Iraq Attacks Israel at the Red Sea

Image of a drone launched by the Iraqi Islamic Resistance toward Haifa airport, on Wednesday
Screengrab/Resistance Media

Iraq Attacks Israel at the Red Sea

One more sign that Iraq has fallen to Iran

A drone struck Israel’s naval base at the southern port of Eilat, Israel, on April 1. There were no casualties, but the strike caused light damage to a hangar. But the drone’s real significance lies in where it came from: Iraq.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq (iri), an umbrella group of Iran-backed radical Shiite militias, took credit for the attack. The iri apparently sent the drone from Iraq and through Jordanian and Israeli air space without being detected.

The iri claims to resist the America-led world order in the Middle East and Zionist “defilement” of the Holy Land. Some of its main militias also form the Popular Mobilization Forces (pmf). The pmf is also an umbrella group of Iran-backed Shiite militias, but it is a branch of the Iraqi Armed Forces. There is a lot of overlap between the two groups’ membership. Iraq formed the pmf in 2014 to control the Shiite militias helping to defeat the Islamic State insurgency. Some of those militias formed the iri to attack the West without implicating Iraq as a whole.

Iran also sponsors Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen. Since Hamas’s October 7 terror attack, Iran’s other proxies have joined the fray, including the iri. The drone attack was not the first the iri has claimed. The iri’s connections with the pmf technically means the Iraqi government is attacking Israel.

This doesn’t mean we can expect full-on war between Iraq and Israel. Formalities aside, the pmf’s loyalties are to Iran before any leader in Baghdad. Neither Iraq nor Israel want a direct conflict. But the fact that the iri could send a drone all the way to Eilat without detection shows how powerful it has become and how serious of a danger it could pose to Israel.

This isn’t the only big news to come from Iraq on April 1. Kataib Hezbollah, one of the iri’s militias (not directly connected to the more infamous Lebanese Hezbollah), claimed to be setting up a new terrorist group in Jordan. Spokesman Hussein Moanes claimed the group is prepared to “equip” 12,000 “Islamic Resistance in Jordan” terrorists with weapons so that Iraqi and Jordanian terrorists can fight Israel. This is the first time Iran or its proxies have mentioned an entity by that name.

As far as Arab states go, Jordan is fairly stable. It has a strong centralized government that keeps the lid on radical Islam. But 12,000 terrorists supplied by an Iranian proxy—right on the border with Israel proper and the West Bank—is a chilling thought. It’s hard to verify Kataib Hezbollah’s announcement. But thousands of Hamas-sympathizing Jordanians have been protesting—some violently—outside Israel’s embassy in Amman since March. The war seems to be driving some Jordanians to join the fight against Israel.

This announcement coming from the Islamic Resistance in Iraq shows how powerful Iran’s proxies in the country have become.

News analysts speak of Iraq’s Shiite militias as if it is normal to be the country’s biggest disruptors. This wasn’t the case until very recently. Iraq under Saddam Hussein was a powerful opponent of Iran. After his ouster, America was Iraq’s most significant power player. But the pmf and iri make Iraq little more than an Iranian puppet state. As far as Israel is concerned, it is a powerful and dangerous one.

“That these members of the Iraqi military are so obviously fighting for Iran shows how far Iraq has gone to being subservient to Iran,” we wrote in our February Trumpet issue. “But this is only the tip of the iceberg. In almost every facet of society—government, politics, economics, the military—Iraq has fallen to Iran, and in a remarkably short period of time.”

Expect Iran to consolidate its conquest of Iraq and continue using it as a launchpad for terrorism. This will increase until an outside actor puts a stop to it.

To learn more, read our article “He Was Right About Iraq.”