Iran-Backed Groups In Lebanon, Iraq, And Yemen Congratulate Iran For Attacking Israel, Deem It A Success Ushering In ‘New Stage’ Leading To Islamic Victory And Israel’s Destruction

On the night of April 14, 2024, Iran launched a barrage of 170 attack drones, 30 cruise missiles, and 120 ballistic missiles toward Israel, with 99% of them eventually intercepted by air defenses. According to Iran, Lebanese Hizbullah, Yemen’s Ansar Allah Movement (the Houthis), and Iran-backed Iraqi militias, also participated in the attack. According to Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, no drones or cruise missiles managed to enter Israeli airspace, while a few ballistic missiles penetrated Israel’s defenses and struck the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel, causing “slight damage.”[1]

The attack came after Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke on April 10, reiterating a promise to retaliate against Israel for its April 1 attack on the consular building adjacent to the Iranian embassy in Damascus. The attack killed senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commander Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi and 11 others.[2]

The attack on Israel was celebrated by Iran-backed groups in Lebanon, Iraq, and Yemen, which hailed it as a success and the beginning of a “new stage” in the struggle against Israel that will culminate in the destruction of the Jewish state.

The London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed daily quoted a senior Iraqi military official as saying that more than 60 air targets entered Iraqi airspace from Iran, but an order was given not to intercept them, insisting that “the decision to open Iraqi airspace to any effort against the Israeli enemy is a sovereign decision.” The daily also quoted a source within Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), who said that Iraqi groups located inside Syria would join the attack on Israel, as part of a previously coordinated plan.[3]

Lebanese Hizbullah: Iran Achieved Its Military Goals, Began A “New Stage” Leading To Islamic Victory

On April 14, Lebanese Hizbullah issued a brief statement congratulating “the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its jihad-waging people for the qualitative and unprecedented attack which targeted the entity of the oppressive, aggressive enemy,” declaring it a “brave and wise decision” to retaliate for the “Zionist aggression” on the Iranian consulate in Damascus. According to Hizbullah, Iran exercised “its natural and legal right” to retaliate, disregarding threats and pressure against it, while taking into account the repercussions to “the entire region and the world.” The Lebanese group asserted that Iran’s attack “achieved its limited military goals precisely,” despite the U.S. and its regional partners acting to foil it, while “the long-range political and strategic goals of this great development will play out in succession over time and will establish a new stage of the entire Palestinian cause and the historical conflict with this enemy, on the way to a decisive victory for our Arab and Islamic ummah [nation] and for the resisting, oppressed Palestinian people.”[4]

Spokesman Of Iraq’s Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq: Attack Humiliated Israel, Will Lead To Israel’s Destruction And The Expulsion Of U.S. Forces From West Asia

Jawad Al-Talibawi, the spokesman of Iraq’s Asa’ib Ahl Al-Haq militia, issued a statement on April 14 congratulating “the mujahideen brothers in the Islamic resistance” for “their resolute and painful strikes which they directed at the entity of evil and tyranny,” declaring that the strikes gladdened “all the believers, mujahideen, and free people in the entire world.” According to Al-Talibawi, the attack “humiliated this foundling entity which has dedicated itself to shedding the blood of innocent women and children in the beloved land of Palestine” and “rubbed the nose of global arrogance in the mud of defeat and collapse.” In addition, it ushered in “a new stage which will be the last stage of the existence of this plundering entity,” as it was “one tactical response on the way to achieving the great strategic goal” announced by Khamenei – “the vanishing of the entity from existence and the final expulsion of the American occupation from West Asia.”[5]

Iraqi Hizbullah Brigades: Only Force Deters “Zionist-American Enemy,” Attack Was A Success, Jordan Deserves Shame For Downing Missiles

Iraq’s Hizbullah Brigades issued a statement on April 15 declaring that “the Zionist-American enemy and its followers understand only the language of weapons to curb their oppression, break their tyranny, and stop their crimes against nations,” asserting that it was only armed resistance that freed Iraq from “the first stage of occupation” and defeated the Islamic State (ISIS), and will ultimately “restore the county’s violated sovereignty.” The “true promise” operation ordered by Khamenei is “a clear confirmation of the necessity to maintain the equation of deterring the enemy regarding its violations and aggression to implement its criminal policies and strive to make free peoples kneel.” The group congratulated “the Islamic Republic, the forces of the Resistance Axis, and the free people of the world” on the operation’s “success,” stating that the projectiles managed to penetrate Israeli defenses and that U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria were unable to repel them. According to the Hizbullah Brigades, this demonstrates that one of the main functions of U.S. forces in the region is “supporting the entity and its crimes.” The group added that “shame will continue to pursue the rulers of Jordan throughout history” for helping shoot down “the missiles of avenging the Zionists.”[6]

Houthi Spokesman: Iran’s Attack Was Legitimate, Israel Cannot Escape Punishment For Its “Crimes”

Muhammad Abdulsalam, the spokesman of Yemen’s Ansar Allah Movement (the Houthis), published a brief Telegram post on April 14: “What Iran did against the Zionist enemy entity was a legitimate act in retaliation for its committing the crime of the consulate in Damascus, and the enemy entity will not be able to escape its crimes without punishment.”[7]

On the day following the attack, Telegram channels supporting Iran-backed Iraqi militias hailed it as the “end of Israel,” and compared it to the Battle of Khaybar, in which the Prophet Muhammad’s army defeated Jewish tribes.[8] [1], April 14, 2024.

[2] See MEMRI JTTM Reports: Pro-Iran Telegram Outlets Eulogize IRGC Commander Killed In Damascus Airstrike; Sunni Jihadi Outlets Celebrate His Death, April 1, 2024; Iran-Backed Islamic Resistance In Iraq Claims Drone Attack on “Haifa Airport”; Iraqi Al-Nujaba Movement: Killings Of Senior IRGC Officials In Damascus Is “Declaration Of War” On Iran And We Are Ready To Respond To It, April 3, 2024; and Iran-Linked Telegram Outlets Share Posters Suggesting IRGC’s Potential Targets In Retaliation For Damascus Consulate Attack: Israeli Ports, Airports, Military Airbases; Israel’s Embassy In Jordan, April 11, 2024.

[3] Alaraby, April 14, 2024.

[4] Alahednews, April 14, 2024.

[5] Telegram, April 14, 2024.

[6] Kataibhezbollah website, April 15, 2024.

[7] Telegram, April 14, 2024.

[8] See MEMRI JTTM Report: Telegram Channels Supporting Iran-Backed Militias In Iraq Celebrate Iran’s Attack As ‘End Of Israel,’ Compare It To Battle Of Khaybar, April 14, 2024.

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