update deskIsrael at War

IDF downs two drones launched from Syria

The Iran-backed Islamic Resistance in Iraq claimed responsibility for the attack "in support of Gaza."

An Israeli Air Force fighter jet, April 26, 2023. Photo by Anthony Hershko/TPS.
An Israeli Air Force fighter jet, April 26, 2023. Photo by Anthony Hershko/TPS.

Israeli Air Force fighter jets shot down two apparent drones launched by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq towards northern Israel on Sunday night.

In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces said that a “hostile aircraft” crossed from Syria into northern Israel and was intercepted by IAF fighter jets. The aircraft triggered sirens in the southern Golan Heights communities of Keshet and Katzrin.

A little over an hour later, the IDF said that another aircraft was intercepted while “on route to Israeli territory from the east,” and did not cross into Israeli territory.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq took responsibility for the attack, saying that it was “in support of Gaza” (Israel is fighting a war against Hamas in Gaza following the Oct. 7 massacre of its citizens by the terror group). The umbrella group of Iranian-backed radical Shi’ite militias in Iraq and Syria is composed of Kata’ib Hezbollah, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba and Kata’ib Sayyid al-Shuhadaa.

It marked at least the third drone attack on Israel by the Iran-backed militias since the start of the war, including a suicide drone that fell in the Golan Heights last week.

Earlier this month, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq fired an armed drone in the direction of Eilat, which Jordanian air defenses intercepted.

The group stated that “The Mujahideen of the Islamic Resistance in Iraq targeted a target in the occupied Umm al-Rashrash, Eilat with appropriate weapons,” according to the Erbil-based, Kurdish news website Rudaw. (Mujahideen means “holy fighters.”)

Jordan’s Defense Ministry later said it had shot the drone down, Maariv reported. A Hezbollah-affiliated channel on Telegram also released purported footage of the drone launch.

On Nov. 9, the IDF struck assets in Syria belonging to an unspecified group responsible for launching a drone at a school in Eilat the previous day. Islamic Resistance In Iraq claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute.

Airstrikes in eastern Syria on Saturday killed at least “23 pro-Iranian fighters,” according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which said that the attacks were “likely carried out by Israel.”

The group said that four Hezbollah members were among those killed in at least nine pre-dawn airstrikes near the Iraqi border.

“Military” positions, a weapons shipment and an ammunition warehouse were targeted in the strikes, according to SOHR.

Also on Saturday, four foreign fighters were killed when “Israeli missiles targeted warehouses and bases of pro-Iran groups” near the Aleppo airport, according to SOHR.

Syrian state media reported that the strike had caused “material damage” but no casualties.

Hezbollah announced the deaths of four of its terrorists on Saturday, without saying when and where they were killed.

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