Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Middle East: Preparations For Escalation

MIDEAST REVIEW: Preparations For Escalation

Recognizing the signs of the times, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) is poised for a major military investment in preparation for an escalation of incidents with Lebanon and Syria. This is all tied to Iran’s influence in the area and the country’s support of Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations. As a sign of its increasing preparation, the IDF has scheduled 20 divisional exercises in the area for 2022, compared to 13 in 2021 and three in 2020.

At a conference at Reichman University in Herzliya, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz spelled out very clearly Iran’s involvement and agenda in promoting and supporting terrorist groups in the Middle East. Much of the nation’s ire is directed at Israel. At one point, the Iranian military even attempted to smuggle explosives to terrorists in the West Bank using drones. Israel shot the UAVs down. Their activity is particularly heavy in Iraq and Syria, and they are intent on keeping the entire region in turmoil.

Two incidents serve as proof of Iranian presence and activity amongst terrorists. First, on Tuesday Israel launched an airstrike on Iranian-backed Hezbollah targets south of Homs near the Lebanese border in Syria. Second, Bahrain announced on Monday that they stopped a terrorist attack, arresting the perpetrators who were in possession of weapons and explosives which originated in Iran.

Despite all that, Iran’s support of terrorism is still not the country’s worst kept secret. That title belongs to their continued quest for nuclear weapons. IAEA Director-General Rafael Grossi announced yesterday that despite his best efforts, Iran continues to spurn his requests for access to their nuclear sites. This breaking of the terms of the JCPOA surprises absolutely no one.

In another blow to an already struggling economy, Saudi Arabia has banned the importation of Lebanese produce due to drug smuggling. Rather than lashing out at the Saudis, Lebanon’s Foreign Ministry challenged its own country’s customs authorities to do better.

Five rockets were fired at the Kharab al-Jir military base used by US forces in the Hasaka Governate in northeastern Syria. All five rockets fell short of their target and there was no damage.

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