• MECRA

Iran tensions July 2021 and onwards

Updated: Sep 13


IranThe daily updates are compiled by Seth J. Frantzman, Executive Director of MECRA. For the previous installment which covers March 2021 to July 2021, click here.


July 1, 2021

Arash solid propellent test.


July 3

Ship targeted allegedly by Iran making its way from Gulf to India, rumored to be owned by Israeli firm, but this is denied in Israel.


July 4

US denies reports of attack in Syria by pro-Iran groups.


Bennett meets cabinet to discuss possible US return to Iran Deal, phones Putin and also agrees to meet.


Kohlmann: Unspecified Iraqi Shiite insurgents have allegedly carried out a new IED attack targeting a convoy supplying the U.S. military as it passed through the Taji area north of the Iraqi capital Baghdad.


July 5

At 2:45pm three. rockets target Al-Asad base

Kataib Hezbollah shows message with hidden missiles.


Quadcopter found that set off alarms near embassy several nights ago.


Fire in Iran at solid fuel plant.


July 6

Just after midnight on the evening of July 5, drones target Union III in Baghdad.


July 7

The night of July 6/7 drone and rocket attack on Erbil airport.


Rocket attacks on Al-Asad base and Omar field in Syria. Telegram channels linked to militias claim that the counterattack has happened near Baghdadi (close to Ain Al Assad). Col. Marotto: "Initial report: At approx. 12:30 PM local time, Ain Al-Assad Air Base was attacked by 14 rockets. The rockets landed on the base & perimeter. Force protection defensive measures were activated. At this time initial reports indicate 3 minor injuries. Damage is being assessed." Sheep killed in airstrike. Cavell: "Iraq: Reports militia HGV mobile launchpad for rocket attacks was targeted in open ground near the Mosque. This would be in range of the airbase attacked this morning." UAVs said to be involved in the Syria attack.


July 8

Kohnavard: It is believed that at least two rockets have landed inside Green Zone Baghdad. One close to US embassy Baghdad and the other one just a few metres away, military sources at GZ say.

Wayne Marotto: "Each attack against the GoI, KRI and the Coalition undermines the authority of Iraqi institutions, the rule of law and Iraqi National sovereignty. These attacks endanger the lives of Iraqi civilians, & the partner forces from the ISF, Peshmerga & Coalition."


Iraq’s Kataib Hezbollah denies involvement in the rocket attack on US Embassy, Baghdad. “Iraqi resistance rejects attacks on diplomatic locations and it had decided that it’s not going to attack even the US embassy’s military base in Baghdad” KH leader says in a statement


July 9


Cyber attack his Iran rail.


Lebanon in crisis as power cuts grow, currency drops.


Guns smuggled into Ghajar in Israel from Lebanon are found by security forces.


July 10


Mysterious explosion in Tehran. Video.


July 11


Attack on Conoco, Syria.


July 15


US envoy McGurk in Iraq and then goes to Suli after Lahur Talabani was sidelined.


July 18


AANES launches campaign for status.


Israel and Egypt discuss Ethiopia dam.


Lapid to visit Morocco.


Gantz denies New Yorker report about push to strike Iran last year and that he was sidelined on discussions.


Claims that a "U.S. drone attack targeted a truck for an Iran-backed militia in eastern Syria on Sunday, destroying the vehicle without causing any casualties, two Iraqi militia officials said" but it apparently didn't happen.


July 20

Airstrikes in Syria reported near Safirah near Aleppo, Lebanon complains Israel used its airspace.


July 22

Airstrikes near Qusayr at Al-Dabaa airport. Details.


July 23

Drone attack on US Hariri base in Erbil.


Wash Examiner: US investigates Qatari funding IRGC.


July 24

Houthi drones target Saudi Arabia.


Hashd threatens US in Iraq.


Russia could upgrade Syrian air defenses amid Israeli airstrikes, says the US opposes Israel strikes also.


Fatemiyoun member killed in recent airstrike in Syria.


US withdrawing from Iraq? Diplomatic theater to give Kadhimi political cover: the "Pentagon and other administration officials say they will achieve this not by removing any of the 2,500 American forces currently stationed in #Iraq, but by reclassifying their roles on paper."


