Dogfight Continues in the Middle East

Dogfight Continues in the Middle East

As global capitalism drives itself into another crisis, the imperialist competition and the arms race between the governments accelerate. The Israel’s relentless carnage and torment on the Palestinians has been going  on for 6 months. The number of casualties of the attacks by the Israeli army, that have been carried out since the 7th of October 2023, has surpassed 33 thousand. But, as everyone knows, Israel is not the party responsible for the occupational policies, whose price the Palestinian paid for with starvation, torture, and death. The rates of arms sales to Israel are as follows: 65% USA, 29% Germany, 5% Italy. The Western imperialists have so far openly supported the Zionist regime’s murders.

The current situation is that the Zionist occupation opens the door to dragging the Middle East into an all-out war. The Mullahs’ regime has been waging a war against the US's allies in the Middle East, including Israel, through its proxies until today. However, what happened forced the Mullahs’ regime to implement a clear response to the attacks of Israel and the USA.

The Iran – Israel Conflict After October the 7th

The Zionist occupation, which started after Hamas's October 7 attack, brought to light the hot conflict between the two states. Both states have signed many mutual agreements since October the 7th:

  • On December 10, 2023, 2 Iranians affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard were arrested in Cyprus on the grounds that their plans to target Israel were detected.
  • On December 16, 2023, an agent of the Israeli intelligence service Mossad was arrested and executed in the Sistan-Baluchistan province in southeastern Iran.
  • On December 18, a hacktivist group called Predatory Sparrow disabled most of the gas stations across Iran with a cyber-attack.
  • On December 23, an Israeli commercial ship was hit by an uncrewed Iranian aircraft off the west coast of India.
  • On December 25, Seyyed Razi Mousavi, one of the high-ranking commanders of the Revolutionary Guards, was killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Seyyide Zeinab region of Syria.
  • On December 28, 11 leaders of the Revolutionary Guard were killed in Israel's air strike targeting Damascus International Airport.
  • On December 29, Iran executed four people and arrested several others for allegedly spying for Mossad.
  • On January 20, 2024, an Israeli airstrike killed five Iranian Revolutionary Guard authorities in a building in Damascus.
  • On January 29, Iran executed 4 Mossad agents accused of planning a bomb attack on a factory producing military equipment.
  • On February 14, 2024, explosions occurred on a natural gas pipeline in Iran, and Iranian officials stated blamed Israel.

The last and most violent attack so far, which escalated tensions, took place on April 1. Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, one of the senior commanders of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Army, was killed along with six people, including another Iranian general, when Israeli warplanes fired many missiles at the Iranian consulate in Damascus on Monday, April 1, destroying the consulate.

Zahedi joined the Quds Force, the most important foreign operations arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, as a commander in 2008 and was tasked with expanding Iran's influence in the region. Zahedi directed operations in Syria and Lebanon, the two countries where Iran's political, religious and military influence is most concentrated. He was also one of the top figures who facilitated Iran's support for the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad during the Syrian Civil War. Zahedi became the highest-ranking Iranian military commander killed by the US since Quds Force Commander Major General Qasem Soleimani, who was killed in a drone strike in Iraq in January 2020.

While Khamenei was giving a speech in Tehran after the Eid al-Fitr prayer; “Consulates and embassies of any country are considered the territory of that country. When they attack our consulate, it means they are attacking our land. The evil regime has made a mistake and must and will be punished.” He announced that they would retaliate with his words. As a matter of fact, long before the attacks carried out on Saturday night, both Israel and the USA had taken precautions against a possible attack.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards first captured the Portuguese ship "MCS ARIES", which is affiliated with Israel, in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday. The ship was heading towards India.

A few hours after the ship were seized, the White House announced that US President Joe Biden cut short his weekend beach trip and returned to the White House for consultations with his national security team regarding the situation in the Middle East. The US military has repositioned two warships in case they need to assist in the response. According to officials, one of them was already in the region, while the other was rerouted to strengthen the US presence.

Ultimately, the expected attack was carried out with hundreds of drones and hypersonic Fattah missiles. Iran's allies, with whom it is waging a proxy war, also launched attacks on Israeli positions. IDF military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a televised statement that the attack involved 170 unmanned aerial vehicles, 30 cruise missiles and 110 ballistic missiles, some of which reached Israel. Lebanese Hezbollah also said it fired two rockets at an Israeli military base in the Golan Heights.

