Israel on high alert for Iran-sponsored attack on anniversary of Soleimani’s death

Sunday is the anniversary of the American assassination of IRGC leader Qassem Soleimani, and Israel could be targeted as a close U.S. ally.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Israel’s defense forces are bracing for an attack by Iran or its terror proxies as the Islamic Republic marks the first anniversary of the assassination of one of its most important generals on Sunday.

On January 3, 2020, an American drone fired a missile at a car driving away from Baghdad International Airport and killed the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps – Quds Force, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, along with other terrorists.

Soleimani coordinated Iran’s extraterritorial military operations that included working closely with Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, and other terrorist groups in Iraq and Yemen.

The IDF has taken into account many scenarios, including an attack by any one or a combination of these proxies. These could be a drone or missile strike from afar, such as by Yemen’s Houthi rebels’, who have carried out several similar long-distance missions against Saudi Arabia, the latest targeting Riyadh last June. Another possibility is an order from Iran to its Gaza or Lebanese clients to launch a rocket attack or infiltration attempt over Israel’s northern or western borders.

Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi already started warning Iran against targeting the Jewish state or Israeli objectives abroad two weeks ago.

“The IDF will forcefully attack anyone who is involved, in part or in full, from near or far, in action against the State of Israel or against Israeli targets,” he said.

“I am simplifying things and describing the situation to our enemies as it is,” he added. “Our retaliation plans are prepared, and they already have been practiced.”

Although the IDF Spokesman’s Unit would not confirm the report, Kan News also reported that an Israeli submarine passed openly through the Suez Canal in December, moving toward the Persian Gulf in another message to Tehran.

Iranian leaders have vowed vengeance ever since Soleimani’s assassination, and Israel has always known that as the closest U.S. ally in the region it could absorb a blow meant to send a message to Washington. Tehran has also threatened Jerusalem over the targeted killing last November in Iran of its top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was believed to head the Islamic Republic’s efforts to construct nuclear weapons.

Israel has never taken responsibility for the assassination.