December 3, 2023

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Iranian State Television Segment Envisions How Attacks on Israel Could Unfold

Iranian officials have publicly warned that new fronts against Israel could open in the region if its offensive on the Gaza Strip continued, and on Wednesday Iran’s state television aired a segment detailing how such attacks could unfold.

The report opened with the supreme leader, , saying that if the war continued “nobody could stop the forces of the resistance,” referring to a network of militia groups across the region supported by Iran.

Houthis in Yemen from the south, Syrian and Iraqi militias in Syria from the east, and Hezbollah in Lebanon from the north would coordinate to attack Israel with missiles and drones to create “a siege from every side,” the report claimed.

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Iran’s state television routinely broadcasts the Islamic Republic’s propaganda and hyperbole. The military threats could be part of a strategy to fuel a growing anxiety of the Israel-Hamas war’s expanding in the region.

The segment said that Houthis in Yemen had missiles with a range of more than 1,200 miles and that Hezbollah in Lebanon had a cache of advanced missiles that could target Israeli warships in the Mediterranean Sea as well as the city of Tel Aviv.

The report said Iraqi militia groups had taken positions alongside Syrian militias near the Golan Heights, an area Israel captured from Syria in 1967 and later annexed.

Younis Shadlou, the state television reporter who identified himself as the narrator in his sign-off at the end of the 3 1/2-minute piece, said that “these operations could happen in the next few days” if Khamenei’s call for an end to Gaza’s bombardment wasn’t heeded.

Tensions are already flaring. Since Hamas launched its deadly attack in southern Israel, Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon have been exchanging fire along Israel’s northern border daily, with casualties reported on both sides. So far, the fighting has not spread beyond the border area.

The U.S. military is on heightened alert in the region, too. In Iraq on Wednesday, the day President Joe Biden made a bold wartime visit to Israel in a show of support, the U.S. military said it had intercepted several drones that were threatening U.S. military and allied personnel, according to a statement by its Central Command. In one incident, coalition troops suffered “minor injuries,” the statement said.

“If the bombing continues, it is vital that fighting not spread to other theaters,” said the International Crisis Group, a conflict prevention organization, in its latest report on the Israel-Hamas war issued on Wednesday. “Iran, which has been sounding ominous warnings about an expansion of the conflict, has the capacity to aggravate the situation.”

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