“Wagner Group, the Russian paramilitary organization, plans to provide an air-defense system to Hezbollah, the Lebanese militia, U.S. officials say, citing intelligence.

The Russian SA-22 system they plan to send uses antiaircraft missiles and air-defense guns to intercept aircraft.

One U.S. official said that Washington hasn’t confirmed that the system has been sent. But officials are monitoring discussions involving Wagner and Hezbollah, and officials say the potential delivery is a major concern.”

Analyst Comment: It looks increasingly likely that the US is using the Israel-Hamas conflict to justify a wider regional conflict against Iran. This “leaked” intelligence attempts to link Iran proxies with the “evil Russians.” Additionally the US has stepped up its presence in the region inciting attacks from Iranian proxies and has retaliated with strikes against those proxies. A bigger problem for the US is that many key allies in the middle east are not interested in a wider conflict with Iran, and many of them do not support Israel’s operations targeting Palestinian’s in the Gaza strip. By trying to engineer a conflict by inserting itself directly into the fight, the US could alienate even more partners and find itself further isolated.