Sunday, May 19, 2024

Iranian attack on Israel would likely be carried out by ‘regional proxies’: US

An Iranian attack on Israel would likely be carried out by Iran’s proxy forces in the region, rather than by Tehran directly, two people familiar with US intelligence on the matter told CNN.

Tehran is wary of a dramatic escalation in the fighting, the sources said, and does not want to give the United States or its allies an excuse to attack Iran directly.

Iran and its “proxy militia groups” also do not appear poised to attack US troops or other assets in the region for similar reasons, the sources added. The sources claimed, however, that Iran does not have perfect command and control over all of its proxy forces, so the possibility of an attack on US assets cannot be completely ruled out.

Iranian officials have repeatedly stressed that the resistance groups in West Asia are not directed by Tehran and do not take orders from Tehran.

The US and its allies have been bracing for a possible attack against Israeli and US assets in the region in retaliation for an Israeli strike last week on Iran’s consulate in Damascus, which killed seven Iranian military officials.

The sources told CNN that US intelligence assesses that Iran has urged several of its “proxy militia groups” to simultaneously launch a large-scale attack against Israel, using drones and missiles, and that they could attack as soon as this week. There is some debate, however, about whether they will wait until after Ramadan ends to strike, stated one of the sources.

“The threat is very clear and credible,” one of the sources said, adding, “They have put the pieces in place to conduct the attack now. Just waiting for the right time.”

Last Monday, Israeli warplanes bombed the Iranian consulate in Damascus, located next to the embassy building in Damascus’s Mezzeh district.

The attack killed two senior Iranian military personnel who were on an advisory mission to Syria as well as five of their accompanying officers.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps announced Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, and his deputy General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi were among the seven martyrs of the terrorist attack.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has vowed that Iran will “punish” Israel and make the evil regime “regret” its crime of assassinating the country’s military advisors in Syria.

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has also stated Israel had resorted to indiscriminate assassinations after back-to-back failures in the face of the resistance, warning that the regime’s latest crime against Iranian military advisers in Syria “will not go unanswered”.

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