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With Gaza On Hiatus, Israel Seeks New Sites for Military Operations

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Just days after the end of the heavy bombardment of the Gaza Strip, Israel is looking for its next operation.

On May 27, the Israeli military dropped leaflets with photos of Syrian Arab Army (SAA) officers and commanders of Lebanon’s Hezbollah over the southern Syrian governorate of al-Quneitra Brig. Gen. Hussein Hammouch, the commander of the 1st Corps’ 90th Brigade, and Munir Ali Naeem Shaito, a senior commander of Hezbollah, can be both seen in the photos.

Tel Aviv is evidently concerned with Hezbollah’s presence in other parts of the region, not just in Lebanon. Especially, after the leader of the Hamas Movement in Gaza claimed that the rocket attacks from Lebanon and Syria at Israel during the last battle in the Gaza Strip were the result of coordination between Palestinian factions and the Hezbollah.

Around the same time, but from the other side of Syria, an Iranian weapons shipment arrived in the eastern Syrian governorate of Deir Ezzor. The shipment included “short-range” rockets, machine guns as well as ammunition.

Such traditional weapons are usually used in operations against ISIS cells in southern and western Deir Ezzor. Israel can, of course, never be sure that they will not be used against it.

Meanwhile, another location where Tel Aviv is reportedly active is Yemen’s Socotra Island.

In early May, Turkish media reported that the UAE and Israel were working on a plan to establish spy bases on the Yemeni island of Socotra.

Just a few weeks later, reports surfaced that a mysterious airbase is being built on Mayun island located at the other end of the Gulf of Aden. According to Yemeni officials, Emirati ships transported military weapons, equipment and troops to the Island in recent weeks.

The coalition’s presence in Mayun would allow it to keep a close eye on the strategically important Bab al-Mandab Strait.

Following these reports, the Saudi-led coalition released a statement claiming that all equipment on both islands belonged to the coalition, and that the UAE had nothing to do with it.

In 2019, the UAE announced that it had withdrawn its troops from Yemen. Despite this, the country remained an active member of the Saudi-led coalition in the fight against Ansar Allah.

In Yemen’s heart, the fight for Marib continues, with heavy clashes happening near the city. On May 26th, two Houthi (as Ansar Allah are known) drones were shot down on the western front near Marib city. The Houthis are pushing forward in Marib, and the Saudi-led coalition’s airstrikes are failing to keep them in check.

The Saudi-led coalition’s forces are pushing from other directions, such as from al-Jawf, but reportedly are failing.

Any military or intelligence facilities on both of the reported islands would be of significant assistance to the Saudi-led coalition’s fight.

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