High-ranking leaders in Iraq and Yemen with close ties to Iran and control over well-armed groups have issued threats to target US interests if the United States intervenes in support of Israel during its conflict with Hamas in Gaza.
These warnings come as the US has expressed strong support for Israel’s response to the attacks and pledged to provide additional munitions to Israel, as well as deploying a carrier strike group to the Eastern Mediterranean.
In Yemen, the leader of the Houthi militia issued a warning that the group would retaliate with drones, missiles, and other military options if the US intervened in Gaza. The Houthi leader also indicated a readiness to coordinate intervention efforts with other members of the “Axis of Resistance,” a coalition comprising Iranian-backed Shia Muslim factions in Iraq and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, which has already become involved in the conflict.
In Iraq, Hadi Al-Amiri, a powerful politician closely aligned with Iran and influential in the cross-party alliance supporting the Baghdad government, made threats against American assets during a tribal gathering in the capital.
He leads the Badr Organization, a Shia political group supported by Iran and a significant component of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a state paramilitary organisation consisting of many Iran-backed factions.
Al-Amiri’s warning implied that if the US openly intervenes in the conflict, all American targets would be considered legitimate, and they would not hesitate to target them. The PMF has expressed “unequivocal support” for Palestinian factions fighting Israel, with the Iraqi government citing Israel’s “oppressive” policies as a catalyst for Palestinian operations.