• MECRA

Iran-US and Iran-Israel tensions July-Sept 2020

Updated: Sep 23, 2020




For our last installment (June 4 to July 19) see this link.


July 19


Zarif's visit to Iraq part of strategic work.


Iran-China document.


After pressure from around the world, and Trump Farsi tweet, Iran reviews death sentences for three people.


Zarif meets Fatah head Hadi al-Amiri in Baghdad. "This should be seen as IR‘s attempt to reaffirm support for its allied groups & factions within the Iraqi state."


Iran accuses "Zionist regime" in making Iran-China deal controversial. Article at Fars says Zionist regime doing everything to prevent Iran-China deal.


Afghan Taliban have no office in Iran- Araghchi


French FM to Beirut this week.


Iran-China document relates to sanctions - Tasnim News.


Gabi Ashkenazi, FM of Israel, "Today we mark 26 years since the terror attack at the Buenos Aires AMIA Jewish Community Center in which 85 people were murdered and hundreds of others injured. Iran was behind this attack as well as the 1992 attack on the Israeli Embassy in Argentina."


Tabriz and Isfahan fires, both allegedly in power stations. Al-Ain looks at the mysterious fires.


Projectile fired toward US embassy, downed with CRAM- Report More details say it may have been mortars. See here.


July 20


Iran warns of escalation after sabotage and fires, Press TV says.

Egypt says it is monitoring Libya situation.

Details of the Mousavi-Majd case of the "spy" Iran executed on July 20.


July 21


Airstrikes in Damascus and Kiswah, "At least five dead in Monday night air raid that targeted areas close to Damascus airport, around southern city of Daraa, according to Observatory for Human Rights; seven Syrian soldiers said wounded as missiles destroyed air defense battery, weapons depot belonging to the militia force."; "Arab intelligence sources" claim Israeli strike on southern Damascus targeted large munitions warehouse belonging to Iran-back militants. Questions about who was killed. Areas of activity: Rif Damishq Al-Kiswah AD Sites West of Damascus Airport and the Airport itself. Al-Quenitra; also one air defense rocket may have fallen in Jordan. Pantsir missiles seen. "Syrian military defectors said the strike targeted a major Iranian-run ammunitions depot in Jabal al Mane near the town of Kiswa."


Social media "exposed" in "fake news" of fires, Iran's Press TV says.


Sardar Salami: The IRGC Air Force has reached self-sufficiency in parts manufacturing and modernization. Also tanks.


More details on Mousavi Majd and his execution, a "spy" - Tasnim.


Details on Israeli and other drones used in Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict, which Iran has said it could mediate.


"Iranian and Hezbollah involvement in funding, training in weapons and drone operation" of PFLP cell in West Bank.


Qeshm Fars Air flies over Turkey.


Israel congratulates UAE on Mars mission.


Iraq PM Kadhimi travels to Iran in what Zarif calls "turning point." Days after Zarif went to Iraq and KRG.


Turkey-Greece tensions grow over air violations, sea exploration.


Egypt has approved intervention in Libya, Sisi called Trump.


Drones violated Israel airspace from Lebanon and Gaza in 24 hours. see video of Hamas drones.


More details on Iran-China deal at Tasnim tweet.


Hezbollah members vow retaliation after saying Ali Mohsen was killed in Israeli strikes in Syria.


Hella Mewis reported kidnapped in Baghdad. Kataib Hezbollah blamed Prime Minister.


July 22

More details on 'secret documents' Hisham al-Hashimi had.


Iran looks to extend 20-year deal with Russia.


Khamenei vows retaliation for Soleimani death. Reported across Iran media during talks with Iraq.


July 23


IED struck convoy from Iraq to Kuwait linked to US, third incident.


Coalition will hand over Besmaya base to Iraqi Security Forces in coming weeks. Spain's coalition contribution will head home. UK also left Taji and French left Abu Ghraib.


