Iraq Authorizes Iran to Operate Shaykh Mazhar Air Base
As America is embroiled in its own domestic issues that seem to get worse, Iran, is just one nation taking advantage of the situation (North Korea is the other). The pro-Iranian militia forces within Iraq had now also occupied the abandoned former major Iraqi airbase. At one time, it was used by American forces, but that was long ago, and since it is just a hollow remnant of Saddam's AFB.
The seizure is no small thing because Iraq condoned it, just as they have allowed Iran to create the Syrian-Iraqi border station giving them access by land to Syria. The airbase is now being renovated and prepared by the elite Iranian Guards and will eventually base Iranian drones and aircraft with Iraqi blessings.
The base is 1200 km from Israel. The renovation includes fortified hangars alongside the runways to protect Iranian aircraft, drones, and missiles from Israeli air strikes. Also installed at the air base is their Bavar-373 air defense missiles, the Iranian version of the Russian S-300.
The Iraqis also have allowed the Iranians to control the Syrian-Iraqi border station, which gives them a road link into Syria. As if all of this is not enough, the first ever Russian-Iranian military exercises are taking place in the western part of Deir ez-Zour province near the American base at Al Tanf, which controls the Syria-Jordan-Iraq border junction. What is revealing is that Iranian jet aircraft and drones are used in conjunction with Russian air units. This indicates that Iranian aircraft and drones are based at the Russian AFB in Syria.
Russia has started to use the Al Qaim-Abu Kamal border crossing between Iraq and Syria. Heavy Russian military vehicles from Black Sea bases, especially in South Ossetia and Crimea have been seen entering Syria across this land bridge.
There is no doubt that Russian-Iranian alliance is a nefarious force that Israel will have to deal with. While Iran just wants to destroy them, Russia's interests are more economic, namely, the vast oil and natural gas reserves off the Israeli coast. We are talking about Saudi-like amounts of reserves that would bring wealth to any country controlling them.
Israel is in turmoil over their recent elections and if the IDF struck at the Iranian AB in Iraq now before renovation would be completed, that would be best. But how would Iran react? Would Russia be on their side? Russia has been playing both sides of the Israeli-Iranian issue, whatever is in their best interest at that time. Israel should not trust Russia.
There is no question that Russian-Iranian and others, will one day attack Israel. What we are seeing is just the build-up.