August 27, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8247

Senior Saudi Journalist 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed: Israel's Attacks On Iran's Proxies In Syria, Iraq And Lebanon Play A Huge Role In The Struggle Against This Country; Relentless Pressure On Iran May Bring About Its Defeat

August 27, 2019
Saudi Arabia | Special Dispatch No. 8247

Following the recent Israeli attack on Iranian operatives in Syria who were planning an attack against it, and two other attacks attributed to Israel, against Hizbullah in Lebanon and Al-Hashd Al-Sha'bi in Iraq, senior Saudi journalist 'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed, formerly the editor-in-chief of the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat and currently the head of the editorial board of Saudi Arabia's Al-Arabiya TV and Al-Hadath TV,[1] published an article in which he welcomed these attacks. Describing them as "an important political and military development unprecedented in its scope and its daring," Al-Rahsed stressed that these operations played an enormous role in the struggle against Iran and its allies. He also called Israel a major regional player in the international effort to besiege Iran economically, financially and militarily, who manages to embarrass Iran in the international and domestic arena. He ended by stating that defeating Iran is possible if the pressure on it is maintained.

The following are excerpts from his article:[2]

'Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed (Source:

"Within a 24-hour period Israel attacked three countries [by targeting] 'Aqraba, south of Damascus [in Syria], the Iraqi city of Al-Qaim on the Syrian border, and the Southern Dahia in the Lebanese capital [of Beirut]. Although these were limited attacks using the weapon of drones, this is nevertheless an important political and military development unprecedented in its scope and its daring. While Israeli drones are flying through the skies to target Iran, American satellites are tracking Iranian vessels, including oil tankers, impeding their movement across the seas and monitoring the harbors where they anchor. And this is in addition to the expansion of the lists of individuals and companies that have been hit with sanctions for maintaining business ties with Iran.

"Those who claim that the escalation of Israeli [military action] has to do with the [upcoming Israeli] election and is manufactured by [Israeli Prime Minister] Binyamin Netanyahu as part of his bid for reelection, [I say that] this may be one of the motivations behind the three recent attacks, [but not the only motivation]. As a matter of fact, the Israeli presence in the battle arenas is part of its regional strategy, based on intensive attacks on Iran and its militias on Syrian and Iraqi soil, which began over a year ago. These actions have positioned Tel Aviv as a regional player that is no longer viewed [only] in the framework of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but in a wider framework.

"These Israeli actions seem to be [part of] its supreme strategic playbook, rather than an election tactic, and they have turned Israel into a central component in the international formula whose aim is to besiege Iran economically, financially and militarily and push it back, after it gained power as a result of the nuclear deal that ignored its foreign escapades. Defying Iran's threats, less than two days after an Iranian cleric [Kazem Al-Haeri] issued a fatwa urging the Iraqis to attack the American [forces] in Iraq,[3] Israeli drones carried out a new attack on the Iraqi Hashd Al-Sha'bi [militia], which is loyal to Iran, bombing its weapons depots on the Syrian border. The Israelis did not issue a statement boasting of their heroic attacks on Al-Qaim in Iraq or the Dahia in Lebanon, but everyone can recognize their fingerprints and knows they carried out [the attacks].

"The attacks are not large-scale enough to destroy Iran or its armed militias in the region, but they play a huge role in the military and psychological [struggle] against Iran and its allies, and embarrass Iran in front of its followers in the Middle East and domestically. [Iran] cannot retaliate against Israel with the same force without paying a heavy price, due to the [military] superiority of the Jewish state. Amid the news reports [about the attacks], heard by millions, the Iranian leadership found no [way] to fend off the public shame except to falsely deny [the reports]. This is what Mohsen Rezai, commander of [Iran's Islamic] Revolutionary Guards Corps [IRGC], did. Addressing the Iranians he denied that there had been an Israeli attack in Syria, contradicting the government of Syria [itself], which officially admitted the incident,[4] as well as Hizbullah leader [Hassan Nasrallah], who [usually] refrains from speaking of the losses incurred by his Iranian commanders, [but this time] admitted [that the attack had occurred].  

"Defeating Iran is possible, if the pressure on it is maintained by relentlessly targeting its armed militias in the region, its oil sales and its transactions in dollars..."     


[1] According to the British daily The Guardian, Al-Rashed is also currently involved in the operations and funding of the London-based Saudi news channel Iran International., October 31, 2018.

[2] Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), August 26, 2019.

[3] In a fatwa he issued on August 23, 2019, following the bombing of the Al-Hashd Al-Sha'bi's weapons depots, Iraqi cleric Kazem Al-Haeri, who lives in Qom, Iran, asserted that the investigation had revealed that the attack had been carried out by Israel with U.S. support. He called on the Iraqis not to allow any American forces to remain in Iraq under any pretext whatsoever, and also urged the Iraqi armed forces to defend the country against any attack and to resist the enemy., August 23, 2019.

[4] Iranian Expediency Council Secretary and former IRGC commander Mohsen Rezai said that the reports on Israeli attacks on Iranian positions in Syria were false. ILNA (Iran), August 25, 2019.

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