Ukraine is increasingly concerned about a specific threat: Russia’s drone strikes. Despite a halt in ground warfare, air attacks persist, and Ukrainian authorities are troubled by the continuous strikes conducted by Russian drones. In a recent incident, Russian drones targeted the city of Odessa, causing significant damage.
The attack resulted in the destruction of a warehouse and numerous trucks, with two drivers injured in the fiery explosions. Consequently, the ferry service between Romania and Ukraine was suspended due to safety concerns. Videos captured from the Romanian side of the Danube River displayed rapid bursts of Ukrainian anti-aircraft fire illuminating the night sky, followed by two orange fireballs exploding near the port area.
The aftermath revealed the charred remains of trucks, highlighting the extent of the damage caused by the drone attack. As a consequence, ferries remained anchored on the Romanian shores of the Danube in Isaccea, redirecting traffic through Galati, a town upstream on the Danube. This disruption has significantly impacted Ukraine’s shipping exports, particularly grains destined for Europe.
Ukraine Demands: Attack Iran and Syria
Ukraine, especially Western areas like Lyiv, faces an escalating threat from Russian drone strikes. In response, Ukraine has issued a demand that could heighten tensions in the Middle East. Kyiv has expressed its readiness to conduct missile attacks on Iran and Syria, contingent upon its Western allies supplying the necessary weaponry.
The Ukrainian government’s request, outlined in a document presented to G7 nations in August, urged Western supporters to launch missile strikes on drone manufacturing facilities in Iran and Syria.
According to The Guardian, Ukraine asserted that the kamikaze drones used by Russian forces are produced in Iran and Syria, incorporating Western components. The document proposed that these attacks could be carried out by the Ukrainian defense forces if NATO provided the required means of destruction.
If this demand is met, it has the potential to exacerbate conflicts in the Middle East, prompting concerns among global stakeholders about the escalation of hostilities in the region.
Enemies of State: Ukraine’s Perspective of the Middle East
Ukraine’s interest in striking Iran and Syria is intricately tied to the core of its drone production. The significance lies in these regions being pivotal to Ukrainian drone manufacturing. Iran’s Shahed-136 drones emerged on the Ukrainian battlefield last year.
In November 2022, Ukraine disclosed that approximately 75 percent of the internal components in the Iranian drones used by Moscow were sourced from the US, Japan, and various European nations, as verified by Ukraine’s military intelligence and the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission in Kyiv.
Despite repeated denials from Tehran regarding drone shipments to Russia for use against Ukrainian forces, it admitted to delivering drones to Russia before the conflict.
Furthermore, Ukraine emphasizes that Iran has diversified its production through a Syrian facility, which has been transported to the Russian port of Novorossiysk. Consequently, Ukraine deems the destruction of these two facilities imperative, given their central role in the complex web of international drone production and deployment.
The Problem: The West Won’t Allow or Comply
The Western powers are unlikely to comply with Ukraine’s demands due to several crucial factors. Firstly, there’s a reluctance to escalate the conflict beyond Ukraine’s borders, a stance that aligns with broader international stability goals.
With escalating tensions in US-Middle East relations, Western nations are wary of any actions that might worsen the situation. Recent incidents, such as attacks on American forces in Syria by their own allies, the SDF, indicate the fragility of regional alliances.
Additionally, ongoing discord between Iran and the US, particularly concerning sanctions and the nuclear deal, adds another layer of complexity. Any attack on Iran and Syria could jeopardize American forces in the region and potentially draw these nations formally into the conflict against Russia.
Zelensky may be eager to confront his enemies, but repeated failures have left him desperate. However, the West remains steadfast in its refusal to entertain such demands, recognizing the immense risk these actions pose to global stability. Such measures are viewed as overly drastic and likely to further destabilize an already precarious world situation.