Saturday, June 22, 2024

Iran Update, June 22, 2024

Ashka Jhaveri, Kelly Campa, Alexandra Braverman, and Brian Carter

Information Cutoff: 2:00 pm ET

The Iran Update provides insights into Iranian and Iranian-sponsored activities abroad that undermine regional stability and threaten US forces and interests. It also covers events and trends that affect the stability and decision-making of the Iranian regime. The Critical Threats Project (CTP) at the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) provides these updates regularly based on regional events. Click here to see CTP and ISW’s interactive map of Israeli ground operations. This map is updated daily alongside the static maps present in this report. Click here to subscribe to the Iran Update.

CTP-ISW defines the “Axis of Resistance” as the unconventional alliance that Iran has cultivated in the Middle East since the Islamic Republic came to power in 1979. This transnational coalition is comprised of state, semi-state, and non-state actors that cooperate to secure their collective interests. Tehran considers itself to be both part of the alliance and its leader. Iran furnishes these groups with varying levels of financial, military, and political support in exchange for some degree of influence or control over their actions. Some are traditional proxies that are highly responsive to Iranian direction, while others are partners over which Iran exerts more limited influence. Members of the Axis of Resistance are united by their grand strategic objectives, which include eroding and eventually expelling American influence from the Middle East, destroying the Israeli state, or both. Pursuing these objectives and supporting the Axis of Resistance to those ends have become cornerstones of Iranian regional strategy.

We do not report in detail on war crimes because these activities are well-covered in Western media and do not directly affect the military operations we are assessing and forecasting. We utterly condemn violations of the laws of armed conflict and the Geneva Conventions and crimes against humanity even though we do not describe them in these reports.

CTP-ISW will publish abbreviated updates on June 22 and 23, 2024. Detailed coverage will resume on Monday, June 24, 2024.

Key Takeaways:

  • Northern Gaza Strip: The IDF reportedly attempted to target the fourth highest-ranking Hamas military commander in Gaza City.
  • Humanitarian Aid: An anonymous UN official said that unspecified armed groups regularly block aid convoys and hold aid drivers at gunpoint along the Israeli-declared humanitarian corridor east of Rafah.
  • West Bank: Israeli forces engaged Palestinian fighters in at least seven locations in the West Bank.
  • Southern Lebanon and Golan Heights: Lebanese Hezbollah conducted at least four attacks into northern Israel.
  • Yemen: The Houthis claimed two attacks targeting vessels in the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea.


Gaza Strip

Axis of Resistance objectives:

  • Erode the will of the Israeli political establishment and public to sustain clearing operations in the Gaza Strip
  • Reestablish Hamas as the governing authority in the Gaza Strip

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Air Force conducted airstrikes targeting Hamas infrastructure in two areas of Gaza City.[1] Palestinian sources, including the Hamas-controlled Government Media Office, reported that 38 bodies were brought to a local hospital after the strike in al Shati Camp.[2] Several people are still trapped under rubble at another targeted site in the Tuffah neighborhood.[3] Israeli Army Radio reported that the IDF was targeting a Hamas leader that it assesses as the fourth most important senior Hamas military commander, Raad Saad.[4] The outlet said that Saad evaded Israeli targeting at al Shifa Hospital when the IDF returned in March 2024 targeting Hamas forces who had regrouped there.[5] The IDF has not confirmed the target of the strikes at the time of this writing.[6]

The IDF 99th Division continued operations along the Netzarim Corridor south of Gaza City on June 22. The IDF 3rd Brigade directed an airstrike targeting armed Palestinian fighters nearby.[7] Three Palestinian militias separately fired rockets and mortars targeting Israeli forces along the corridor.[8]

Israeli forces continued clearing operations in Rafah on June 22. The IDF Nahal Brigade killed several Palestinian fighters with sniper fire and directed airstrikes.[9] Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine fighters fired a rocket-propelled grenade at an Israeli armored personnel carrier in Tal al Sultan.[10] Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) fighters mortared Israeli forces near the Rafah crossing.[11]

