The Israel Defense Forces are on “high alert” with increased readiness for the next 24 hours. The alert may be partially in response to a video released by Iran showing the IRGC forces simulating an attack on a US military base.
The video was dubbed “The Great Revenge” as its release coincides with the January 3, 2020 anniversary of the assassination of IRGC Quds Force commander Qassem Soleimani in an American military drone attack. Intelligence reports from the US and Israel indicate Iran and its proxies may be preparing to strike this weekend to avenge the death of Soleimani.
The video was shared on a number of Iranian Telegram channels as well as on YouTube, according to Al Masdar News.
Iran is also a generous patron of terrorist proxies in Gaza, the Palestinian Authority and Hezbollah in Lebanon and Syria.
Last week two B-52 bombers were deployed by the US to the Persian Gulf to “send a message” to Iran as a reminder not to attack American forces in the region, anniversary notwithstanding.
However, there seems to be a power struggle taking place in Washington even before the changing of the guard (and the administration) in the White House: on Friday, Acting Defense Secretary Christopher C. Million ordered the redeployment of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz home from the Middle East and Africa. The order came in direct contradiction to consultations with top military advisers, according to The New York Times.
Regardless, Israeli Defense Forces have tightened security and warned that a possible attack could come from Iranian proxies in Yemen or Iraq.
Paradoxically, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused Israel of trying to provoke a war by planning attacks on American forces in Iraq.
Zarif tweeted Saturday night that “new intelligence from Iraq indicate (sic) that Israeli agent-provocateurs are plotting attacks against Americans – putting an outgoing Trump in a bind with a fake casus (sic) belli.”
New intelligence from Iraq indicate that Israeli agent-provocateurs are plotting attacks against Americans—putting an outgoing Trump in a bind with a fake casus belli.
Be careful of a trap, @realDonaldTrump. Any fireworks will backfire badly, particularly against your same BFFs.
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) January 2, 2021
The Iranian foreign minister’s warning came in response to accusations from Washington that followed rocket attacks on American facilities in Iraq, including several targeting the US Embassy, which the Trump Administration blames on Iranian proxies in Iraq. There have been no claims of responsibility for the attacks.
Earlier in the day Saturday, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander Hossein Salami vowed while inspecting the troops during a visit to Abu Musa island to respond to any “action the enemy takes. . . We are here today to evaluate and be assured of our powerful capabilities at sea and against enemies who sometimes boast. . . and threaten,” he said, according to the IRGC’s official Sepahnews. “We would respond with a reciprocal, decisive and strong blow to whatever action the enemy would take against us.”