Iran proxy eyes 12,000 men-strong Jordan front against Israel

A Jordan front will significantly impact the direction of the Arab-Israeli conflict


That Iran may be seeking to escalate the conflict with Israel through its proxies rather than declaring an all-out open war against Israel and its chief backer the US may be gleaned by the buzz and chatter of the raising of a 12,000-strong force in Jordan.

Soon after a Monday evening Israeli air strike in Syria’s Damascus, Hussein Moanes, aka Abu Ali al-Askari, military spokesperson of the Kataib Hezbollah, a reported Iraq-based proxy of the Iranian government, had said that a new anti-Israel force would be created that will operate from Jordan.

Moanes said that the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, which comprises several Iran-backed militias, would equip the 12,000 'Islamic Resistance in Jordan' fighters with weapons and other logistics.

The new force will add another dimension to the already operative ‘Axis of Resistance’ which comprises Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the Houthis in Yemen.

Monday’s airstrike by the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) killed senior leaders of Iran’s powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC), including a top official, Major General Mohammad Reza Zahedi.

Iran leaders including Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and President Ebrahim Raisi had issued strong statements vowing retribution.

The most significant development is the declared intention of opening up the Jordan front. It has several important implications.

Jordan has a long more than 300-km-long boundary with Israel which would be a very convenient front for the Axis of Resistance to mount attacks. Already the Jordanian air space is being used by the latter to mount rocket and drone attacks on the former.

But it will be much easier for the Iranian proxies to inject men and material into the West Bank for the Palestinian militias to more effectively fight Israeli forces.

Another significant factor will be that it would also somewhat complete Iran’s encirclement of Israel through its proxies.

There are reasons why Iran is more focused on its proxies to fight Israel rather than an all-out open war with Israel and its chief backer the US.

An all-out war will jeopardize the nuclear programme which has suffered several breakdowns and acts of sabotage till now. It is reported that Iran is very close to attaining nuclear bomb-making capability. A war at this stage will give Israel and the US a very strong ground to intervene and destroy the growing capabilities.

At 84, Supreme Leader Khamenei is ageing and is on the lookout for a credible and suitable successor. A war now could paralyse the hunt for the next leader who could provide much-needed stability and continuity to Iran’s Islamic government.

The Iranian regime is also facing a barrage of corruption and fiscal indiscipline charges besides being bogged down by the weight of the US-led sanctions. An all-out war will bring further misery upon the people.

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