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While Iran’s recent strikes show weakness, its threat of escalation is working

22 January 2024

By:

The Times of Israel

2024-01-21 0013

Iran recently increased its military attacks in response to threats on its soil. These attacks included strikes in Iraq, Syria, and against a Sunni terrorist group in Pakistan. 


Iran claimed to target a Mossad headquarters in Iraq and Islamic State positions in Syria, but there were civilian casualties, including a Kurdish businessman and his daughter.  


Iran's actions reflect a shift from using proxy groups to direct involvement. Previously, its proxies, like Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon, engaged in conflicts against Israel. The Houthis in Yemen also attacked ships, impacting global trade.  


The attacks indicate Iran's need to show strength against various threats, including ISIS, separatist groups, and Israel. However, these responses also highlight Iran's limitations. Despite claims of targeting Israeli and Sunni terrorist threats, Iran's strikes seem less effective, especially with Pakistan responding with strikes inside Iran.  


Iran's strategy aims to pressure the US to influence Israel's actions against Hamas. Iran hopes the US will seek to avoid a regional conflict, potentially leading to reduced support for Israel's actions against Hamas and Hezbollah. 


The recent events suggest that a regional coalition against Iran could be possible if the US government is determined.

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