Hezbollah vows retaliation, Israel beefs up infantry on border (background)


Mayadeen: Details fo 2014 sniper attack on Israel, Israel fears Hezbollah response.


Akbar: French delegation in Lebanon. Kadhimi met Ghaani in Iraq.


Shamkhani: Hard revenge for US.


Tasnim: Signals of Israel's inability to fight in Lebanon will end occupation.


UAE supports Egypt in Libya. - Al-Ain


Iran alleges security breach at Natanz.


Zarif spoke to Moscow about 20 year deal.


Deputy Commander CJTF Ekman mentions Iran and mysterious explosions but won't comment in briefing.


Iran implies foreign countries behind cyberattacks, but the fires are normal.


Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Mousavi tapped as ambassador to Azerbaijan.


"Iranian channel said to be affiliated with IRGC says Ershad Karimi, manager & owner of MEHR engineering company supplying precision measuring instruments, has been identified as the person responsible for the blast at Natanz."


Israel boosts forces on Lebanon border.


Mahan air flight intercepted by US F-15s near Tanf.


July 24


Tensions on Golan, rocket fire reported from Syria near Khadar, artillery near Quneitra.


IDF: In accordance with the IDF situational assessment and the Northern Command defense plan, changes will be made to IDF deployment in the military and civil areas in order to strengthen defenses along the northern border.


Iran slams US for Mahan air interception, calls it 'terrorism.'


US leaves Basmaya base in Iraq. Rockets fired at base.


Operation in east Baghdad frees kidnapped German waoman. "Security forces have freed activist Hella Mewis," Iraq's military spokesman Yahya Rasool said in a statement.


Ashab al-Kahf says they shot down US drone in Iraq.


Qeshm island mystery explosion.


July 26


Explosion at Camp Saqr in Iraq.


Iran moves fake US aircraft carrier to Strait of Hormuz for training.


Iran continues to say china deal will be blow to US sanctions.


July 27


Hezbollah clash with Israel in Mount Dov.


Rockets fired at Camp Taji. "At 2103 hrs (Iraq time), July 27, three small Katyusha rockets impacted Taji base. This attack, on an Iraqi base, damaged an Iraqi Army helicopter used to fight ISIS. No Coalition casualties or damage."


"At exactly eleven o'clock on the night of July 27, 2020, two explosions occurred at the martyr Majid al-Tamimi [Camp Speicher] Air Force Base in Salah al-Din Governorate, and civil defense teams were able to control the fire that resulted from these two explosions, without causing casualties. We will provide you with the details later." - Security Media Cell. Kataib Hezbollah, Kataib Sayyid al-shuhada and Kataib Imam Ali have forces at Speicher. Video.


July 28


Iran begins Great Prophet drill in Straits of Hormuz, it had towed model US carrier out to sea. USS Nimitz on station


Questions about Israel-Hezbollah clash as Hezbollah now denies anything happened. Israeli drone spotted over Lebanon. Full list of recent drone incidents.


Explosion hits fuel storage tank in western Iran, Kermanshah province, say local media reports


Rocket fire reported near Baghdad airport, camp victory. Thought to be 107mm rockets.


Israeli jets reportedly buzz Beirut after day in which Hezbollah suggested it would respond to incident on July 27 in which it says Israel faked an incident and fired a rocket into a house.


July 29


Iran says it fired missiles for first time from underground as part of day two of great Prophet exercise.


Al-Mayadeen claims Israel made mistake in July 27 incident.


July 30


Falih Al-Fayyadh of the PMU slams Israel, says US should leave Iraq and that Iraq-Iran relations better than ever.


After Iran-China discussions, spotlight on Iraq-China discussions.


Two Katyusha rockets fired at Baghdad airport.


July 31


107m rocket found in Iraq aimed apparently at US forces.


Iran releases video claiming cyberattacks on Israel.


Al-Mayadeen: The head of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of the Shura Council Mojtaba Zal-Nouri says that investigations indicate that the source of the explosion in Natanz was mostly internal elements.


