U.S. Hits A Warehouse In Eastern Syria, Aiming To Deter the ‘Axis of Resistance’

U.S. Hits A Warehouse In Eastern Syria, Aiming To Deter the ‘Axis of Resistance’

Iraq and Syria 

U.S. Hits A Warehouse In Eastern Syria, Aiming To Deter the ‘Axis of Resistance’

The U.S. has responded two times to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-backed militias’ rocket and drone attacks on U.S.-operated military installations in Iraq and Syria. Both times the U.S. targeted warehouses. The first strikes targeted weapons and ammunition storage facilities that were reportedly used by the IRGC and its affiliates, but the facilities seem to have been empty of personnel at the time of the strikes, given that there have been no reports of Iranian or allied militia casualties.  

The second strikes, on November 8, came hours after the Pentagon announced there had been 41 attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria since October 17. They were carried out by U.S. Air Force F-15E fighter jets against another storage facility in eastern Syria, where the IRGC and its allied militias have a heavy presence. 

A U.S. military official said that the second strikes were timed to minimize civilian casualties, and did not confirm casualties, though he noted that personnel were present at the facility earlier in the day. Soon after the U.S. strikes, Iran-backed proxy militias resumed targeting U.S. forces, which shows that the intended deterrent effect was not achieved. A total of 46 U.S. personnel have been injured as a result of escalation by the ‘Axis of Resistance.’ Rocket and drone attacks have continued unabated despite Iraq’s prime minister’s visit this week to Iran, where he met with the supreme leader. 

Israeli Forces Carry Out Airstrikes in Syria, After A School In Israel Was Hit With A Drone 

The IDF said it carried out airstrikes in Syria against an unspecified group, later identified as the IRGC’s Imam Hossein Division, that had launched a drone at Israel. The drone hit a school in Eilat city on November 9, causing light damage to the building. There were no reported casualties. Israel holds the Syrian regime, backed by Russia and Iran, responsible for "any terror activity emanating from its territory," but did not on this occasion strike Syrian positions in response to the drone attack. Reports indicated last week that Wagner Group, a private Russian military contractor, was ready to transfer air defense systems to Hezbollah, with the permission of the Syrian president. 

An IED Targets American Convoy In Mosul 

An improvised explosive device (IED) detonated near the Mosul Dam in the vicinity of an American military convoy, a U.S. military official said. No group has claimed responsibility for the explosion, which did not result in casualties. This incident recalls Washington Post reporting on leaked intelligence in June 2023, indicating that Iran planned on escalating a roadside bombing campaign as part of a broader effort to evict the U.S. military from Syria—possibly in coordination with Russia. 

Israel and the Palestinian Territories 

Hamas Terrorist Chief, Ismael Haniyeh, Goes From Doha To Tehran To Meet The Supreme Leader, As The Israeli Military Pressed Towards Gaza City 

Iranian state media confirmed that Ismael Haniyeh, chief of Hamas’ political bureau, met the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, in Tehran on November 4, reportedly to brief him “on the latest developments in the Gaza Strip and the crimes of the Zionist regime in Gaza, as well as the developments in the West Bank." 

On November 6, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) surrounded Gaza City, splitting the Gaza Strip in two halves and allowing civilians to evacuate the operational zone in the northern half. Israeli Navy assets in the Mediterranean Sea and fighter jets pummeled Hamas targets in the city, including command-and-control sites, anti-tank missile launch sites, and military compounds. Hamas leadership is encamped in the city and operating out of densely populated areas, underground tunnels, and civilian infrastructure, including Al-Shifa Hospital, the enclave’s largest hospital. Infantry and armored vehicles began advancing into the city, and by November 8 had entered “the heart of Gaza City,” according to Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. 

Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) is conducting psychological operations meant to undermine Israeli resolve to root out and destroy Hamas and other terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip. Although most of the hostages are believed to be held by Hamas, PIJ has released a video of two Israeli hostages—a young boy and an elderly woman—whom the terrorist group says are in need of medical attention, claiming that it would trade the hostages if certain unspecified demands were met. PIJ took part in the October 7, 2023 terrorist attacks against Israel and is fighting the IDF alongside Hamas in the Gaza Strip. 

Counterterrorism Raids in the West Bank Neutralize Several Gunmen And Seize Arms And Equipment 

Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the IDF is focused on preventing terrorist groups from escalating attacks against Israel. On November 8, it conducted a raid targeting identified gunmen and a command center in the city of Jenin. This operation, which utilized drones for identifying and striking targets, neutralized several armed terrorists. According to the IDF, an underground tunnel housing explosives was located and destroyed, and weapons, ammunition, and military vehicles were confiscated. This raid came days after an elite counterterrorism unit killed four members of a terrorist cell in the West Bank, who were plotting attacks on Hamas’ orders.   

Lebanon and Hezbollah 

Hezbollah Launches Powerful Missile At Israel Amid Exchange Of Cross-Border Fire 

Israeli forces in northern Israel and Hezbollah have exchanged fire across the border on a near daily basis since Hezbollah Security-General Hassan Nasrallah last week issued threats of escalation if Israel continued its operations in the Gaza Strip. Israeli forces have been targeted with anti-tank missiles, mortars, and truck-launched rockets, and have been surveilled by Hezbollah’s drones. 

Hezbollah’s escalation, while limited, intensified on November 4. The group launched several powerful rockets from Ayta Al-Shaab and Rmeich, villages in southern Lebanon. Pro-Hezbollah news network Al-Mayadeen TV said that Hezbollah had fired two ‘Burkan’ rockets, which are capable of carrying heavy warheads, at Israeli military positions across the border. Hezbollah released a statement claiming to have scored direct hits. Israeli warplanes responded by striking Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, while its cross-border artillery and tank shelling against targets in southern Lebanon continued. 

On November 8, Reuters reported on Hezbollah’s advanced anti-ship capabilities, which could be used to strike U.S. Navy assets situated in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The anti-ship missile in question, known as the ‘Yakhont,’ is Russian-made and was acquired by Hezbollah following its deployment to the Syrian battlefield in defense of President Assad. 

Yemen and the Red Sea 

Houthis Shoot Down U.S. Drone Operating Over International Waters Off Coast Of Yemen 

According to the U.S. Department of Defense, the Houthis in Yemen shot down a U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone over international waters off the country’s coast. The drone’s primary function is intelligence collection, but it can also be used for precision strikes. The last time this happened was August 20, 2019. 

On November 9, the Israeli military reported that its ‘Arrow’ air defense system and Patriot battery intercepted a missile near the Red Sea, though it did not attribute blame to any specific terrorist group or indicate the launch point. A Houthi military spokesman claimed to have launched ballistic missiles at what he described as military targets in Eilat city, Israel, where the drone from Syria had hit. If true, this incident underscores the threatening range capability of Houthi ballistic missiles.