December 26, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Reveals That It Retaliates Against Attacks From Yemen, Iraq, and Iran

December 26, 2023 | Flash Brief

Israel Reveals That It Retaliates Against Attacks From Yemen, Iraq, and Iran

Latest Developments

Israel signaled on December 26 that it had mounted strikes in Iraq, Yemen, and possibly Iran in retaliation for long-range attacks carried out by Tehran’s proxies in solidarity with the Hamas terror war. “We are in a multi-front war and are coming under attack from seven arenas: Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, Judea and Samaria (West Bank), Iraq, Yemen, and Iran,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which convened, unusually, at the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) headquarters in Tel Aviv rather than in the Jerusalem parliament building.

“We have already responded and acted in six of these areas,” Gallant said without specifying which six he meant. “I say here in the clearest way: Anyone who acts against us is a potential target, there is no immunity for anyone.” Israel has not previously acknowledged taking military action in Iraq, Yemen, or Iran since October 7.

Expert Analysis

“Israel has long warned that the Hamas war was part of a wider Iranian campaign to destroy it and that its retaliatory reach was unlimited. Now, a senior Israeli official has lifted the veil, a day after the United States retaliated for a drone attack on its forces in Iraq by an Iranian-backed militia. This is a regional, axis struggle in which the United States and Israel are, yet again, waging separate battles in the same war.” Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Israeli strikes against Iran-backed assets in Yemen and Iraq are a sign that the Jewish state will not be pinned down in Gaza nor permit Iran’s strategy of death by a thousand multidimensional cuts to bear fruit. Military pressure on these assets by both Israel and the United States is critical to keeping the Axis of Resistance in check and not allowing it to use one limb to bail out another.” — Behnam Ben Taleblu, FDD Senior Fellow

Israel’s Multifront Conflict

Since being heaved into war in Gaza by Hamas’ cross-border killing and kidnapping spree of October 7, Israel has also launched counterterrorist operations against Palestinians in the West Bank, traded fire with Lebanese Hezbollah, and hit back for attacks emanating from Syria. Israeli officials have generally released details about IDF operations in these four areas, but previously did not publicly acknowledge operations in the other three arenas on Gallant’s list: Yemen, Iraq, or Iran.

Yemen’s Houthis, Iraqi Militias Attack Israel

The war against Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza has prompted the Palestinian terrorist groups’ Iranian sponsor to foment anti-Israel attacks by proxies elsewhere in the region. Recent weeks have seen increasingly brazen long-range missile and drone launches against Israel by Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthis, who have also attacked international shipping in the Red Sea. On December 22, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella terrorist group backed by Iran, said it launched a drone against Israel’s Eilat.    

Iran Threatens Israel After IRGC Commander Killed in Syria,” FDD Flash Brief

Biden’s Iran Policy Fails Day After Day,” by Mark Dubowitz

Israel Defense Minister Warns of Red Sea Threats on Visit to Israeli Navy Near Eilat,” FDD Flash Brief


Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Israel at War