August 3


Israel strikes 4 planting IED near Israel southern Golan border fence.


Two rockets land near Camp Taji base Iraq.


Israel airstrikes on Syria responding to IED incident in early morning hours; "In response, a short while ago, IDF fighter jets, attack helicopters and aircraft struck military targets in southern Syria, belonging to the Syrian Armed Forces."


August 4


Al-Ain and SOHR say airstrikes hit Albukamal and killed Iranian-backed Iraqi militias.


Israel and US did jointed F-35 drill, second in a year. US 421st squadron came unlike the 34th in March.


Hezbollah uses Lebanon for 'fake news.'


FDD: Lebanon has $93 billion in debts.


August 5


BBC: Sirens at the US embassy Baghdad and Union III base hosting Coalition troops. The US embassy used its air defense system to intercept rockets. “It was pretty loud” witnesses say...Iraqi Security Media Cell: a Katyusha rocket landed in the Green Zone early this morning. No damaged. 7 other rockets were found in Daora area ready to launch in south Baghdad.


An explosive device explodes on the wheel of a subsidiary of an international contracting company on the international road in the Souk Al-Shyoukh area in Dhi Qar Governorate, which led to the burning of the wheel, without any casualties.


US security official: if Iraq expels US forces from Iraq, we will provide no financial support to the Iraqi government.


August 7


Drone from Lebanon penetrates Israel airspace.


Israel to keep troop alert in north.


Hezbollah denies link to Beirut blast as government officials begin to suggest "foreign" role.


Al-Mayadeen: Clashes between Deir Ezzor tribes and US-backed SDF.


Iraq says chemical materials will be removed from Basra ports to avoid Beirut-like disaster. Many concerned about PMU warehouses.


August 8


Press TV slams appointment of Abrams after Brian Hook departs, claims Pompeo might leave as well.


Iran calls Macron visit "colonial."


Al-Ain: Iraqi PM Kadhimi may go to White House in August.


Iran sends letter to UN slamming US interception of passenger jet.


August 9

LAF issues statement denying rumors on news outlets, social media re: presence of tunnels at Beirut Port.


IED explodes as convoy of an Iraqi contractor transporting equipment for the US-led coalition drives by in southern Iraq, on the #Baghdad-Dhi Qar main road. One vehicle suffers "minor damages" as a result — Iraqi Security Media Cell


August 10

Ashab al Kahf publishes video of an alleged operation targeting equipment and machinery belonging to U.S. forces at the Iraq-Kuwait border.


Concerns Hezbollah being ignored in aid to Beirut.


Houthis slam UAE for "building synagogue."


August 11


In Iraq, Kata’ib Hezbollah militia targets US base near Kuwaiti border. Militia tried to smuggle improvised explosive device inside the base. Attack comes as next round of US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue approaches. Press TV reports convoy attacked. This was supposed to be the 5th attack, but US denied it happened.


The coalition and the U.S. administration met with tribal elders of Deir Ezzor over a period of 3 days


Iran calls Elliot Abrams a "fanatical Zionist" as he is announced to take over from Brian Hook.


US tries to extend arms embargo on Iran at UN.


Rocket fired at Green Zone.


Iran nuclear deal at risk as U.N. council prepares to vote on arms embargo


August 12


China supports ending arms embargo on Iran


Ministry of Intelligence in Iran says five spies arrested.


Baghdad cancels Ankara visit after airstrikes.


US CENTCOM Gen. Frank McKenzie says that Iranian missile strikes against US troops in Iraq have forced the Pentagon to redirect resources from the ISIS fight to protect American forces.


Iranian IRGC boarded and then left the ship Wila.


August 13


Arrow 2 missile was success by Israel and US.


Israel says supports Greece in Mediterranean dispute with Turkey.


CENTCOM: Today in international waters, Iranian forces, including two ships and an Iranian "Sea King" helicopter, overtook and boarded a ship called the 'Wila.' This may have been retaliation for US seizure of Iran oil.