Immediately after the attack began, the USA and Great Britain claimed that Israel did not have enough ammunition against these attacks and said that they would help Israel. Israeli officials claim that approximately 99% of incoming offensive missiles were intercepted either outside Israeli airspace or over the country. It was announced that US forces shot down several Iranian unmanned aerial vehicles in southern Syria, near the Jordanian border.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirmed that UK RAF Typhoon jets also shot down a few Iranian attack drones.

According to the statement made by the Jordanian cabinet, it stopped flying objects entering its airspace.

The Israeli military said that France helped patrol their airspace, but it was unclear whether they shot down any drones or missiles.

The EU, which was about Israel's attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria, stated that it condemned Iran's attack and that Israel had the right to defend itself.

One of the targeted coordinates was Nevatim Air Base, located in the south of occupied Palestine. It was reported that the base was seriously damaged and became completely dysfunctional after the attack.

Nevatim Air Base is in the Negev Desert region in the south of the occupied territories and near the city of Be'er Sheva, which is the main base of the Zionist regime's F-35 warplanes.

It costs Israel more than $1 billion to mobilize defense systems that thwarted Iran's massive drone and missile attack overnight, according to a former financial advisor to the Israeli military.

“Tonight's defense was around 4-5 billion shekels [$1-1.3 billion],” said IDF Brigadier General Reem Aminoach. Pointing out that this figure is only the defense cost spent to shoot down the missiles launched by Iran, Aminoach pointed out that injuries and damage caused by the missiles where they hit are not included in this figure.

What happens next?

Israel said it was discussing possible options with its allies after the attack. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that although the attack was prevented, the military operation was not over, and Israel should be prepared for every scenario. Israel's Channel 12 television reported at night, citing an unnamed Israeli official, that there would be a "significant response" to the attack while Netanyahu was convening his war cabinet.

While Benjamin Netanyahu promised victory, Iran warned that it would launch a more severe attack if Israel retaliated. "If Israel retaliates against Iran, our response will be much greater than tonight's military action," Armed Forces Chief of Staff Major General Mohammed Bagheri said in a statement to state television. Bagheri added that Iran warned Washington not to support Israel's retaliation or risk its bases in the region being targeted.

Joe Biden advised Israeli officials not to retaliate for the attack. The USA and its Western partners seem to be in favor of keeping the rivalry between Iran and Israel limited to the conflict that took place last night at the military level.

In Conclusion

In the process that has developed so far, it seems that the Mullahs’ regime has found the response to the attack on Mohammad Reza Zahedi and other Iranian officials sufficient. The Iranian front will be in favor of ending the mutual attack here. As a matter of fact, the Iranian Foreign Minister said, "We informed the USA that our attacks against Israel would be limited and for self-defense purposes." he explained.

However, this does not mean that the ongoing proxy wars in the region will end. Especially the Houthis and Hezbollah will continue to be important actors of the resistance front in the region.

Iran's UAV and ballistic missile attacks should be considered not only as retaliation for Israel's attack, but also as a show of strength against other regional actors. Azerbaijan showed some of its cards against Türkiye and other interlocutor countries. If Israel does not launch a retaliatory attack, we can say that Iran took advantage of Saturday night and took a step forward in psychological warfare.

Both the Mullah regime and the Zionist regime will use this dogfight to control their population. While the bloody Zionist regime is experiencing legitimacy crisis both domestically and internationally, the Iranian regime's attack will help it breathe. The same is for to the Mullah regime, which is experiencing a deep legitimacy crisis.

Of course, the task of socialists is not to adopt the slogan "no war", which reflects petty-bourgeois moralism. It will not be possible to end the conflicts in the Middle East unless Zionist barbarism and its regional allies, which have all the support of Western imperialism, are eliminated. The USA, which does not hesitate to turn the region into a bloodbath through its gendarmes in the region, should get out of the Middle East. Middle Eastern workers must amp up the struggle against their own rulers to establish the Socialist Middle East, which is an inevitable necessity for the establishment of peace and fraternity in the region!