Topics: Iran, Iraq

Iranian Militias Oddly Quiet After Suspected Israeli Air Strikes

In today’s Middle East, it is Israel that boasts of hitting its enemies, while they cower in relative silence

It shouldn’t come as a surprise. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned numerous times that Israel would not allow Iran to take steps that jeopardize the Jewish state’s security, no matter where those activities were taking place.

It is by now no secret that Israel has carried out dozens of bombing missions against warehouses and convoys bringing game-changing weapons from Iran to the Lebanese terror militia Hezbollah. Most of those strikes occurred in war-torn Syria.

But now the situation is escalating. According to Arab media, at least three aerial attacks against Iranian targets have been carried out on Iraqi soil in recent weeks. The bombings destroyed caches of missiles being held by the Iran-affiliated Shiite militia Al-Hashd al-Sha’bi (Popular Mobilization Forces), presumably earmarked for later delivery to Hezbollah.

Needless to say, Israel is widely suspected of carrying out these air strikes, in coordination with the Americans. Accurate intelligence provided by US forces, combined with the use of Israel’s new F-35 aircraft would certainly result in the kind of success these attacks have seen. 

Arab social media has featured dozens of video clips documenting these air strikes, some of which occurred not far from Baghdad (see above for one example).

Officially, Israel maintains ambiguity on the topic, but in recent days, Netanyahu has strongly hinted as the Jewish state’s involvement. The Iraqi government, too, has refrained from singling out Israel, instead attributing the explosions to fires that broke out in these particular warehouses. To admit that Israel had successfully bombed targets in its territory would open up Baghdad either to crushing shame, or accusations that it was collaborating with the Zionists.

Most interesting is that the Shiite militias themselves have remained largely mum on the matter. For years, they have been threatening to conquer Israel and liberate “Palestine.” But now that Israel has demonstrated the ability and willingness to effortlessly strike them on their own turf, they dare not respond and admit such weakness. Because it turns out the only real threat these groups pose is to the makeshift Israeli flags they love to burn.

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