Since a long time, the volatility in the Middle East region has remained a major concern for the global powers. As per a recent report from the US officials, Iranian military is taking the advantage of the ongoing protests in Iraq by increasing its short range ballistic missile (SRBM) arsenal in Iraq.
According to the reports, the buildup of SRBM arsenal by Iran is the latest move to intimidate not only the US military’s presence in the region but also US allies in the region.
The report also points to the possibilities of repetition of strikes on strategic facilities like Saudi oil facility points, using the shadow war strategy. The strategy has helped Iran in hiding the origin of such attacks, thereby preventing any chances of war or being held responsible for the increasing tensions in the region.
Moreover, SRBM arsenal’s buildup allows the Iranian military to retaliate against standoff with the US military.The hidden SRBM arsenal successfully manages to thwart any possible attacks, either from the US or its allies in the region.
The White House officials have not yet released the details about the stored ballistic missiles. However, a short-range ballistic missile has a range of around 600 miles meaning a strike from anywhere on the suburbs of Baghdad can target Jerusalem.
According to the reports, Iran is transferring the SRBM with the aid of Iraqi Shiite militias, whom Iran has backed, funded and controlled from a long time. Officials also claimed that these radical organizations are backed by Iranian military and government.
Since these militias have control over numerous roads, bridges and transportation infrastructure in Iraq, therefore, these radical organizations could have easily helped to sneaking and hiding of the short-range missiles in Iraq.
Although the news might not bring any change to the already worsened US-Iran relations, it can also lead to strained US-Iraq relations that have been sailing quite smoothly from the past several years.
Speaking about the smuggling of short-range missiles in Iraq by Iran, the Democrat Rep. from Michigan, Elissa Slotkin said, “People are not paying enough attention to the fact that ballistic missiles in the last year have been placed in Iraq by Iran with the ability to project violence on the region.”
Gen. Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., the head of the military’s Central Command in an interview in regards to SRBM arsenal buildup by the Iranian military said, “I would expect that if we look at the past three or four months, it’s possible they will do something that is irresponsible. It’s possible that they’ll lash out at their neighbors.”
“It is not going to be productive for them in the long term to choose to act out in the military domain. That’s the message that we’re trying to convey,” he added.