A drone strike in Baghdad eliminated a Hezbollah Brigades commander complicit in planning and carrying out attacks against U.S. troops in the region.
It is unclear if the U.S. response is retaliatory in nature, or if the strikes are designed to force Iran to get its proxy terror militias to cease their attacks.
President Biden blamed Iranian-backed militias for killing three US service members and injuring others following a drone attack on a base in Jordan.
Bill and Joe catch up on the latest news from the Middle East, including U.S. pressure on Israel (led by Secretary of State Blinken) to come to a permanent ceasefire in Gaza while the U.S. also considers withdrawing its own troops from Syria; Israeli casualties in Gaza (including suffering the recent historic loss of 24 IDF reservists); Israeli strikes inside Lebanon; and, yes, more Houthi drama.
U.S. forces hit “headquarters, storage, and training locations for rocket, missile, and one-way attack UAV capabilities,” according to CENTCOM. The strike is the eight against the Iranian-backed militias, which have hit U.S. bases more than 150 times since Hamas attacks Israel in October 2023.
Iran-backed militias in Iraq fired ballistic missiles and rockets at U.S. troops operating in Ain al-Assad airbase in western Iraq.
The attacks against Houthi missiles are no longer being conducted under the aegis of an international coalition, but directly by the U.S. military.
An airstrike in the Syrian capital of Damascus killed five IRGC military advisors, including General Sadegh Omidzadeh. The strike is the second against Iranian advisors in Syria in the past four weeks.
The US Ambassador to Israel visited Israel’s Northern Command, where IDF commanders discussed threats from Hezbollah. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant spoke with US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin. IDF tanks found a terrorist training facility in Gaza, and the IDF wrapped up a two-day raid in the West Bank.
The current Islamic State spokesman announced yet another global campaign for the group’s global affiliates and supporters. Though intrinsically propagandistic, prior global campaigns had severe real world consequences.
Four members of Lebanese Hezbollah, and two members of Iraqi militia groups have been killed by airstrikes in Eastern Syria.
Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed Shia’ Al Sudani also denounced militia attacks on U.S. forces, however he is powerless to stop them. The Iranian-backed militias report to Sudani, but do not follow his orders. They are loyal to Iran.
Iran has described Razi Mousavi as “a veteran advisor of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps” and a one of “the companions of the assassinated general Qassem Soleimani.”
The U.S. hit three Hezbollah Brigades facilities after three U.S. soldiers were wounded, including one critically, in a drone strike at a U.S. airbase in Erbil. the handful of U.S. strikes has not deterred the militias or their Iranian masters.
The U.S. announces the formation of Operation Prosperity Guardian as Houthi attacks have ground international shipping transiting the Red Sea through the Suez Canal to a halt as multiple shippers are now bypassing the dangerous waterway. It is unclear if the operation will be offensive or defensive in nature.
A Norwegian tanker was hit with a cruise missile, while a French warship shot down two drones that “came straight at” it. The Houthis have vowed to continue to attack all international ships that enter or leave Israeli ports.
The attack is the latest by the Houthis against international shipping and U.S. Navy warships. The U.S. military has yet to respond to repeated attacks on U.S. warships and commercial vessels.
The anti-ship ballistic missiles, which were fired by the Houthis after a U.S. warship foiled a hijacking in the Gulf of Aden, missed their mark. The U.S. military has not responded to the attack.
The the U.S. military accused Iran of directly carrying out attacks on U.S. forces. “close-range ballistic missiles” were used in a recent attack against U.S. forces.
Unlike three previous strikes by the U.S. military which were intended to deter the militias from attacking U.S. forces, today’s strike targeted a Hezbollah Brigades team that had targeted a U.S. base in western Iraq.
Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhada is led by Abu Mustafa al-Sheibani, who is directly responsible for the formation of the Shia terror groups in Iraq and the killing of American soldiers. An IRGC agent was also listed in the designation of Hezbollah Brigades leaders.
The U.S. attack is thought to have killed a handful of Iranian proxy militiamen. U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin did not mention deterrence or a desire to deescalate this time around.
The Biden administration’s Oct. 27 attempt to deter Iran and its proxies from further strikes on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria has failed, as the militias launched an additional 21 attacks since that date.
Iran’s militias in Iraq and Syria have launched at least 24 strikes, primarily with drones, rockets, and mortars on U.S. military bases since Oct. 17. Five of the attacks took place after the U.S. military struck IRGC weapons depots in Syria in a failed effort to reestablish deterrence.
The war goes on; rockets are still raining down on central Israel (including Jerusalem) while Israel continues targeting Hamas leaders in Gaza. But…
Breaking today and over the weekend:
Israeli boots are now on the ground inside Gaza. There was also some IDF activity in Jenin inside the West Bank.
Iran’s President Raisi gaslit said on X that, “the Zionist regime’s crimes have crossed the red lines which may force everyone to take action.”
While Lebanese Hezbollah is still keeping things at a simmer just below the threshold of all-out war, other Iran-backed militias in Iraq and Syria are very much in the game. Some are even firing at U.S. forces in the region.
Bill and Joe are joined again by FDD’s Behnam Ben Taleblu to unpack these and related headlines.
In response to a spate of attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria by Iran-backed militias, the U.S. military struck two IRGC weapons storage sites in Syria. After years of largely ignoring these strikes, the Biden administration wants to deter the militias from future assaults. It may be too late.
The Hezbollah Brigades have now joined other Iranian proxies and sponsored groups in issuing threats against the United States over the ongoing war in Israel.
The raid is the latest against the Islamic State’s network in Iraq and Syria, which has been weakened since it lost its physical caliphate in 2019 but continues to persist.
Another caliph is dead. A new one, Abu Hafs al-Hashimi al-Quraishi, has been appointed.
Musa Ali Daqduq, a Hezbollah military commander and Specially Designated Global Terrorist, is training the “Golan Unit” to attack American troops operating in Syria.