On Saturday night, the Israel Defense Forces (idf) announced that fighter jets conducted air strikes in Syria to thwart a planned attack by Iran using armed drones. The Israeli military targeted Iranian operatives from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force and various Shiite militias who had been involved in the planned attack by drones carrying several kilograms of explosives.
On Sunday, the following day, Israel did something it rarely does: It publicly acknowledged that it had conducted the attack. The spokesman for Israel Defense Forces, Ronen Manelis, told reporters that this incident must be made public. He said Israel is prepared “defensively and offensively,” acknowledging that “there could be [more] developments.” He said that these are “drones we see in action in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.”
And that wasn’t the only Israeli attack against Iranian interests this week. On Sunday, Israel attacked a Hezbollah facility in Beirut that housed machinery used in the production of high precision-guided missiles. Israel also targeted a Shiite militia in western Iraq.
As Jonathan Spyer wrote for the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday,
Israel and Iran are at war. Israeli strikes this week in southern Syria, western Iraq and eastern Lebanon—and possibly even Beirut—confirm it.
The war marks a hinge point in Middle Eastern geopolitics. For the past decade and a half, the region has been engaged mainly with internal strife: civil wars, insurgencies and mass protests. These are now largely spent, leaving a broken landscape along the northern route from Iran to Israel. …
What’s brought it to the fore is that Iran has emerged in the past half decade as the prime beneficiary of the collapse of the Iraqi, Syrian and Lebanese states.
Israel’s very public attack, the same day it attacked western Iran and even Lebanon, reveals its underlying belief in its ability to defend any such counterstrike.
It also highlights Iran as the region’s greatest threat. Iran has pushed so hard for regional dominance that Israel has been forced to retaliate.
This Iranian westward push across the region requires your attention. It is actually a trend prophesied in your Bible, and it is happening at a fast pace.
It’s honestly quite hard to keep up with, but we must, and will, do our best at Watch Jerusalem to keep you apprised.
U.S. Plans to Open Direct Talks With Iran-Backed Houthis in Yemen
According to the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, “The Trump administration is preparing to initiate direct talks with Iran-backed Houthi forces in Yemen in an effort to end the four-year-old war, a conflict that has become a volatile front line in the conflict with Tehran, according to people familiar with the plans.”
Houthis are an important, dangerous proxy of Iran that ousted the Yemeni government back in 2015. There has been a devastating civil war since that time, with 90,000 people being killed.
On one side is an American-backed coalition of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates; and on the other side is the Iranian-backed Houthis.
After four years of fighting, the war doesn’t seem to be near an end, with the Iranian proxy almost daily firing ballistic missiles and drones into Saudi Arabia.
Now it seems that the U.A.E. might be ditching the Saudi coalition, and even the U.S. is looking for some type of truce to be worked out.
On Wednesday, we published an article titled “Houthi State of Yemen Coming Soon,” by Warren Reinsch. As he wrote, the fatigue of the war in Yemen, the Houthis growing firepower, and the breaking Saudi alliance means that “a radical Islamist state is being born on the shores of a crucial maritime passageway—the Red Sea.”
In April he wrote, “As the war in Yemen rages on, continue to watch for the Houthis to become more entrenched in Yemen, providing Iran a launching pad to impact global trade. The Houthis appear to be there to stay.”
Since the start of the Yemen war, we have repeatedly warned of the danger of an Iranian hold on the nation. Now that the U.S. is leading secret talks for a drawdown of forces, how soon will Iran become, officially, the gatekeeper of the Red Sea?
For more understanding on both of these stories, read The King of the South.