November 22, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hezbollah Uses Drones to Target Israel

November 22, 2023 | Flash Brief

Hezbollah Uses Drones to Target Israel

Latest Developments

Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system intercepted a “hostile aerial infiltration,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on November 22. Several drones also targeted Israel from Lebanon on November 21. Hezbollah said it attacked Israel with three drones and Burkan missiles on November 20. The IDF said on November 19 that it fired several air defense missiles against “suspicious aerial targets” that had flown toward the Western Galilee. The drone threat from Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon has grown over the month and a half of war in Gaza.

Expert Analysis

“Hezbollah’s drone threat adds to its existing arsenal of missile and rocket threats. Hezbollah uses drones to target Israeli communities near the border and force Israel to activate air defense systems. Hezbollah drones are part of the wider Iranian drone threat in the region. Improving regional air defenses against drone threats and cutting off Hezbollah from technology used in drones is essential to countering this new threat.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“Hezbollah drone attacks serve as a clear illustration of the potential danger posed by terrorist organizations using precision-guided weapons against Israel. This further highlights the validity of Israel’s defensive actions in Syria aimed at thwarting Iran’s efforts to supply its proxies with precision-guided technology.” — Joe Truzman, Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Hezbollah Says It Attacked Israel With Drones

Hezbollah said in early November that it was introducing new weapons into the conflict to threaten Israel. The use of drones and a Burkan-style missile is not new, but Hezbollah messaging indicates that it is highlighting their use as a form of escalation of threat types. The Burkan is a short-range missile with a heavy warhead. There has been no confirmation if the drones Hezbollah has been using are a new type. IDF incident reports, which are released several times daily, mention at least 19 separate incidents involving drone threats from Lebanon since October 7.

Hezbollah Has Significant Quantities of Drones

Hezbollah may have as many as 2,000 drones, according to a 2021 estimate by the Alma Research and Education Center, an organization that tracks security threats to northern Israel. Hezbollah has a variety of types of drones, from small commercially available quadcopters, to larger kamikaze drones similar to drones developed by Iran over the last two decades. Hezbollah’s first drone flights into Israeli airspace in 2004-2005 were conducted with medium-sized Mirsad-1 drones that could carry a 50 kg warhead.

Israel Strikes Hezbollah Terror Sites in Lebanon,” FDD Flash Brief

Clashes with Hezbollah Increase on Israel-Lebanon Border,” FDD Flash Brief

Brazilian Authorities Disrupt Hezbollah Plot,” FDD Flash Brief


Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network Israel Israel at War Palestinian Politics