Report: Israel struck Iranian-backed Shia militia in Iraq with Russian ok
An airstrike on Monday came after Prime Minister Netanyahu said Israel would strike Iranian forces forces throughout Syria and that Iran should leave Syria.
By SETH J. FRANTZMANUpdated: JUNE 21, 2018 12:14
Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported on Tuesday that Israel carried out an airstrike on a Shi’ite militia in Syria with the approval of both Moscow and Washington.On Monday an airstrike killed and wounded dozens of members of Iraq’s Kata’ib Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed Shia militia which has been operating near the Iraqi border in Syria. According to Al-Jarida, Israel carried out the airstrike and killed 52 members of the militia. It came after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would strike Iranian forces throughout Syria and that Iran should leave Syria.“Russia now considers that Tehran is playing a role recently that is disrupting Russia’s goals,” the report states. Russia and Iran are the main allies of the Syrian regime in Damascus, but they do not always see eye to eye on policy. Iran wants to extend its influence in Syria and create a corridor of influence from Tehran via Baghdad and Damascus to Beirut, while Russia is mainly interested in strengthening the regime of Bashar Assad. Iran’s drive for regional hegemony, which threatened Israel, has the possibility of destabilizing the Assad regime, as Tehran uses the regime for its own ends.The Al-Jarida report notes that the airstrike appears to make Tehran’s route to the Mediterranean more difficult. A second report at the same newspaper on Tuesday also claimed that the airstrike was aimed at sending a message to Iran to remove its forces and militias it supports from Syria. Kata’ib Hezbollah has close relations with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force and also with Lebanese Hezbollah.