Dr. Mordechai Keidar is one of Israel’s leading experts on Middle East affairs. Fluent in Arabic, he follows regional events closely, and is often invited to share his analyses on Arabic-language as well as Hebrew media.
Earlier this week, Dr. Keidar hesitantly shared his most recent findings in an article that seemed to confirm some of Israel’s worst fears.
“I hesitated quite a bit whether to publish the things that appear below because of the panic they might cause in Israel,” wrote Keidar. “However, in the Middle East environment, and in particular in Iraq, these things are known and serve as a topic of open discussion, so it is impossible for the public in Israel not to be aware of them, particularly since these things concern Israelis much more than they concern the citizens of Iraq.”
Keidar related that a source he’s known for years who supports Israel and now lives abroad, but who maintains close ties to people in Iran and Iraq – that this person believes Iran plans to launch a multi-front, full-scale attack on Israel in the very near future.
This assault will, according to the source, involve forces based in several surrounding countries and territories:
- Lebanon – Hezbollah and Hamas with many thousands of missiles and UAVs.
- Syria – 17 combat units (“militias”)positioned near the border with Israel. Iran has also transferred to Syria a very large number of missiles and UAVs.
- Iraq – Dozens of militias, armed with missiles and UAVs.
- Yemen – The Houthis, who have missiles and long-range UAVs that reach Israel.
- Gaza – Hamas and Islamic Jihad with a massive missile stockpile capable of paralyzing Israel’s central region.
The source believes that Iran will not launch any attack from its own territory so as to avoid a direct Israeli retaliation.
How will they pull it off?
While the above scenario sounds frightening, it is nevertheless difficult to imagine how the jihadist forces could achieve any kind of real military victory.
Keidar assessed that Iran will orchestrate a staged, integrated and coordinated assault on the Jewish state, along these lines:
A massive barrage of missiles and UAVs will be launched at Israel simultaneously from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria. We perhaps saw the prelude to this coordinated assault last week.
“The Iranian estimate is that Israel’s Iron Dome will run out of interceptor missiles within two to three hours from the start of the attack, after which Israel will be largely undefended” against additional missile attacks, wrote Keidar.
At the same time missiles and UAVs are occupying Israel’s defenses, the Iranian axis will launch a massive wave of cyber attacks targeting Israel’s military and civilian infrastructure.
Israel is very good at stopping such attacks, but some have managed to get through in the past. Israel’s enemies perhaps believe that a very large-scale wave of cyber attacks will overwhelm Israel’s cyber defenses and cause real damage.
After a full day or two of missile and cyber attacks, Keidar believes Iran’s proxies will launch a coordinated ground assault from Lebanon, Syria and Gaza. These will be “mounted forces on dirt bikes and ATVs, equipped with anti-tank weapons,” he wrote.
Now, of course, such infantry forces have no hope of battlefield victory against the IDF and its heavy weaponry. But that won’t be their goal.
“They will bypass all obstacles in order to reach Jewish towns and villages as quickly as possible,” warned Keidar. In Iran’s assessment, “this will demoralize the Israeli public and force the government to surrender in order to save the lives of the many Israelis who will be captured by the Arab and Iranian militias.”
An opportune moment
Because of the internal strife in Israel, Iran and its allies believe the IDF will be slow to mobilize its large reserve forces and effectively respond to the coordinated assault.
For several weeks already, Arab and Iranian media has been highlighting signs of Israeli weakness and their belief that the “Zionist entity” is ripe to fall.
Iran likewise believes, according to Keidar and his source, that the International community will bemoan the assault on Israel, but will do little or nothing to stop it.
“American and European governments will not intervene militarily, but will content themselves with words, because no one in the West is looking to get involved in another conflict,” he noted.
The war in Ukraine has already depleted not only NATO’s ammunition depots, but the political will of Western leaders to intervene in wars that are not their own. It is also not lost on Iran and its allies that Western powers have fearfully refrained from direct military confrontation with a far weaker Russian enemy.
In Keidar’s assessment, some officials in the West will actually welcome the opportunity to be rid of the “headache” of Israel. And while their’s may not be a majority voice, they will wield influence.
Russia and China, both of which are allies of Iran, will publicly call for a cessation of hostilities, but will in reality support Iran, perhaps most notably with information about what is happening in Israel.
Not just a theory
Keidar pointed out that a coordinated missile and UAV attack is by no means a theory, but has already been used by Iran against Saudi Arabia.
In September of 2019, Iran-linked forces in Yemen launched a major missile and UAV attack on Saudi Arabia that damaged its oil output for months.
More importantly, stressed Keidar, Iran saw that “the US under Trump and Europe did nothing against it following this attack, and so it is certain that they will likewise do nothing today” in the face of an assault on Israel.
Realistic or not, Israel must prepare
Keidar acknowledged that Israel’s enemies might not have the capacity to pull off the above scenario. “But even if the chance of it happening is just one percent, the State of Israel must act as one, the coalition must work with the opposition, in order to prepare the nation,” he pleaded.
“If the Israeli public wants to live, it must prepare – mentally and materially – for war with the Iranian octopus that has managed to establish its grip on the failed countries adjacent to Israel, countries that have almost nothing to lose,” the expert concluded.
Israel Today Membership
Save 18% Per Month.
Six Months Membership
Save 9% Per Month.