Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Hits Iraqi Kurdistan

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Hits Iraqi Kurdistan

On Monday, Iran’s IRGC again launched ballistic missile and drone attacks across the border at the Kurdish Iranian opposition bases in Iraq, killing at least two people and wounding eight others after what an Iranian official said were repeated warnings to Iraq to expel the groups. This latest operation is part of an uptick in cross-border strikes from Iran into Iraqi Kurdistan amid significant protests enveloping the Islamic Republic. Its leadership is likely looking to generate the narrative that the protests are foreign-engineered and to showcase strength. The Fateh-110 ballistic missiles which were fired on Monday are reportedly the kind that Russia has been eyeing from Iran for use against Ukraine.  

Separately, the Commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force Esmail Ghaani reportedly visited Baghdad this week after the strike. On his agenda were meetings with the new Iraqi president and prime minister as well as the Shiite Coordination Framework. The Associated Press reported Ghaani threatened Iraqi officials with a ground invasion of Iraqi Kurdistan if it did not disarm the bases of Iranian Kurdish opposition groups and fortify the borders with Iraqi troops to prevent infiltration.

Israel and the Palestinian Territories 

Turkey Refuses Israel’s Requests to Act Against Hamas 

Turkey refused to comply with Israeli demands requesting the deportation of Hamas leaders living in the country during bilateral talks, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday at a parliamentary proceeding. Responding to a question from MPs, Cavusoglu said Ankara does not view Hamas, the Palestinian resistance movement that rules the Gaza Strip, as a terror group and refused to expel them. “We didn’t satisfy any [Israeli] request on Hamas, because we don’t perceive Hamas as a terror group,” Cavusoglu said. “We are always leading efforts to unify them with Fatah,” he added, referring to Hamas' political rival, which dominates the Palestinian Authority (PA).  

Senior Hamas Delegation Visits top Lebanon Security Official 

A senior delegation from Hamas has met with the Director General of the Lebanese General Security, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, in his office in Beirut, the movement said in a statement. The delegation was headed by a member of Hamas Political Bureau and deputy head abroad, Musa Abu Marzouk, included a member of the Arab and Islamic Relations Office, Osama Hamdan, and the movement's representative in Lebanon, Ahmed Abdel Hadi.  

Abu Marzouk briefed the Lebanese official on the latest developments in the Palestinian file, including what pro-Palestinian reports termed “the daily Israeli aggression on the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem,” and Abu Marzouk warned of what he called “the escalation of attacks and Judaization of Al-Aqsa Mosque” – a term used to derogatorily refer to Jewish prayer or visitation to the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site. 

Ibrahim and Abu Marzouk also discussed the conditions of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. Abu Marzouk stressed Hamas’ desire to achieve Palestinian reconciliation and unity based on confronting the Israeli occupation, noting that the current stage requires support for the Palestinian people as they confronted Israel. For his part, General Ibrahim affirmed his support for the Palestinian people and their just cause, and expressed his understanding of the conditions of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, praising any effort aimed at achieving national unity.  

Georgia Thwarts Terror Plot Targeting Israeli Businessman 

This week, reports emerged that Georgian security services thwarted an assassination plot against Israeli businessman Itzik Moshe being planned by the IRGC’s Quds Force. Officials indicated the Quds Force used a Pakistani cell with ties to Al Qaeda, and among the Iranians working on the attempted attacks against Israelis in Georgia was Shahram Poursafi of the Quds Force, who was indicted over a murder-for-hire plot of former U.S. National Security Advisor Ambassador John Bolton.  


Israel Conducts Airstrikes in Syria

Israeli missiles hit a major air base in Syria’s Homs province on Sunday, killing two servicemen and injuring three others, the Syrian military said via state news agency SANA. Military sources said the air base, at Shayrat, was recently used by the Iranian air force. Syrian state media initially posted a short video of the "aggression" and said there were material damages, without elaborating, only later reporting the deaths of the two soldiers. One military source, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said the strikes had targeted a runway in the sprawling air base that is located southeast of Homs city. The runway and underground facilities at Shayrat, including aircraft shelters, have undergone a major expansion by the Russia military in the last three years, the military source said.  

The strike came four days after Israel had carried out a series of airstrikes on a convoy near the Syria-Iraq border, at the Al-Qaim border crossing, that reportedly left 10 people dead, including several Iranian-linked fighters. 

Relatedly, the U.S. military announced on Thursday that a rocket attack had targeted international coalition forces operating in northeast Syria, without causing any casualties or damage, striking the Green Village base at al-Omar, close to the Iraqi border. In late October, a report appeared in Hezbollah mouthpiece Al-Akhbar, declaring the existence of a new “equation” of deterrence among pro-Resistance Axis forces: that the “resistance” would retaliate against Israeli airstrikes in Syria by targeting U.S. forces deployed in that country. That report claimed that an attack on the U.S. Base in Al-Omar that had occurred around the same time were carried out by “popular resistance forces.”