Jordan intercepts armed drone fired at Israel by Iran-backed Iraqi militia
A military vehicle on the Israeli border with the Gaza Strip on Dec. 21, 2023. ( Photo: Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

The Hamas leader Yahaya Sinwar “hears the IDF’s bulldozers over him,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said. “He will meet our barrels soon.”

By Yaakov Lappin
December 22, 2023

(JNS) — An Iranian-backed militia in Iraq reportedly fired an armed drone in the direction of Eilat, which Jordanian air defenses intercepted.

The Erbil-based, Kurdish news website Rudaw describes the Islamic Resistance in Iraq as “a network of shadow Iraqi militia groups” associated with the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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,” per Rudaw. (Mujahideen means “holy fighters.”)

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

In recent months, the Iranian-backed Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces has threatened the 2,500 U.S. forces stationed in the country. The group is a member of the Iranian-backed radical axis and cooperates with Hezbollah and Shi’ite militias in Syria.

Northern Israel

The Israel Defense Forces detected projectile launches in northern Israel, and Israeli artillery struck the sources of the fire on Friday. 

Israeli Air Force fighter jets struck Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, including military sites where terrorists operated, and hit infrastructure, the IDF stated.

The IDF released footage on Friday of a drone that it intercepted over Lebanese waters before it crossed into Israeli territory. The interception, which occurred last week, involved a drone heading to Israeli economic waters. The drone was likely aimed at the Karish offshore gas rig, Kan News reported.

Hezbollah said on Friday that it has lost 121 operatives since the start of the war, per Walla, which reported that Israel struck about 20 Hezbollah targets in the past two days.

Gaza

Palestinian reports said that seven people were killed in an Israeli airstrike targeting a vehicle in Rafah, in the south of the Gaza Strip. It has yet to be established who was killed.

Israel’s war effort is “moving forward and completing the objectives we set, the dismantling of Hamas’s battalions and neutralizing underground capabilities,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Friday, after a daily security assessment with military chiefs.

“We are working in Khan Yunis and southern Gaza, and we will work in additional places later on,” he said.

The Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahaya Sinwar, “hears the IDF’s bulldozers over him, the IAF’s bombs and the IDF’s activities,” Gallant added. “He will meet our barrels soon.”

The IDF stated on Friday that soldiers its 5th Brigade’s combat team conducted operational activity in the Kasbah complex in Beit Hanoun in recent days.

“The soldiers of the combat team—together with aerial fire support, observation posts and combat engineering forces—cleared the area of ​​the Kasbah, eliminated terrorists [and] struck dozens of terrorist targets and infrastructure,” the military said.

“Among other things, the forces collected many weapons including Kalashnikov type weapons, grenades, cartridges and ammunition boxes, mortar bombs and vests—including IDF vests,” the army stated.

“In addition, the forces located uniforms of the Hamas terrorist organization, including children’s uniforms, Hamas documents and telephones and an IDF kitbag,” it added. “The forces located several tunnel shafts in the homes of Hamas operatives, the largest of which was in a school. From these tunnels terrorists attacked the forces the day before the brigade’s operation.”

“The soldiers of the 5th Brigade’s combat team completed the mission of protecting the communities and kibbutzim in southern Israel, in which the brigade participated in the effort to neutralize the area of ​​terrorists since the beginning of the war,” per the IDF.

The soldiers also secured the security fence and repaired observation posts.

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