In recent days, Iran has mobilized its affiliated groups to create a sustained war of attrition, with the primary goal of supporting Hamas and thwarting any potential Israeli ground intervention in Gaza.
All of Iran’s branches, including Hezbollah, Hamas, the Islamic Jihad, pro-Iranian militias in Iraq and Syria, and the Houthi rebels in Yemen, are actively participating in these hostilities.
Hezbollah’s official mouthpiece, the Lebanese “Al-Akhbar” newspaper, reported on October 20 that Iran will intensify its support for Hamas in Gaza. It revealed the establishment of a joint war room to coordinate these efforts alongside political activities.
The attacks on Israel have continued on multiple fronts, including Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. In a significant development, missile strikes from Yemen, orchestrated by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, targeted southern Israel.
Fortunately, these missiles were intercepted by a U.S. warship in the Red Sea.
Hezbollah also claimed to have successfully neutralized all IDF’s surveillance equipment along the Lebanese border, implementing a strategy to blind the Israeli Defense Forces.
In response, the IDF has increased drone patrols over Lebanese airspace.
Activity Against the U.S. in Iraq and Syria
Reports from the Middle East indicate that thousands of pro-Iranian militia fighters in Iraq are moving toward the Iraq-Jordan border.
Iran seems determined to challenge the U.S. presence in the Middle East.
The “Hezbollah Brigades” in Iraq declared that all American bases in Syria and Iraq are legitimate targets as long as Israel continues aerial bombardments of Gaza.
They stated that the U.S. shares responsibility for the Gaza situation and must leave the region immediately.
Indeed, pro-Iranian militias launched drone and rocket attacks on American bases in the Middle East recently, including the American Tanef base at the Syrian-Iraq-Jordan border junction, the Ein Al-Asad base, and the Harir base in Iraq.
The Involvement of Houthi Rebels
The participation of Houthi rebels in the conflict against Israel is particularly concerning.
They possess missiles and drones with a range of up to 2,000 km, and they have the capability to target Israeli merchant ships in the Red Sea.
Iran has implemented a Hezbollah-like model in Yemen, where Shia-origin Houthi rebels play a significant role.
Iran’s strategy is to draw Israel into a multi-frontal conflict that is expected to escalate in preparation for an IDF ground invasion of the Gaza Strip to challenge Hamas’s rule.