Iran’s Terrorist Militias Hold Secret Meetings with Hamas in Lebanon

Palestinian militants representing the armed wings of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistan
SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images

Radio Farda on Friday quoted sources affiliated with Iran-backed militia groups in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Lebanon that have been holding “secret strategy sessions” with Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Lebanese Hezbollah’s underground lairs. 

According to Radio Farda’s sources, the meetings began a few weeks ago and have featured appearances from high-ranking Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officers. 

One of those IRGC officers, Mohammad Reza Zahedi, was killed on April 1 in an airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus. Iran has vowed revenge against Israel for the strike, and the Israelis are taking the threat seriously by shifting to a war footing.

Representatives of Yemen’s Houthi insurgents, who have wantonly attacked international shipping in the Red Sea for months and largely shut down one of the world’s most important sea lanes, also reportedly attended the Lebanon strategy sessions.

The hosts for the secret meetings were Lebanon’s Hezbollah terrorists, who have themselves been launching rockets and drones at civilian targets in northern Israel. Since the early days of the Gaza war, Israel has been concerned that Hezbollah might attack in force and open a new battlefront in Lebanon.

On Friday, Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah gave a televised speech in which he declared support for Iran’s “right” to “punish” Israel for the airstrike that killed Zahedi. Nasrallah described that strike as a “turning point” in the regional conflict.

“Be certain, be sure, that the Iranian response to the targeting of the consulate in Damascus is definitely coming against Israel,” Nasrallah said, boasting that his forces could support Iran with weapons they have not revealed yet.

Regional analysts suspect Iran does not relish the prospect of directly attacking Israel and would much prefer to continue operating through terrorist proxies. The notion that all of those proxies have been gathering for secret strategy sessions with Iranian officers and Hamas representatives is troubling.

Iran’s proxy forces could play a role even if Iran does opt for direct military action. CBS News reported on Friday that the U.S. has “picked up intelligence that Iran is planning a retaliatory attack that would include a swarm of Shaheed loitering drones and cruise missiles,” probably targeting an Israeli diplomatic facility comparable to the Iranian consulate in Damascus. 

“Another important unknown is where the drones and missiles would be launched – from Iraq or Syria, which could prompt a thin claim of deniability by Tehran – or from Iranian territory,” CBS added. If Iran chooses to attack from Iraq or Syria, groups like Iraq’s Kataib Hezbollah that have reportedly been attending the secret meetings in Lebanon would surely be involved.


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