Iran has retaliated directly against Israel for the killings of its senior generals in Damascus, Syria, with an onslaught of more than 300 drones and missiles aimed at restoring its credibility and deterrence, officials and analysts say.

That represents a moment of great risk, with key questions still to answer, they say. Has Iran’s attack been enough to satisfy its calls for revenge? Or given the relatively paltry results — almost all of the drones and missiles were intercepted by Israel and the United States — will it feel obligated to strike again? And will Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, see the strong performance by his country’s air defenses as a sufficient response? Or will he choose to escalate further with an attack on Iran itself?

Now that Iran has attacked Israel as it promised to do, it will want to avoid a broader war, the officials and analysts say, noting that the Iranians targeted only military sites in an apparent effort to avoid civilian casualties and advertised their attack well in advance.

“Iran’s government appears to have concluded that the Damascus strike was a strategic inflection point, where failure to retaliate would carry more downsides than benefits,” said Ali Vaez, the Iran director of the International Crisis Group. “But in doing so, the shadow war it has been waging with Israel for years now threatens to turn into a very real and very damaging conflict,” one that could drag in the United States, he said.

“The Iranians have for now played their card,” said Sanam Vakil, director of the Middle East and North Africa program at Chatham House. “They made a choice to call Israel’s bluff, and they felt they needed to do so, because they see the last six months as a persistent effort to set them back across the region.”

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Boy photographed playing in dust pile dies moments later: 'Tragic'

A 7-year-old boy in Brazil died moments after he played in a…

Army vet seeks to save Afghan commando stuck in Turkey, living in fear of Taliban

FIRST ON FOX: The U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021 marked…

Russian Missile Hits Zaporizhzhia, Ukraine, Killing 3

Three people were killed and nine others were injured after a Russian…

13 novelists announced as Booker Prize semifinalists

Author Sebastian Barry, who has received four previous nominations for the Booker…