July 26


PMU Najaf tasin Iraq.


July 28


Ahrar Sharqiya and Syrian regime sanctioned by US.


China meets Taliban.


IRGC Quds Force head Qaani in Baghdad. Kohnavard: "IRGC Qods Comdr. Qaani has told top Iraqi officials that Iran wants to evaluate the outcome of Iraq-US strategic dialogues “positively”, sources tell me."


July 29


Rocket attack on Green Zone in Baghdad.


Clashes in southern Syria near Dara'a.


Video of alleged attack on logistics convoy in Iraq by Ashab Al-Kahf.


July 30


Jpost: A ship managed by Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer's shipping company was suspected of being attacked by pirates in the Northern Indian Ocean on Thursday night, Zodiac Maritime announced. Mercer Street oil tanker was heading from Africa to the Gulf, it was empty, drones reportedly struck at living quarters, bridge and other areas, it is Japanese owned by said to be operated by Israeli-owned company.


Iran's Al-Alam TV says the attack on the Israeli ship was revenge for the July 22 airstrikes.


August 1


Associated Press: "US confident Iran was behind attack on oil tanker in Arabian Sea (CORRECTS tanker site and that Israel didn't own ship)"


UK PM Johnson says #Iran must face up to consequences of "outrageous" ship attack. Al-Jarida says Israel has drawn up list of targets. Quotes IRGC saying attack was retaliation. Raisi to be sworn in on August 3.


US plans sanctions on Iran drones. Haynes: UK government held a Cobra emergency meeting at the level of officials over the weekend in a sign of the serious focus on the tanker attack & how to respond, SkyNews understands There's not yet been a Cobra attended by ministers, which is what happens in gravest of crises.


First photos, some say Shahed UAV caused the damage.


Blinken condemns Iran and one-way explosive UAVs.


August 2

Gantz says Israel will respond. UK and US appear to back response. Bennett says Netanyahu failed to deter Iran. UK seaman was one of those killed. Details. Elijah Magnier analysis on how Iran drew new red line in Gulf of Oman. Blinken says "I want to condemn again the attack on Friday against the commercial ship...We've conducted a thorough review and we're confident that #Iran carried out this attack." CENTCOM head speaks with Israel.


August 3


Asphalt Princess ship is briefly hijacked by Iran.


August 4


Israel fires 100 shells into Lebanon after one rocket fired into Israel.


August 6

IDF: More than ten rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israeli territory.

Most of the rockets were intercepted by the IDF Aerial Defense System while the rest of them landed in open areas adjacent to Har Dov. Iran's Pre-Emption doctrine.


UK says Shahed 136 drone used in attack on Mercer Street. Reports at UK tabloids say UK special forces went to Yemen to hunt the attackers.


August 8

US holds Iran responsible for Mercer Street attack, but mixed messages from Pentagon on where drone came from.


Saeed Aghajani, the man behind the drone attack, according to Israel.


Iran hosts Hamas, Hezbollah and other terror groups during inauguration for Raisi, Shamkhani and Hossein Salami meet them as well.


August 10

US CIA head arrives in Israel.


Nour news claims that Israeli ships and sub arrived in Red Sea.


Desert Eagle exercise in Israel: The exercise was led by the IAF's 133rd (“Knights of the Twin Tail”) Squadron, which operates "Baz" (F-15) fighter jets, alongside F-15s from the U.S. Air Force’s 494th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron under AFCENT. The forces deployed to “Uvda” AFB, where they took off for the exercise. The 115th (“Flying Dragon”) Squadron, which operates F-16 fighter jets, simulated enemy forces throughout the exercise.


Bahrain officials in Israel with high level delegation. Lapid flies to Morocco.


Reports of CRAM detecting drone near Erbil.


August 12

Iranian air defenses fired a warning shot at a General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper belonging to the US military near the Strait of Hormuz near the Iranian border on Thursday, according to the Iranian semi-official Nour News.


August 17

Airstrikes reported near Quneitra.


August 18

Ravid: Egyptian Intelligence chief Abbas Kamel is visiting Israel today. He met this morning with Prime Minister Bennett and will meet tonight with Minister of Defense Gantz.


