Country Risk

Iran establishing ballistic missile capability in Iraq likely to trigger Israeli airstrikes in Karbala and Baghdad provinces

05 September 2018


Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman stated on 3 September that Israel is monitoring “Iranian threats” beyond Syria.

This is likely to be in reaction to reports that Iran has supplied ballistic missiles to Shia militias in Iraq. According to Reuters on 31 August, Iran has supplied tens of Zelzal, Fateh-110, and Zolfaqar ballistic missiles to Iran-aligned Shia militias, such as Kataib Hizbullah. The missiles have ranges of 200 – 700 km, which would bring most of Israel and the Saudi capital Riyadh into range if launched from the Anbar desert, as well as Bahrain if launched from Basra. According to the report, which cited three Iranian officials, two Iraqi intelligence sources, and two Western intelligence sources, Iran intends to manufacture missiles in Iraq and has constructed factories in al-Zafaraniya, near Baghdad, and in Jurf al-Sakhar, near Karbala.

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