An anonymous UN official said that unspecified armed groups regularly block aid convoys and hold aid drivers at gunpoint along the Israeli-declared humanitarian corridor east of Rafah.[12] The IDF announced on June 16 that it would observe daily tactical pauses along the route to increase humanitarian aid delivery into the southern Gaza Strip.[13] An anonymous UN official told the Associated Press that armed groups regularly block aid convoys, search the cargo, and hold drivers at gunpoint.[14] The official noted no signs of Israeli activity along the route. The armed groups have recently moved closer to the border crossing and set up roadblocks to stop trucks carrying supplies. Israel and the UN have struggled to agree on who should escort aid convoys, as many local Palestinian policemen refused to continue serving after Israeli airstrikes killed several of them in Rafah.[15] The Palestinian police force answers to Hamas.[16] The United States has warned Israel that a “total breakdown of law and order” is exacerbating the humanitarian crisis in the strip.[17]

The IDF reported on June 22 that there were reports of gunfire near World Food Programme (WFP) teams on the humanitarian corridor east of Rafah.[18] The IDF said that its forces targeted Palestinian fighters who posed a threat in the area and clarified that the IDF did not target the WFP teams.[19] The IDF is separately investigating reports that its forces shot into the Mawasi humanitarian zone.[20]

PIJ fighters fired rockets from Rafah into southern Israel on June 22.[21] Israeli media reported that two rockets fell near Sufa.[22]

Recorded reports of attacks; CTP-ISW cannot independently verify impact.

West Bank

Axis of Resistance objectives:

  • Establish the West Bank as a viable front against Israel

Israeli forces have engaged Palestinian fighters in at least seven locations in the West Bank since CTP-ISW's last data cutoff on June 21.[23] The al Quds Brigades engaged Israeli forces with small arms and detonated IEDs in Jabriyat, Jenin.[24] The al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades engaged Israeli forces with small arms and detonated IEDs in al Ain and Balata refugee camps, near Nablus.[25]

Unknown gunmen shot and killed an Israeli civilian in Qalqilya city on June 22.[26] Israeli forces entered Qalqilya to investigate the incident and imposed a security cordon in the city.[27] The IDF said that the incident is likely “nationalist-motivated.“[28] Hamas praised the attack.[29]

This map is not an exhaustive depiction of clashes and demonstrations in the West Bank.

Southern Lebanon and Golan Heights

Axis of Resistance objectives:

  • Deter Israel from conducting a ground operation into Lebanon
  • Prepare for an expanded and protracted conflict with Israel in the near term
  • Expel the United States from Syria

Lebanese Hezbollah has conducted at least four attacks into northern Israel since CTP-ISW's last data cutoff on June 21.[30] Hezbollah launched two anti-tank missiles at IDF soldiers in Manara in northern Israel on June 22.[31]  The IDF reported that the missiles landed in open areas in Manara and caused a fire.[32]

Hezbollah launched two anti-tank guided missiles at Metula in northern Israel on June 22.[33] The missiles caused fires in the surrounding area.[34] Israeli media reported the missiles hit two houses in Metula but did not cause any casualties.[35]

The IDF killed a key Hamas weapons supplier, Ayman Ghatma, in Khiara, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon in a drone strike on June 22.[36] The IDF stated that Ghatma was responsible for weapons transfers to Hamas and al Jamaa al Islamiyah in Lebanon. The strike occurred 40 kilometers from the Israeli border.[37]

Recorded reports of attacks; CTP-ISW cannot independently verify impact.

Iran and Axis of Resistance

The Houthis claimed on June 22 two attacks targeting vessels in the Arabian Sea and the Red Sea.[38] Houthi spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yahya Sarea stated that the Houthis fired ballistic missiles targeting the bulk carrier Transworld Navigator in the Arabian Sea. Sarea also said that the Houthis fired ballistic and cruise missiles targeting the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the northern Red Sea. United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported explosions near a vessel east of Aden, Yemen.[39]





[4]; https://www.timesofisrael dot com/liveblog_entry/senior-hamas-commander-raad-saad-reportedly-targeted-in-gaza-city-strike


























[30] ; ; ;

[31] ;





[36] ; https://www.jpost dot com/breaking-news/article-807222