May 21, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Intercepts Drone Attacks by Iranian Proxies on Two Fronts

May 21, 2024 | Flash Brief

Israel Intercepts Drone Attacks by Iranian Proxies on Two Fronts

Latest Developments

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) intercepted a “suspicious aerial target” flying toward Israel from Syria, the IDF said on May 20. “The target did not manage to cross into Israeli territory. Sirens concerning a hostile aircraft infiltration sounded in open areas in the Golan Heights according to protocol,” Israel’s Ynet website reported. In addition, Israeli warplanes and a naval vessel intercepted two drones as they approached the Israeli city of Eilat from the direction of the Red Sea. “The targets did not manage to cross into Israeli territory,” Ynet noted. The Iranian-backed terrorist group Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed it had targeted Eilat, Iranian media reported. Iranian-backed groups in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen have continually targeted Israel with drones and missiles in the wake of the October 7 assault by Hamas terrorists that triggered the current war in Gaza.

Expert Analysis

“The interception of drones targeting northern Israel and the southern Israeli city of Eilat illustrates the growing threat Iranian-backed terrorist groups pose. They continue to use drones inside and outside the region, as Iran has also exported drones to Russia that are used against Ukraine.” — Seth J. Frantzman, FDD Adjunct Fellow

“For years, Iran has been building a network of proxy organizations and militias along Israel’s borders and in the region, with the ultimate goal of expanding its influence and launching attacks against the Jewish state. The investments made by Iran in these entities have now begun to yield dividends, allowing the regime to exert its power in the region. With Iran’s proxies on the march, Israel must defend itself against these multi-front attacks while also working to dismantle Hamas and its allies in Gaza.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

Nearly 100 Attacks on Northern Israel in a Week

Hezbollah and other terrorist groups in Lebanon carried out 95 attacks on Israel between May 13 and May 19, according to the Alma Research and Education Center. “Hezbollah claimed responsibility for 60 of these strikes, which included high-trajectory missiles (including Grad and Burkan), anti-tank missiles, and an attack using an armed UAV that fired two S5 rockets,” the report noted. The IDF has responded to these attacks, eliminating one Hezbollah commander, Qassem Saqlawi, in an airstrike near the Lebanese coastal city of Tyre on May 20, the IDF said.

Iran-Backed Iraqi Militia Attacks Eilat With Drone,” FDD Flash Brief

Hezbollah Uses Drones to Target Sensitive IDF Base Deep Inside Israel,” FDD Flash Brief

Hezbollah Launches 60 Rockets at Israel,” FDD Flash Brief

Issues:

Hezbollah Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Israel at War Russia Syria Ukraine