The Israeli military has warned that Iran is behind an uptick in attacks against Israel on four fronts beyond the Gaza Strip, creating major difficulties in the long-term effort to shore up the country’s security on multiple fronts.

While the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) campaign against the Palestinian Hamas movement and allied factions in Gaza continues, well-armed militias aligned with Iran’s “Axis of Resistance” in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and Yemen have continued to strike targets within Israel, putting further pressure on the country’s defense systems.

With the Hezbollah movement carrying out daily operations against northern Israel from Lebanon and, at times, neighboring Syria, a coalition of militias calling itself the Islamic Resistance in Iraq has expanded attacks, claiming multiple strikes against key installations in Tel Aviv, while Yemen’s Ansar Allah, also known as the Houthis, have struck the southern port city of Eilat with growing frequency.

IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari argued on Monday that Israel’s top foe, Iran, was at the heart of these campaigns and that “this war is not just against Hamas.”

“The connection between Hezbollah, the Houthis, the militias in Iraq, Syria, some militias in Syria and not just militias in Syria: all controlled by Iran,” Hagari said in response to Newsweek‘s question during a briefing.

“Iran in a very sophisticated way has occupied Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and Syria, using those countries to wage war against Israel, but not just against Israel, it’s against Sunni countries and also against innocent civilians of the Western world.”

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Protesters chant in solidarity with Palestinians and in support of attacks by Yemen’s Ansar Allah, or Houthis, against Israel and commercial vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, on March 22, in Sanaa.

Mohammed Hamoud/Getty Images

Newsweek has reached out to the Iranian Mission to the United Nations for comment.

Iranian officials have repeatedly denied exerting command or control over various “Axis of Resistance” militias in the region but have lauded their actions, particularly since the Hamas-led attack on Israel that sparked the war in Gaza on October 7, 2023.

“Wherever it is in the region, be it in Yemen, Iraq, Syria or Lebanon, any measure that is taken by the fighting and brave resistance forces, the Americans will attribute it to Iran,” Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei said during a Persian New Year address on Wednesday. “This shows that they do not understand the people of the region and the brave, determined youth. This miscalculation will surely bring America to its knees.

“We defend the resistance, we support and assist resistance groups as much as possible and praise their work, but they are the ones who are making the decisions and taking action and, in this move, they are right. We believe that through the existence of the Zionist regime, a great oppression is being carried out in the region; this is a great oppression that has been ongoing for decades; this oppression must be stopped.”

With growing concerns over another full-scale war erupting on the northern border, Hezbollah claimed at least six attacks on northern Israel on Monday, including sites at “Bayad Blida,” the headquarters of the IDF’s “Liman Brigade” and “Tel Al-Tayhat.”

The strikes, according to the group, were carried out “in support of our steadfast Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and in support of their valiant and honorable resistance.”

The IDF reported on 15 overnight launches from Lebanon toward a military post near the border kibbutz of Manara, as well as new alerts on Monday. Israeli fighter jets were also said to have targeted Hezbollah positions at Mays al-Jabal in southern Lebanon.

Reports also emerged in recent days from local media outlets on new IDF airstrikes in Syria, allegedly targeting Hezbollah positions. The IDF often neither confirms nor denies its role in a years-long campaign of attacks in Syria sometimes referred to as the “war between wars,” in which Iranian officials have recently vowed to step up efforts to boost Syria’s air defenses.

In response to the IDF’s establishment of a new mountaineer unit known as the “Heharim Brigade” set to be tasked with operations on Israel’s disputed borders with Lebanon and Syria, a Hezbollah spokesperson recently told Newsweek that the group was “ready to resist all possibilities and any changes” on the frontlines.

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A still from footage released March 24 by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq purports to show a drone attack from an undisclosed location targeting the headquarters of the Israeli Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv.

Islamic Resistance in Iraq War Media

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq on Sunday announced its latest attack against Israel, claiming to have struck the Israeli Defense Ministry’s headquarters in Tel Aviv. The group, which has largely paused its campaign against U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria since hostilities came to a head in February after facing airstrikes over the deaths of U.S. soldiers on the Jordan-Syria border, has stepped up direct attacks against Israel throughout the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

“This specific operation comes during these blessed nights to confirm our continuation in destroying enemy strongholds and our completion of the second phase of resistance operations against the occupation,” the Islamic Resistance in Iraq said in a statement, “which will escalate during the holy month of Ramadan, in support of our people in Gaza, and in response to the Zionist massacres against defenseless Palestinian civilians.”

Days earlier, on Tuesday, Ansar Allah military spokesperson Yahya Saree announced that the group’s forces had targeted Eilat, known in Arabic as Umm al-Rashrash, with a number of cruise missiles. The group has also pressed on with regular attacks on merchant vessels accused of ties to Israel in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden in spite of repeated joint U.S.-U.K. airstrikes against military sites in Yemen.

Hagari argued that this campaign was “showing the escalation in the region and who is responsible.”

“Iran is providing weapons to Hezbollah, to the Houthis, providing intelligence to Hezbollah, to the Houthis, to the militias in Iraq to the Syrians,” Hagari told Newsweek. “They are giving them cash to create this terror. When you look only at Gaza, you don’t see the big picture is very troubling.

“I think in the end state of this war, we need to make sure that Israel’s borders are safe, and Hezbollah is pushed back from the border. Israel is a different country after the seventh of October, we’re not the same country, we’re not the same army.”