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Cooperation over Iraq

Israel will take action on any front that presents a threat

Two months after reports that Israel attacked Iranian bases in Iraq, causing heavy damage, the Iraqi prime minister issued a warning last week that his country’s military would respond to any future air strikes.

Israeli security figures have yet to officially confirm that Israel is operating in Iraq. They also refuse to verify reports that one of the targets attacked in Iraq was only 80 kilometers from the border with Iran (a possible hint to the Iranians that Israel could reach their territory).

A defense figure told me Israel will take action on any front that presents a threat, regardless of the difficulty of the operation.

“Iraq is a sovereign country, but from a military and security perspective, they’re controlled by [Iran’s] Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” the source said. “In the event of a flare-up, the decision about who will fire the antiaircraft missile will be made by Iranians, not Iraqis.”

According to that source, the fact that the United States (which has forces in Iraq) and Gulf nations aren’t responding to these strikes shows that they are coordinating with the attackers.

“The war is not only between Iran and Israel,” the defense figure said. “Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the Gulf states are involved as well. Iran is fighting Israel in various places, including Sudan, Lebanon, and even the Far East, where they are also planning terror attacks.”

Gershon Hacohen, a major-general in the reserves who has held an array of senior combat posts in the IDF, all but confirmed that Israel carried out the air strikes. “Freedom of action is not something you ask for — you create it for yourself,” he said. “The attack was carried out at such a distance because the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC] is constantly trying to take our measure, just as we’re testing them. The IRGC understood that Syria is too close and that we’ll retaliate with force against them there, so they established bases in northern Iraq. They wanted to see if Israel would strike them there too. Our enemy is searching for places where they think we can’t act against them.”

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 774)

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