June 6, 2023
Benedetta Bisaccia, Ludovica Leccese CENTCOM/AFRICOM Team
Cameron Munoz, Senior Editor, Jennifer Loy, Chief Editor
Event: On June 5, the revelation of a covert operation unfolded, exposing Unit 700, a secret unit within the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Gal Farsat, a former official of the Al-Quds Force, a branch of the IRGC, with significant ties in Iran, Syria, and Lebanon, leads unit 700. Its primary objective involves smuggling supplies and logistics for the Al-Quds Force, specifically focusing on transferring military equipment to pro-Iranian militias operating in Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Recent reports also indicate the presence of an arms contract through which Iran supports Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by providing ammunition.
Significance: The smuggling of supplies and logistics for the Al-Quds Force, particularly military equipment, will likely contribute to strengthening pro-Iranian militias and expanding Iran's covert activities in the region. This support will likely increase support for pro-Iranian militias in Gaza, Syria, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. The enhanced capabilities of these pro-Iranian militias, fueled by the smuggling of supplies and military equipment, will likely pose a direct threat to regional security, likely heightening the risk of further conflicts and escalating tensions in already volatile areas. Iran's support for Russia's invasion of Ukraine through arms sales will likely provoke international condemnation and heighten tensions between Iran, Russia, and other nations supporting Ukraine, likely resulting in sanctions imposed on Iran. The potential imposition of sanctions on Iran will likely have far-reaching consequences for the country, including economic repercussions and strained diplomatic relations, further isolating Iran on the global stage.
The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) recommends the international community to strengthen its efforts to monitor and counter arms smuggling. CTG also recommends countries share intelligence and coordinate their efforts to respond to illicit arms sales, smuggling, and support for proxy groups.
CTG recommends strengthening regional security cooperation. Given Iran's proxies and its alleged involvement in supporting militias, countries in the Middle East should reinforce security agreements to counter Iran's support for proxy groups, and engage in joint military exercises to deter and respond to any threats.
CTG recommends countries bolster their border security measures by improving border security infrastructures and technologies to prevent illicit shipments.
CTG recommends countries in the Middle East promote diplomacy and avoid escalating violence in the region. Governments should support regional mediation efforts, promote peaceful conflict resolutions, and reduce the risk of further instability or armed conflicts.
If there is any additional and or critical information, please contact us at The Counterterrorism Group (CTG) by Telephone 202-643-2848 or email email@example.com
 Report: New unit of Iran's Al-Quds Force exposed by Israeli media, i24 News, June 2023, https://www.i24news.tv/en/news/middle-east/iran-eastern-states/1686032003-report-new-unit-of-iran-s-al-quds-force-exposed-by-israeli-media