WW3 fears: Iran deploys ‘suicide drones’ as Tehran plots new attack – satellite images
Iran will ‘want to retaliate directly’ to Israel says expert
If accurate, the reports will alarm both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and incoming US President Joe Biden, especially given the heightened state of tensions between both nations and Iran. Significantly, Iran blamed Israel for the assassination in November of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizedeh – and has vowed to respond.
An insider told Newsweek the weapons in question were Shahed-136 loitering munitions.
The source added: “The Iranians have delivered to their Houthi proxies in Yemen advanced UAVs.
“They are forward deploying or prepositioning these drones in order to stage an attack against a variety of targets they have within range.”
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The unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, are believed to have a range roughly 1,240 to 1,370 miles, putting the whole of Israel and much of the Middle East in general, including Saudi Arabia, within range.
Yemen is the scene of a bloody, ongoing civil war.
Al-Jawf is under the control of Ansar Allah, or Houthi, Zaidi Shiite Muslim rebel movement, a foreign militia which has close links with the regime of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
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Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian military commander who was himself killed by a US drone strike at the start of last year, had made contact with the leaders of Ansar Allah, commonly seen as an Iranian proxy.
The source added: “What they’re trying to achieve is plausible deniability as in being able to strike either a US, Saudi, Gulf, or Israeli target and then having the strike traced back to Yemen, and hoping for deniably against any kind of retribution.”
Both Ansar Allah and Iran deny there are any military connections with one another.
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However, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday designated Ansar Allah a terrorist organisation.
In his statement, Mr Pompeo described the group as “a deadly Iran-backed militia group” guilty of “terrorist acts, including cross-border attacks threatening civilian populations, infrastructure, and commercial shipping”.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh responded by saying: “This is a last-ditch effort by the Trump administration to complete its destructive role in line with the imposed and shameful war on Yemen.
“The US has been the main sponsor of the crimes committee by the Saudi-led coalition and has spared no financial and arms assistance in this regard.”
The US State Department had “spared no effort to fan the flames of war in Yemen, make the war continue and block every single path to the political settlement of the crisis,” he claimed.
Iranian permanent mission to the United Nations spokesperson Alireza Miryousefi said: “These preposterous, false accusations are nothing new, and only reinforce the fact that the Trump administration is desperately continuing their failed policy of Iran-bashing.”
The latest developments with an increase in activity in the Red Sea activity, where Iran’s top general, Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, yesterday announced he was sending warships to patrol.
He said: “We are once again in the region of the Red Sea, where the Islamic Republic’s merchant vessels have faced some limited aggression in recent times.
“We will deploy our naval patrol and establish full security for our oil and commercial fleet in that sea.”
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