The conflict in Gaza will inevitably spill over across the region, according to Iran’s foreign minister who hinted that Tehran could become involved in the Israel-Hamas war.
Hossein Amir-Abdollahian made the comments to his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani in a phone call, Iranian TV reported on Friday.
He said: “Due to the expansion of the intensity of the war against Gaza’s civilian residents, expansion of the scope of the war has become inevitable.”
It’s unclear what the Iranian official meant by “the expansion of the scope of the war” but the comments come amid growing fears of Iranian involvement.
Already, numerous proxies in the region – controlled at least in part by Tehran – have attacked Israel in solidarity with Hamas.
Hezbollah, which is allied with Hamas and Iran, has exchanged fire with Israel across the Lebanese border on a daily basis since the outbreak of the war.
More than 60 Hezbollah terrorist fighters have been killed while at least seven IDF soldiers have died in those clashes.
US and coalition troops in Iraq and Syria have come under fire from Iranian-back militias at least 40 times since the outbreak of the war. The US has responded with airstrikes on sites linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
In addition, Yemen’s Houthi rebel movement – also supplied and funded by Tehran – has entered the war on the side of Hamas, firing ballistic missiles and drones at southern Israel. The group also managed to destroy an American drone flying over Yemen.
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All are members of the so-called “axis of resistance” – a coalition of groups and states led by Iran bent on Israel’s destruction.
The US has responded by moving two carrier strike groups as well as other military assets to the region. US Central Command also announced a nuclear-capable submarine had been deployed.
The massive show of force appears to have deterred Israel’s enemies from waging an all-out war for now, but, as the death toll in Gaza mounts, Iran-backed groups may find it more difficult, politically, to stay out of the conflict.
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