There is no way to avoid an apocalyptic war in the Middle East now. Too much has been said and done, and both sides have pushed things past the point of no return. It won’t be too long before thousands of missiles are flying back and forth, and that is going to have enormous implications for all of us. This war is going to look far different from anything we have ever seen in the Middle East before, and the level of death and destruction that we will witness will shock the entire globe.
On Wednesday, two massive explosions killed more than 100 people that had gathered in the Iranian city of Kerman on the fourth anniversary of Qasem Soleimani’s death…
At least 103 people were killed Wednesday and 188 injured in the Iranian city of Kerman after twin blasts near the burial site of slain military commander Qasem Soleimani, in what officials called a terror attack.
The blasts, at least one of which was caused by a bomb, state TV said, came on the fourth anniversary of Soleimani’s death in a US air strike, and threatens to accelerate tensions in the region that have spiked since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.
The first explosion was 2,300 feet (700 meters) from Soleimani’s grave, and the second was 0.6 miles (1 kilometer) away as pilgrims visited the site, IRNA added.
This was one of the deadliest attacks in modern Iranian history, and the Iranians are basically treating it as their own version of 9/11.
I do not believe that Israel was involved in this attack, but no matter how hard you try you will never be able to convince Iran’s leaders otherwise.
In the aftermath of the explosions, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei promised that there will be a “harsh response”…
Harrowing video showed scores of bloodied victims lying on the floor as others stumbled away from the blast scene close to the Saheb al-Zaman Mosque where Soleimani is buried, in what Iran has described as a ‘terrorist attack’.
‘The evil and criminal enemies of the Iranian nation once again created a disaster and martyred a large number of dear people in Kerman,’ Khamenei said in a statement. ‘This disaster will have a harsh response, God willing.’ He did not name a suspect, nor has any group yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
There is so much fury in Iran right now, and they will never be satisfied until they taste revenge.
Of course this attack came just one day after the assassination of Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri in the heart of Beirut very close to Hezbollah headquarters.
This was extremely humiliating for the leadership of Hezbollah, and on Wednesday Hassan Nasrallah ominously declared that his organization is ready for war “without restraint, without rules, without limits and without restrictions”…
Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel against waging war on Lebanon in a televised address Wednesday, a day after a strike blamed on Israel killed Hamas’s political number two, terror chief Salah al-Arouri, in a Hezbollah stronghold in the southern Beirut suburbs.
“If the enemy thinks of waging a war on Lebanon, we will fight without restraint, without rules, without limits and without restrictions,” Nasrallah said in his address, which had been pre-planned to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the death of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp general Qassem Soleimani.
“We are not afraid of war,” Nasrallah said, but did not issue a concrete threat. “For now,” he said, “we are fighting on the frontline following meticulous calculations.”
Not too long after Nasrallah’s speech was concluded, the IDF conducted an airstrike on a residential building in Lebanon which resulted in the death of several Hezbollah fighters…
Within hours after the Nasrallah speech, Israel has conducted another major airstrike on Lebanon, this time against a residential building which housed Hezbollah members.
“Two security sources told the Reuters news agency that four Hezbollah members were killed in the attack on what had been described as a residential building,” Al Jazeera reports. Importantly, “It brings the number of Hezbollah members killed on Wednesday to nine” – which suggests we are witnessing a significant escalation.
I don’t think that Hezbollah was actually eager to fight a full-blown war with Israel.
But after everything that has happened, there is no way that one is going to be avoided now.
For security purposes, Israeli politicians are absolutely determined to push Hezbollah back beyond the Litani River.
And according to the agreement that ended the last war in Lebanon, that is exactly where they are supposed to be.
But Hezbollah will never agree to withdraw willingly, and so a full-blown war on the northern front is coming.
The Israelis would prefer to put that conflict off until operations on the southern front are finished, and this week quite a bit of progress is being made. Here is just one example…
Israeli forces took control of a Hamas stronghold in Gaza City, including more than 30 buildings, underground bunkers and tunnels located near civilian homes, schools and hospitals, the Israel Defense Forces said on Tuesday.
Hamas’s Eastern Military Post in Gaza City included 37 buildings featuring operational command and control rooms, the IDF said.
Hamas is no match for the IDF.
But Hezbollah is another matter entirely.
Hezbollah has a very large army and a vast arsenal of highly sophisticated missiles that it can fire at Israeli cities.
So the war on the northern front is going to look completely different from the war on the southern front.
Elsewhere, western powers have issued a “final warning” to the Houthis in Yemen…
The U.S., Britain and key allies issued what officials described as a final warning to the Houthi Yemeni rebel group Wednesday to cease its attacks on international shipping in the Red Sea or bear the consequences.
“Ongoing Houthi attacks in the Red Sea are illegal, unacceptable, and profoundly destabilizing,” says the statement issued by more than a dozen nations. “The Houthis will bear the responsibility of the consequences should they continue to threaten lives, the global economy, and free flow of commerce in the region’s critical waterways.”
The U.S. military has prepared options to strike the Iran-backed rebel group, U.S. officials say.
I do not expect the Houthis to back down.
And so it appears that it is likely that the U.S. military will soon be striking targets inside Yemen.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, World War III is here, and the year ahead is going to be absolutely packed with conflict.
The war in the Middle East is going to be one of the biggest stories of 2024, and it is going to be absolutely horrifying.
But there is no turning back now.
We have been building up to this moment for decades, and soon all of the major players are going to be putting their cards on the table for everyone to see.