The Islamic Republic of Iran is reportedly acting more visibly within what it refers to as “the axis of resistance” by mobilizing its growing network of terrorist proxies throughout multiple Middle Eastern countries, particularly in Syria, in light of a recent incident between Iran and Israel.
Last week, Israel shot down an Iranian drone that flew into Israel from Syria and conducted airstrikes on Syrian and Iranian bases within Syria in response. Syria downed an Israeli F16 fighter jet during the incident. The events have exacerbated the possibility of a new conflict between Israel and Iran.
Amir Toumaj, a research analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) who studies Iran, told the New York Times this week, “The ultimate goal is, in the case of another war, to make Syria a new front between Israel, Hezbollah, and Iran. They are making that not just a goal, but a reality.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned the world for years that Iran is seeking to expand its hegemony throughout the Middle East and has noted that Israel is a prime target.
The Iranian axis of resistance includes Hamas, Hezbollah, the Syrian government, Iraq, and the Houthis in Yemen.
Breitbart News reported on Tuesday:
There are 10 Iranian military bases in Syria, two of which are close to the border with Israel, that are training militias from the Bashar al-Assad regime for a future war with the Jewish state, an analyst for an American think tank contended in an article published Monday.
As many as 20,000 fighters in Syria have been trained by Iranian military personnel, giving Iran its “true muscle” in Syria, according to the Monday report in the New York Times. About 6,000 of them are Hezbollah members, with the rest coming from Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries. Most of them view the conflict in religious terms, the report said.
Iran’s initial interest in entering Syria was to defend the rule of President Bashar al-Assad against Syrian rebels. However, as the Syrian opposition has lost traction, and Assad’s rule appears to be intact, the Times notes Iran’s shift “to creating an infrastructure to threaten Israel … in hopes of building a united front in the event of a new war.”
In light of recent incidents, that likelihood of war is higher than ever before.