Israeli F-35 fighter jets have been revealed to be responsible for a number of air strikes conducted on Iranian targets in Iraq over the past 11 days, according to the Saudi-run newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.
The strikes reportedly killed members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Iran-backed Lebanese Shia militia Hezbollah.
They included a strike on 19 July the Iraqi military said an unmanned drone killed one fighter and wounded two Iranians, the United States (US) denied involvement.
The report cited unnamed western diplomatic sources as revealing that Israel was also behind another strike on Iraq carried out on Sunday at Camp Ashraf, 40 kilometres north-east of the capital Baghdad, and that the targets consisted of Iranian military advisors and a ballistic missile shipment which was being stored there.
Another strike that Israel conducted was that on Wednesday last week in Syria, which killed nine including six Iranians fighting alongside the Syrian regime forces. That strike, it was reported, was made for the purpose of preventing Iranian fighters from taking over a strategic hill in Deraa province located in the south of the country.
The strikes and the revelations of Israeli involvement are of no surprise to the region and come amid an increase in Israeli strikes on Iranian-linked targets in the Levant throughout the past few years. This has particularly been the case in relation to the Syrian conflict, where Iranian forces have been backing Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.
News of the increased strikes also comes amid remarks made by Iranian diplomat Amir Al-Moussawi that Iran is creating a united military front which encircles Israel, consisting of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. The plan was presented in an interview with the Arabic news site Felesteen Al-Yawm following a recent visit by a Hamas delegation to Tehran last week.