Qatari aid approved for Gaza. From next week, 10 million USD will be transferred to the UN. The UN will then deliver the funds to Gaza residents by distributing cards for the withdrawal of the money. The initial process, including the distribution of the cards, is expected to be completed by the end of September. Starting in October, the delivery of funds will be immediate.


August 19

Fabian: A Syrian air defense missile exploded over Israeli airspace near the border with Jordan near the Dead Sea amid the strikes last night near Damascus and Homs. No alert was activated. Residents reported an explosion heard in the region at around 23:17 last night.


Qarah, Syria believed to be one of the targets of airstrikes in Syria. Reports said airplanes over Lebanon.


Syrian air defense forces have shot down 22 missiles launched by Israeli warplanes during an airstrike against targets in Syria, the Russian military said Friday. "Jets (possibly Israelis) over Dahieh, Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut & also Southern Lebanon."..."During the air strike, a plane belonging to Lebanese carrier Middle East Airlines coming from Abu Dhabi had to hold in Syrian airspace for about 10 minutes before landing in Beirut, as did a plane from Turkey's Pegasus airlines." Syrian air defenses also fired wildly, with shrapnel and debris falling over Jordan and Israel, according to varying reports. This was apparently debris from a Syrian S-200. Two commercial airliners also had to divert during the Syrian air-defense operations


Turkey's leader meets UAE leader.


August 21

Riots on Gaza border.


Bennett to go to Washington.


A US warplane shot down a drone in Syria on Saturday. It is a rare occurrence when fighter jets are used to shoot down drones, although Israel has shot down drones with warplanes, and a US F-15E Strike Eagle shot down a drone in June 2017 in Syria, one of two US downings of Syrian regime drones.


August 24

Leaked images show Iran's Evin prison.


Vehicles damaged in convoy in Iraq.


August 27

Attack on US convoy in Iraq reported. "Friday's rocket attack in the Iraqi city of Basra was not carried out against the US base near the borders with Kuwait, a source revealed on Saturday, explaining that it targeted a convoy of the Global Coalition forces in the region."


August 28

Reuters: Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian met his counterparts from Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates on Saturday, officials from the two Gulf Arab states said, but provided no further details. There was no indication of any direct meetings between Iran and Saudi Arabia, but Iraq said talks between the two countries, which began in April, were continuing.

Heads of state attending included Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, King Abdullah of Jordan, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Macron. Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates sent their heads of government, and Turkey its foreign minister.


August 29

Syrian official news agency SANA: Syria's Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad, center left, receives Iran's new Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, left, in Damascus, Syria. Pledge to confront US sanctions. "Syria's Foreign Minister: The resounding #US defeat in #Afghanistan will also mean its defeat in #Syria."


Houthi missile attack kills dozens in Yemen. A ballistic missile landed in the base's training area, where dozens of soldiers were doing morning exercises, officials said. Drones may have been involved.


August 31

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi group in Yemen said earlier that it intercepted a Houthi drone that was targeting Abha International Airport


September 1


Iran and Russia media see new 'Vietnam Syndrome' for US after Afghanistan.


Col. Marotto: "There are no U.S./Coalition logistic convoys in Iraq - it is disinformation & propaganda. Equipment divested to the #ISF in support of its #DefeatDaesh mission through the CTEF Program is transported by Iraqi Civilian Logistic Convoys."


Quoting an anonymous Syrian military source, #Iran's Al Alam TV claims US troops have "evacuated three bases" in Syria: One in Deir al-Zour and two in Hassakeh.


Local reports said pro-Iran militias fired rockets at US base in Syria.


September 2


Iran media says that four ship with oil and gas has arrived in Syria, in fact it appears the first ship had only oil for Syria, not gas for Hezbollah in Lebanon.


Gulf Sky details revealed.


US Coalition says it has not added or closed bases in NE Syria. Civilian supply convoys regularly visit U.S. temp outposts. We remain committed to the #defeatdaesh mission & follow on operations to increase regional stability.


September 3


Overnight, the IDF said on Friday that explosions heard over central Israel overnight were caused by a Syrian anti-aircraft missile that exploded off the coast. Debris fell in Tel Aviv.


September 13


Israel Defense Minister Gantz warns Iran training proxies at UAV base in Iran



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