Iran’s intelligence agencies are known to operate a network of clandestine proxy forces across the Middle East.

As Israel strikes 600 Hamas targets in Gaza in 24 hours, Tel Aviv is cautious not to leave other fronts vulnerable to attack from pro-Iranian groups in Syria and Lebanon.

Tehran offers financial and military aid to a powerful coalition of militias such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen.

In Iraq and Syria, the shadowy Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) has been building influence within the Shia-dominated Popular Mobilisation Forces which formed to battle ISIS.

Iranian paramilitary forces were also heavily involved in the Syrian Civil War in support of President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.

Damascus remains heavily reliant on Iran with the IRGC operating a number of bases from which to threaten the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.

Here is a breakdown of the militia and paramilitary factions that operate under Iranian leadership in the region.


The most powerful of Iran’s proxies is Hezbollah or the “Party of God” based in Beirut and southern Lebanon.

Well-established with the Shia population of Lebanon, Hezbollah operates akin to a shadow state.

The group has fought previous wars against Israel and is credited with forcing an Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000.

Hezbollah is capable of feeling thousands of loyal fighters along with an arsenal of modern weapons and long-range missiles.

Iran is widely linked with the Houthi movement in Yemen which has been fighting against the Saudi-backed coalition in the country’s ongoing civil war.

The Houthis formed out of Yemen’s Shia tribes which had historically been marginalized by the central government.

Sharing Iran’s anti-western outlook the group’s slogan is “God Is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam.”

Iran is believed to have passed advanced military drone technology to the Houthis the group to strike deep into Saudi Arabia.


During the war to defeat ISIS in Iraq a number of Shia militias were organised under the umbrella of the Popular Mobilisation forces.

Growing to around 230,000 fighters the PMF had an active role in many of the key battles against ISIS.

Iranian IRGC advisors were documented during the battles alongside PMF commanders.

Following the defeat of ISIS, the PMF has continued as an independent armed force outside the control of the Iraqi government.

Iran maintains a number of military bases in Syria and has established strong ties to the regime of Bashar Al-Assad.

Tehran armed and trained pro-Assad militias during the Syrian civil war.

US bases in Syria have come under attack from suspect pro-Iranian factions leading to the airstrikes in relation.

Overall, Iran’s self-styled “Axis of Resistance” poses a serious threat to Israeli and US interests in the region.

Tehran is watching closely how the Israel military is able to conduct an invasion of Gaza against Hamas.

The Iranian regime will be waiting for the moment to escalate and pounce on any perceived weakness

Source » express