This narrative was too “politically convenient” for Al Mayadeen to pass up as they try to keep their supporters’ spirits high amidst the Palestinians’ suffering that the Resistance Axis has been unable to relieve thus far.
Al Mayadeen recently reported that an alleged Israeli base in Eritrea’s Dahlak Islands had come under attack, which was refuted by Minister of Information Yemane G. Meskel. He tweeted that: “Beirut-based Al Mayadeen Tv Channel floats a ludicrous story of ‘attacks’ against phantom ‘Israeli bases’ in Eritrea. Blatant disinformation – with variations on adjacent Iranian & even Houthi military bases – are recycled intermittently by intel operatives for sinister ends.”
No evidence has emerged in support of Al Mayadeen’s allegations, which casts further doubt on their veracity when coupled with the latest official denial and previously unconfirmed reports on this subject that were earlier rubbished as well. Considering this, there’s no reason to believe the claim that Israel has a secret base in the Dahlak Islands, nor that any such facility recently came under attack even if one imagines that it exists. The question therefore arises as to why Al Maydeen published their report.
This outlet is very popular in West Asia and seen as sympathetic to the Iranian-led Axis of Resistance, which refers to those regional forces whose worldview is based on the premise that Israel’s entire creation is illegitimate, not just its occupation of Palestine’s pre-1967 borders. They regard it as an unprecedented historical injustice that must be reversed for anti-imperialist, humanitarian, and religious reasons, and they’ve dedicated their lives to this cause.
The latest Israeli-Hamas war is increasingly viewed by both parties and their supporters as an existential struggle, but a larger regional war has yet to break out since Israel and the Resistance Axis’ de facto Iranian leader are each aware of how mutually destructive that would be. That isn’t to say that such a scenario might not soon unfold, even if only by miscalculation, but just that those two have thus far been very careful not to do anything that could lead to an uncontrollable military escalation.
For as pragmatic as this approach has been in some ways, one unintended outcome from the Resistance Axis’ perspective is that Israel hasn’t felt pressured by this bloc to lift its blockade of Gaza and stop its bombing of that densely population territory, which has worsened the humanitarian crisis there. Palestinians continue dying as a result and the Resistance Axis’ supporters, who’ve devoted themselves to their cause, are understandably upset that this continues happening.
It’s within this highly emotive context that Al Mayadeen published their report, which was arguably intended to make their targeted Resistance Axis audience think that this bloc is dealing damage to Israel on a far-away front so that they don’t become too despondent amidst the Palestinians’ suffering that their side has been unable to relieve. Prior unsubstantiated claims about an Israeli base in Eritrea’s Dahlak Islands were referenced for three reasons of “political convenience” that’ll now be touched upon.
For starters, this outlet’s targeted audience had likely come across what Minister Meskel described as these “intermittently recycled” reports sometime in the past, which served the purpose in the present of preconditioning them into falsely thinking that there might be some truth to this latest supposed update. Second, the Resistance Axis was displeased with Eritrea for the support that it provided to the Saudi-led coalition during the height of their military intervention in Yemen against Iran’s Houthi allies.
That country was then subjected to an information warfare campaign waged by this bloc in order to impugn President Isaias Afwerki, who’s proven himself to be a multipolar visionary, as revenge for supporting the Resistance Axis’ coalition enemies. And finally, the aforesaid observation about their axe to grind with Eritrea adds another dimension to Al Mayadeen’s report, which suggests that this bloc’s Houthi allies finally gave that country its comeuppance for supporting their enemies in Yemen.
These three points explain why Eritrea was selected as the far-away front where the Resistance Axis claimed that they’ve dealt damage to Israel in response to its blockade and bombing of Gaza. It was too “politically convenient” for Al Mayadeen to pass up as they try to keep their supporters’ spirits high amidst the Palestinians’ suffering that their bloc has been unable to relieve as explained. With these soft power motives in mind, it can’t be ruled out that more such reports might soon follow.