Is Iraq the New Front Line in Israel's Conflict with Iran?

(Foreign Policy) Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin and Ari Heistein - Washington's response to Israeli attacks on bases controlled by Iranian-backed Iraqi militias is similar to its reaction to the Israeli strike on the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981: leaking information regarding the responsible party. Elements in the U.S. government appear displeased about alleged Israeli activity in Iraq, which they view as placing American soldiers stationed there at risk. To understand the logic behind the recent strikes, it is important to view them within the broader Israeli counter-effort to prevent Iran from deploying precision missiles against Israel, some accurate to a 15-foot to 30-foot radius. Iran seeks to provide thousands of advanced missiles with ranges from 100 to 600 miles to its allies in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. Iran has sought to build another front against Israel on Syrian territory since 2017, but failed to take into account Israel's intelligence and air superiority in that theater. Israeli airstrikes led Iran to move a significant portion of its missile-related activity to Iraq and to Lebanon - where it believes Israel is less inclined to strike so as to avoid instigating a conflict with Hizbullah. Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, who participated as a pilot in the strike on the Osirak nuclear reactor in Iraq in 1981 and later served as head of IDF Military Intelligence, is director of the Institute for National Security Studies in Israel, where Ari Heistein is a policy and security consultant.

2019-08-29 00:00:00

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