UAE and Israel agree to a deal with US for relations. Sisi in Egypt supports deal.


Netanyahu says Israel supports Greece in Mediterranean dispute with Turkey. Turkey signs deal with Libya. Israel and Greece also agreed on no-quarantine tourism.


US fails to extend arms embargo on Iran, only Dominican Republic sides with US at UN Security Council.


August 14


Khaled Qudumi: Relations with the Zionist regime are a red line / History will never pass from traitors


Zarif confident arms embargo will be extended.


Iran angered by Israel-UAE agreement.


Turkey threatens to suspend UAE ties.


Bahrain and UAE condemn Turkey's role in Iraq.


Al-Arabiya: Washington confirmed Friday earlier reports that it had seized Iranian tankers believed to be carrying a multimillion-dollar fuel shipment to Venezuela. CNN: After executing a court-issued seizure order, the government confiscated nearly 1.116 million barrels of petroleum-product cargo that was aboard four foreign oil tankers named M/T Bella, M/T Pandi, M/T Luna and M/T Bering, prosecutors with the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia said in the press release. This was first time.


Nouri al-Maliki condemns UAE-Israel deal as against God.


Three Katyusha rockets fell in the vicinity of Baghdad International Airport, without significant losses, and it was found that they were launched from the Radwaniyah area, west of the capital.


August 15


Katyusha rockets fired at Camp Taji. See details.


Lithuania bans Hezbollah.


Rouhani reacts to UAE-Israel deal.


Iran says the US seized ships were not Iranian, Zarif mocks US.



August 16


Iran showcases missile test firing (Zafar, Nasr1, Nasr, Ghadir, Ghader, Soumar).


Iran threatens UAE over Israel deal.


Hamas shows drone used to carry balloons.


A Katyusha missile fell inside the Green Zone in Baghdad, without significant losses, and the rocket was found that it was launched from Shallal Street near the Al-Nahda garage, and the security forces found a missile base, and also dismantled two missiles that were intended for launch in the same place. Details. Photos.


Lawk Ghafuri: Newly formed armed group “Asahab al-Kahaf” releases a video and claims that they have targeted a convoy of an Iraqi contractor company transporting US-led coalition equipment in Anbar province. The video has a speech of Hassan Nasrallah on the background.


August 17


Ghaani thought to be in Baghdad as Kadhimi heads to Washington.


Gargash in UAE says deal with Israel not aimed at Iran.


UAE, U.S. Forces conducted a live fire exercise on Aug. 9-12. Timing here is interesting as it coincided with #Iran's boarding of the Wila. See US Coalition statement on tensions with regime in Qamishli


August 18


Coalition forces came under fire this morning from regime or Iran-backed militias while patrolling near al-Omar oil field in #SDF-held Deir Ez-Zor. - Wladimir Van Wilgenburg


A Katyusha rocket landed inside the vicinity of #Baghdad International Airport without causing any casualties or damages. The rocket was launched from Al-Fayyad village, southeast of the airport, according to Iraqi Security Media Cell.- Lawk Ghafuri.


UN tribunal finds one guilty in Hariri murder, 15 years after it happened.


August 19


Activist assassinated in Basra.


August 20


Full remarks from White House with Trump and Kadhimi. "We’re down to a very small number of soldiers in Iraq now. We defeated the ISIS caliphate in Iraq and Syria."


August 22


Report on Hezbollah connections to Beirut port ship. See full report.


Reports of attack on US supply convoy near Baghdad. See here.


Tasnim: US leaving Camp Taji.


Chief Rabbi of UAE speaks out. Rabbi for Bahrain's king also speaks out.


UAE's Otaiba in Ynet again. "near-term plans also include talks on air travel, telecommunications and shipping; collaboration on health, water and food security, climate change, technology and energy; cultural and educational exchanges; and ministerial-level visits. An exchange of Ambassadors and diplomatic missions will follow"


Gantz slams Netanyahu over F-35 deal.


