The Eilat port in Israel

Iran's Proxies In Iraq Target Israel’s Eilat, Jordan Intercepts

Friday, 12/22/2023

Iran-backed Iraqi militias launched a drone attack on the Israeli port city of Eilat, but the drone was intercepted by Jordan in its airspace.

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq, an umbrella term for multiple Iran’s proxies, claimed responsibility on X for the failed attack on Friday morning. In the statement, they claimed the drone had hit the target.

According to Hebrew-language daily newspaper Maariv, the Jordanian Defense Ministry announced that it had shot down the drone after it had crossed into Jordanian airspace

Islamic Resistance in Iraq said the attack is in support of the people of Gaza, who have been under heavy Israeli fire since October 7, when Tehran-backed Islamist militant group Hamas declared war on Israel, killing 1,200 mostly civilians and taking 240 hostages.

According to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, the Islamic Resistance in Iraq (IRI) is not a fixed group "but rather a generic name used to denote unity among Iran-backed armed groups. The "generic, no-logo brand" militia is part of Iran's "facade strategy" to avoid accountability for attacks on Americans, which have been intensified by the Gaza crisis. The institute suggests that Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) is likely coordinating the attacks and "corralling" Iran's proxies which would normally argue over public leadership.

The attack on Eilat is part of Iran's attempts to use proxy groups around the Middle East to put pressure on the US and Israel, as has been the case with increased Houthi attacks in the Red Sea. Israel's Eilat Port has seen an 85% drop in activity since Iran-backed Houthi militants in Yemen stepped up attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, the port's chief executive said on Thursday.

Also on Thursday, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) announced that Assad Air Base in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, hosting American forces, was targeted by Iran-backed proxy forces in Iraq, who have launched around 100 such attacks since October 7.

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