Iran-backed militants claim responsibility for attacking Israeli power plant in Tel Aviv

The Iranian pro-government Tasnim news media claimed that the “Islamic Resistance of Iraq announced that in support of the people of Gaza…it targeted the power plant of the Zionist regime in ‘Tel Aviv’ with a drone early this morning, Thursday.”

The Iranian media included an image of an explosive-laden kamikaze drone in the report. These types of drones may have a range of up to 2,000 km. Iran has exported the Shahed 136 kamikaze drone to Yemen and Russia.

 It was not clear what incident the Iranian-backed terrorist groups in Iraq were referring to. The Iranian media said that the statement shows the “continuation of these attacks to crush the enemy’s positions; it is stated that today’s operation was carried out to complete the second phase of the operation to resist the occupation and support the people of Gaza and in response to the crime and killing of the Zionists against the defenseless Palestinian civilians.”

It was also unclear what the Iranians meant by the “second phase.” Iran has sought to bring together various terrorist and proxy groups in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen to threaten Israel in the wake of the Hamas attack on October 7.

Hezbollah in Lebanon attacks

Hezbollah in Lebanon has launched thousands of rockets, anti-tank missiles, and drones at Israel. Iranian-backed groups in Syria and Iraq have carried out more than 200 attacks on US forces.

Hezbollah members carry mock missile during procession held to celebrate Ashura in south Lebanon, 2009 (credit: ALI HASHISHO/REUTERS)

Kataib Hezbollah in Iraq also launched a drone attack on Jordan, killing three Americans in January. The Houthis have targeted Eilat in southern Israel with drones and missiles. The Houthis have also attacked ships and tried to blockade Israel.

Iraqi groups linked to Iran have been trying to attack Israel for years. Beginning around 2017, some of them also sent envoys to Lebanon to meet Hezbollah and begin coordination against Israel.

Iran helped groups in Iraq increase their drone and missile arsenals. In 2021, an Iraqi group launched a drone targeting Israel during the conflict in Gaza in May.

Since October 2023, the Iraqi groups have claimed to carry out numerous attacks. “On Wednesday morning, the Islamic resistance of Iraq targeted Ben-Gurion airport,” Iranian media claimed. They made similar claims on March 12 and in December.