such a devastating attack on Israel.

He based this on past experience. Kedar mentioned the Second Lebanon War when the international community sided with Hezbollah. He could have mentioned the Yom Kippur War as well when the world generally watched passively as the Arab armies initially threatened to overrun Israel.  The current situation where the US has largely lost its influence in the Middle East and is still trying to reach a nuclear deal with Iran is probably the best indication Israel will have to act alone to confront the Iranian axis.


The IDF Doctrine

Kedar’s analysis was mainly about what Iran and the so-called ‘axis of resistance’ are doing right now.

However, the IDF developed its own doctrine years ago, which was formulated by former Israeli army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot.

That doctrine called “IDF competence and preparedness for war and emergency“ was based on preemptively eliminating the enemy and preventing the military build-up of Iran in  Syria.

In the case of Hezbollah in Lebanon, for example, there is a concrete plan to destroy all missile silos and a large part of the infrastructure in Lebanon in a short time span.

The Eisenkot doctrine was also visible in the mini-war between the IDF and PIJ last August when the IAF took out the entire PIJ top in Gaza at the start of the confrontation and robbed the terror organization of its original plan of attack.

Such pre-emptive strikes will determine the outcome of the anticipated war with Iran’s ‘resistance axis.’

Eisenkot gave a taste of his doctrine in 2018 when he trapped the Quds Force on the night of May 10, 2018, when the IAF destroyed almost the entire military infrastructure of the IRGC elite unit in Syria with 28 fighter jets.

Eisenkot gave this operation the name “House of Cards,” and it was this operation that most likely made the then commander of the Quds Force Soleimani decide to expand the pro-Iran coalition with Hamas and PIJ.

This Iranian axis of resistance now seems to have come to the conclusion that Israel’s internal turmoil and a deteriorating relationship with the US government are a sign that the country has become weakened.

However, this conclusion could lead to the same mistakes that Israel’s enemies made in the past with the 1973 Yom Kippur War and Yasser Arafat’s Second Intifada as the best examples.

Israel also has other options at its disposal against Iran and its allies one of them the so-called Laser Beam system, for example, which is expected to become operational later this year. This system of lasers is capable of simultaneously shooting multiple targets out of the air and has unlimited usability.

The system will, most likely, render the Iranian coalition’s tens of thousands of missiles and UAVs largely useless.

Israel also has nuclear weapons that can reach Iran via long-range missiles or via the Dolphin submarines of the Israeli navy.

Finally, there is the timing of the planned attack that should lead to Israel’s destruction.

The implementation of this plan is likely to be related to developments in Iran’s nuclear weapons program which has now reached its final stages.

As is well known, Iran now has a quantity of highly processed uranium (almost 84 percent) that can be processed within a few days to the required ninety percent needed for a nuclear bomb.

Developing a warhead and integrating it into a long-range missile takes a maximum of two years experts say but Iran has worked on this aspect of the production of a nuclear weapon in the past (Parchin).

The regime in Tehran will likely want to break out to a nuclear weapon before entering into the confrontation with the Israeli military that should lead to the demise of the Jewish state.

Under this nuclear umbrella, the ability of the Israeli military to operate against the Iran coalition will change dramatically.

This broader picture of what the IDF dubs the ‘War Between the Wars’ (MABAM in its Hebrew acronym) probably explains why the Israeli government decided to limit its response to the new Iranian provocations during Passover. It also explains why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to make the Temple Mount inaccessible to Jews during the last ten days of Ramadan.

After all, the focus of the Israeli military must remain on the larger picture and the head of the octopus, as former Israeli PM Naftali Bennett labeled the Iranian regime, and not on the continuing attempts to drag Israel into an exhausting war of attrition with the Iranian axis. Yoav Galant, Israel’s Defense Minister, apparently recognizes this and told a conference in Jerusalem on Sunday that the IDF is acting in “all arenas including those that are far away from Israel’s borders.”


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