Times of UK on Israel and Turkey "Yossi Cohen. He has been talking secretly with fellow spooks in the Gulf states for years, pointing out that they shared a common enemy: Iran. But there was one encounter about 20 months ago when he let slip another agenda. “Iranian power is fragile,” he reportedly told spymasters from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates, “but the real threat is from Turkey.” That was quite something coming from the spy chief who masterminded the Israeli heist of large chunks of the Iranian nuclear archive from a warehouse in central Tehran. His point, though, was not that Iran had ceased to be an existential menace but rather that it could be contained: through sanctions, embargoes, intelligence sharing and clandestine raids. Turkey’s coercive diplomacy, its sloppily calculated risk-taking across the Middle East, posed a different kind of challenge to strategic stability in the eastern Mediterranean."


August 23

Nasrallah: We will defend country.


Hezbollah claims it shot down Israeli drone.


Fatah Alliance warns the US against not leaving Iraq while Kadhimi arrives in Basra to condemn assassinations.


Report: US to leave Taji base tomorrow. Follows US leaving Qaim, K-1, Q-West, Nineva, Taqadum, Abu GHraib and Besmaya. Caggins posts about US work at Taji.


Asaib says Kadhimi meetings didn't include US withdrawal.


Pompeo and Kushner on trips to region to meet Israel, UAE, etc.


Pompeo taped a speech for the Republican convention in Jerusalem.


IED targets logistics convoy in Iraq.


August 25


Pompeo flies directly to Sudan from Israel. Sudan's transitional government said it had "no mandate" to open relations with Israel.


UAE sends F-16s to Crete for Greece drill.


Border incident near Manara in Israel, IDF strikes Hezbollah border targets. This is the third incident at least since July 20 killing of Hezbollah member in Syria.


August 26


Iraq has problems with its F-16 program.


IED targets UN in Iraq vehicle.


Pompeo met with Bahrain leader after flying to Sudan. Bahrain commits to two-state solution.


France's Parly appears to critique Turkey for using Mediterranean as playground and joins Greece drill. Turkey says it won't back down.


Russian and US patrols again have tensions in Syria.


Rouhani mocks US for defeats at UN Security Council


Rumors of change in Syria.


More direct flights from UAE.


Pompeo arrives UAE: "Excited to arrive in the United Arab Emirates and congratulate the Emirati people on the historic Abraham Accords– the most significant step toward peace in the Middle East in over 25 years. Hopeful we will  build on this momentum towards regional peace."


HRW critiques Lebanon for live fire on protesters.


Iran, Turkey, Russia condemn US in Syria. The statement stressed that all three countries expressed their opposition to the illegal seizure and transfer of Syria's oil revenues, and they "condemned the illegal oil deal between a U.S. licensed company and the illegitimate entity as part of its separatist agenda,"


August 27


Iran stirs up sleeper cells in Deir Ezzor


August 28


Rocket fired at US embassy Baghdad.

Turkey F-16s confront Greek jets while Greece and Egypt ratify deal and Germany slams Turkey in Mediterranean. NATO head calls Turkey about mediterranean issues and EU threatens sanctions.


August 29


Logistics convoy targeted near Diwaniyeh, Iraq.


Katyusha rockets fired at Green Zone.


August 30


Kushner arrives in Israel with Hook and O'Brien.


Iran-backed militias target US near Conoco


Two katyusha rockets fired near Baghdad international Airport.


August 31


First flight to UAE from Israel.


Macron arrives in Lebanon.


In Iraq, Saraya Auliya Dam group claims it is responsible for improvised explosive device attacks on convoys carrying US equipment. Promotional video included.


Dijla TV attacked on Ashoura in Iraq.


Asaib Ahl al-Haq defends holding weapons out of state control.


Airstrikes reports south of Damascus at night.


September 1


Israel flight returns from UAE


Saudi Arabia to grant Israel overflight rights.


September 2