Sunday, January 21, 2024

Iran Update 18JAN2024

Key Takeaways:
• The Pakistani armed forces conducted cross-border attacks targeting Baloch separatists in three locations near Saravan, Iran. Iranian officials and state media attempted to deescalate after the Pakistani airstrikes.
• The Houthi supreme leader, Abdulmalik al Houthi, stated that US and UK vessels have become legitimate targets for Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. Kataib Hezbollah Secretary General Abu Hussein al Hamidawi said that the group would interpret an attack on the Houthis as an attack on KH in a letter to the Houthi supreme leader.
• Palestinian fighters are attacking Israeli forces in the northern Gaza Strip where Israeli forces previously conducted clearing operations. This activity is consistent with CTP-ISW's assessment that Hamas is likely reinfiltrating some of these areas.
• Israeli forces destroyed Hamas’ main weapons manufacturing facility in the Central Governorate of the Gaza Strip. Israeli clearing operations are likely one of the factors constraining Palestinian militia's ability to conduct indirect fire attacks into Israel.
• The IDF Givati Brigade (assigned to the 162nd Division) raided an outpost of Hamas’ Southern Khan Younis Battalion in southern Khan Younis City. Palestinian fighters launched multiple attacks targeting Israeli forces in and around Khan Younis City.
• Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian fighters six times across the West Bank. Israeli forces continued raids targeting Palestinian fighters in the Tulkarm refugee camp.
• Lebanese Hezbollah claimed five attacks from southern Lebanon into northern Israel. Unspecified fighters launched three rockets into the Golan Heights from Syria as well. 
• Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces Chairman Faleh al Fayyadh, Iranian-backed Badr Organization Secretary General Hadi al Ameri, and State of Law Coalition head Nouri al Maliki discussed efforts to “strengthen national sovereignty” in a meeting. 
• Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammad Shia al Sudani reiterated that he seeks to restructure the presence of US-led coalition forces in Iraq during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. 
• Iranian Supreme National Security Council Secretary Ali Akbar Ahmadian discussed the January 15 IRGC drone and missile strikes in Erbil, Iraq, with Iraqi National Security Adviser Qassem al Araji in a phone call. 
• The Islamic Resistance in Iraq—a coalition of Iranian-backed Iraqi militias—claimed responsibility for a drone attack targeting US forces in Himu, northeastern Syria. 
• The Jordanian Royal Air Force conducted airstrikes targeting Iranian-linked drug smuggling operations in southern Syria.


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