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Pro-Iran Armed Factions in Yemen, Iraq Threaten US Over Supporting Israel

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Strong armed organizations in Yemen and Iraq that are allied with Iran have vowed to use drones and missiles to strike American targets if Washington steps in to back Israel in its battle with Hamas in Gaza, which already appears to be spreading to other fronts.

The remarks are made in the context of the US reaffirming its strong support for Israel’s reaction to the assaults and its promise to send a carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean and quickly provide Israel with more weapons.

Strongly affiliated with Iran, Kataib Hezbollah is an armed group in Iraq that threatened to use drones, missiles, and its own special forces to attack American sites should Washington decide to become involved in the fight.

The organisation has been accused by US officials of attacking US interests in Iraq in the past. The Lebanese group has refuted the claims.

With 2,500 soldiers in Iraq and an additional 900 in adjacent Syria, the US is presently advising and supporting local forces in their fight against the Islamic State, which took over large areas of both countries in 2014.

Similar threats were made on Monday by Iraqi politician Hadi Al-Amiri, the head of the military and political organisation known as the Badr Organisation, which has ties to Iran. “If they intervene, we would intervene … we will consider all American targets legitimate,” Al-Amiri said on Monday.

A sizable portion of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), a state-sponsored paramilitary group with several factions supported by Iran, is made up of Badr. The Iraqi government has stated that the Palestinian activities are a logical consequence of what it regards as Israel’s “oppressive” tactics, while the PMF has declared its “unequivocal support” for the Palestinian groups battling Israel.

In previous years, Iranian-backed militias in Iraq frequently used rockets to strike American personnel stationed there as well as the American embassy in Baghdad. However, since last year, these attacks have stopped as Iraq has experienced a period of relative peace.

The head of the potent Houthi Movement in Yemen issued a warning on Tuesday, threatening to use drones, missiles, and other military means to retaliate against any US engagement in Gaza.

He added the group was prepared to coordinate involvement with other members of the so-called “Axis of Resistance,” which includes Hezbollah, a group that has already entered the conflict in Lebanon, and Shi’ite Muslim militias in Iraq that are supported by Iran.

Since 2015, the Houthi movement in Yemen has fought a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths. During this time, the movement has targeted key assets in the Gulf, particularly Saudi Arabia’s energy infrastructure.

A year of relative quiet has been experienced by Yemen as peace talks progress.

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