Iraqi militia threatens Israel with retaliation over strike in Syria

Iraqi militia Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba’ issued a statement on Thursday threatening to retaliate against the Jewish state following a reported Israeli strike earlier in the day against a “cultural and media center” belonging to the group in the Syrian capital.

“A treacherous targeting of a cultural and media center affiliated with Islamic Resistance Movement al-Nujaba’ in the Syrian capital, Damascus, by the usurping Zionist entity that kills children, women, and innocent civilians. We announce publicly that our response will be sudden, strong, and effective.. we will reach the depths of the entity, and these crimes will not go unpunished..,” said the statement.

The reported Israeli attack occurred on Thursday morning on the outskirts of Damascus. Syrian state-controlled media said air defenses downed some of the missiles, and the attack caused material losses.

“At approximately 03:20 a.m. on Thursday, the Israeli enemy launched an aerial attack from the direction of the occupied Syrian Golan, targeting a building in the Damascus countryside. The source noted that the aggression caused only material losses.”

For its part, Asaib Ahl al-Haq security chief Jawad al-Talibawi published a statement deriding the attack and warned Israel would be punished for the act.

“While we stand in support of the brothers in blood and jihad, we affirm that the crimes of the Zionist(s).. against the men of the resistance and its headquarters will not pass without deterrent punishment.”

The Iraqi militias affiliated with the Islamic Resistance in Iraq have been targeting Israel in response to the outbreak of war in the Gaza Strip. Given this context, it is doubtful that al-Nujabaa or any other Iraqi militia will launch an attack outside of the scope of the current Iraqi militia operations against Israel. Moreover, the reported Israeli attack resulted in material losses, which suggests that the likelihood of a significant response from Iraqi militias is low, as they did not suffer any casualties among their members.

Joe Truzman is an editor and senior research analyst at FDD's Long War Journal focused primarily on Palestinian armed groups and non-state actors in the Middle East.

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