During the past month and the first third of this month ISIS returned to a significant activity. This return coincided with the departure of former US President Donald Trump from the White House, and the arrival of his successor, Joe Biden, who seems to have new strategies in dealing with the situation in the Middle East that differ from those pursued by his predecessor, especially regarding to Iran.
Observers believe that this prompted Iran to trigger ISIS organization, directly or indirectly, and create more tensions inside Iraq, through intensifying the military presence of the Popular Mobilization militia in Iraqi cities, through military parades and chasing protest activists, in addition to targeting the US embassy, which represents a message to the Biden administration that Iran is still the number one actor on the ground in Iraq and in large parts of Syria. Those parts are the same parts that witness remarkable activity of ISIS, specifically in the Syrian Badia and Deir Ezzor Governorate, which is almost completely under the control of Iranian militias.
Stability in Syria and Iraq!
Stabilizing the situation in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon is against Iran’s interest unless it accomplishes its most important file, about nuclear. It seems that this file is entering a new phase that is not necessarily in Iran’s interest, but at least the negotiations will resume again after President Trump canceled it.
According to observers, Iranian fear found its reflection in the return of bombing operations to the Iraqi arena, the re-emergence of militias in the cities and the creation of a state of tension under the pretext of imminent attacks by the terrorist organization “ISIS”. Indeed, it carried out a number of operations from which no one seems to have benefited more than the Iran.
ISIS do neither target Iranian interests in Iraq or Syria, nor the militias loyal to it, it rather target civilians, most of whom are Sunnis.
In his statements to MENA Study and Research Centre Ali Al-Mayah, a political analyst, believes that the situation in Iraq does not tolerate more chaos, especially with the existence of a suffocating economic crisis due to corruption, economic slack, and Iranian companies’ control over vital sectors.
Consequently, Iran will no longer be able to use the paper of chaos in Iraq, especially that the pretext of ISIS revealed a large segment of the Shiites of Iraq, it is the same group that led the October uprising.
The Syrian file
As for the situation in Syria, the Iranian desire to spread more chaos collides in some areas with the Russian desire to create a state of stability that guarantees reaching a political achievement with international consensus. Russia will not allow Iran to create more chaos, as observers of Syrian file see.
On the other hand, magic may turn against the regime if Iran creates chaos in its areas of control, which are witnessing an unprecedented economic crisis, where people cannot get a loaf of bread nor other basic necessities of life, consequently, this might turn into an epidemic against the regime, and thus against Iran.
Militarily wise, Israel is still ensuring, although the limitation of the Iranian military influence in Syria, especially near the occupied Syrian Golan.
In this context, Israel Halyum newspaper revealed that a group of local residents working for Iranian militias in southern Syria had planted explosive devices about 23 meters from the security fence at the Israeli border separating the Golan Heights from Syria.
The Hebrew newspaper pointed out that “the exclusive documents reveal that a group of people planted explosive devices with the aim of killing the largest possible number of Israeli soldiers during their security patrols on the borders, thus provoking a limited confrontation that would create tension, and there is no harm in Iran sacrificing its militia members in Syria, as long as Iranian cities will remain far from this chaos.”
“Those who planted these explosive devices are Iran’s proxies who are residents of the region” said Ze’ev Cohen, an IDF general. “It is clear to us that Unit 840 of the Quds Force was the one who recruited them,” Cohen pointed out. “Due to the poverty and hunger suffered by the inhabitants of the areas at the border as a result of the war in Syria, the Iranian militias are trying to exploit the poor citizens in carrying out terrorist operations,” the military official added.
Arena in Lebanon .. Control of Hezbollah
Hezbollah, which is politically, militarily, and religiously loyal to the Wali al-Faqih in Tehran, is the most capable of creating an atmosphere of war favorable to Iranian interests, as Hezbollah effectively controls the Lebanese arena, and its supporters move according to its ideological project. It is also not concerned with the devastation that Lebanon might suffer from a war with Israel, if Iran’s interest is in this war. This is a reminiscent of the war in 2006 unleashed by Hezbollah, when Iran was in trouble due to pressure from the administration of US President George W. Bush and his team of neoconservatives.
In this context, the Israeli Military Intelligence Division issued a summary of the security situation in which it indicated that the threat of Hezbollah comes at the forefront of the dangers facing Israel in the year 2021. The summary developed by the Intelligence Division and published on Tuesday evening, pointed out that the main threat to Israel remains from Hezbollah, and Hamas is in addition to the Iranian threat.
According to the estimates of the Intelligence Division of the Israeli army, for the first time since 2006, it is expected that Hezbollah will attempt to start a limited attack on Israel, without being drawn into an all-out war. “Contrary to initial estimates, the Corona virus did not complicate the process of arming the various hostile organizations, chiefly Hamas and Hezbollah, which benefit from Iranian aid,” the Israeli Division indicated.
However, according to military intelligence estimates, Iran is currently at its lowest level in history, as a result of the campaign against it from various fronts, and the severe economic crisis that resulted from the sanctions and pressure exerted by the West.
“Iran continues to violate the nuclear agreement, and accumulate enriched materials, and is currently conducting research and development operations in this area, there is no going back,” the Intelligence Division statement said. The head of the Israeli Military Intelligence Division, Major General Tamer Heyman pointed out that the effects of the measures taken by the Israeli army in recent years, led Iran to an unprecedented low level, not only the Corona crisis.
“Iran has not abandoned its nuclear program, but rather has intensified its efforts in this regard. In its current situation, it believes that the agreement is the only way out of the crisis – and therefore seeks at least to return to the agreement it signed in 2015,” Heyman added. “Despite Iran’s attempt to position itself in order to strike Israel from the Syrian side of the Golan Heights, the army’s efforts and the numerous Israeli strikes have succeeded in inflicting damage and limiting these attempts in many ways, both open and covert. According to the Israeli report, the possibility of Hezbollah militias initiating a limited war with Israel remains one of the means that may give Iran a new negotiating card, and it may also set new rules in general.