Israel wonders after death of public enemy number one

Benjamin Netanyahu, January 8 in Jerusalem.
Benjamin Netanyahu, January 8 in Jerusalem. MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP

Back to current affairs. Less than ten days after the death of Ghassem Soleimani, the Israeli air force appears to have resumed its strikes against the network of Shiite militias which the Iranian general supervised in the Middle East. According to Iraqi sources cited by the Associated Press, unidentified planes killed eight Iraqi militiamen, who were delivering missiles to eastern Syria, near Al-Boukamal, on Friday January 10.

The IDF, the IDF, has not recognized the shooting, but is closely monitoring this crossing point between the two countries. It has already bombed several times sophisticated convoys of weapons there, intended for the Syrian allies of Iran or for Lebanese Hezbollah.

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The January 10 attack took place when Israeli authorities limited their public reaction to the US assassination of General Soleimani on January 3 in Iraq. They thus intended not to provoke a response from Tehran against the country, while the American television channel NBC affirmed, on January 10, that Israeli intelligence had played a secondary role in his death. He is said to have confirmed to the United States forces that Soleimani was boarding a flight between Damascus and Baghdad, after which he had been shot.

Campaign designed by Mossad

This discretion, after the death of the general, contrasts with an intensive communication from the Israeli authorities on this character, during his lifetime. Its unique status was the result of a campaign devised by Mossad and army intelligence in the mid-2010s, which was originally intended to influence Iranian public opinion from a distance. In the midst of the civil war in Syria, while Soleimani was taking advantage of the chaos to extend Iranian military capabilities to the border with the Hebrew State, intelligence had sought to present him as an isolated figure, excessively powerful and independent, ultimately harmful to the Iranian national interest.

"The intelligence community has attempted to drive a wedge between Soleimani and the Tehran authorities, as well as with the Iranian people. Then the army and the government resumed this speech in turn ", to make the general a sort of number one public enemy of Israel, said intelligence specialist Yossi Melman. "But it didn't work. It could even increase the influence of Soleimani, by raising his stature ”, believes this daily reporter Haaretz.


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