The Shadow War Between Iran And Israel Has Been Exposed. What Happens Next?

BEIRUT (AP) — Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel early Sunday marked a change in approach for Tehran, which had relied on proxies across the Middle East since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October. All eyes are now on whether Israel chooses to take further military action, while Washington seeks diplomatic measures instead to

Powered by NewsAPI , in Liberal Perspective on .

news image

BEIRUT (AP) — Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel early Sunday marked a change in approach for Tehran, which had relied on proxies across the Middle East since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October. All eyes are now on whether Israel chooses to take further military action, while Washington seeks diplomatic measures instead to ease regional tensions.

Iran says the attack was in response to an airstrike widely blamed on Israel that destroyed what Iran says were consular offices in Syria and killed two generals with its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard earlier this month.

Israel said almost all the over 3srcsrc drones and missiles launched overnight by Iran were shot down by its anti-missile defense system, backed by the U.S. and Britain. The sole reported casualty was a wounded girl in southern Israel, and a missile struck an Israeli airbase, causing light damage.

Still, the chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard called the operation successful.

Iran has managed to strike a balance between retaliating publicly for the strike in Damascus and avoiding provoking further Israeli military action leading to a much wider conflict, said Mona Yacoubian, vice president of the Middle East and North Africa center at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

“Both (Iran and Israel) are able at this point to claim victory and step down off the precipice, particularly since there were no Israeli civilians killed,” Yacoubian said.

The world was still waiting, however, for the result of an Israeli War Cabinet meeting on Sunday. Israeli hard-liners have pushed for a response, but others have suggested restraint, saying Israel should focus on strengthening budding ties with Arab partners.

“We will build a regional coalition and collect the price from Iran, in the way and at the time that suits us,” said Benny Gantz, a member of the War Cabinet.

Analysts say Iran sent a message that it would be willing to escalate and change its rules of engagement in its shadow war with Israel.

“It’s a warning shot, saying that if Israel breaks the rules, there are consequences,” said Magnus Ranstorp, strategic adviser at the Swedish Defense University.

Iran’s attack has further stoked fears of the war in Gaza causing regional havoc.

But Iran maintains that it does not seek all-out war across the region. Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said in a post on X, formerly Twitter, that Iran has “no intention of continuing defensive operations” at this point unless it is attacked.

Iran stressed that it targeted Israeli facilities involved in the Damascus attack, not civilians or “economic areas.”

After Israel began its offensive in Gaza against Hamas, Iran-backed groups were involved militarily while Tehran sat on the sidelines. Lebanon’s Hezbollah group fired rockets into northern Israel. Yemen’s Houthi rebels attacked Western ships on the Red Sea. An umbrella group of Iran-backed Iraqi militias attacked U.S. military positions in Iraq and Syria.

Now, Tehran is “willing to up the ante” without relying on proxies, said the director of the Carnegie Middle East Center, Maha Yahya.

Still, Iran only went so far.

“They gave enough warning that this was coming, and I think they knew that they (the drones and missiles) would be brought down before they reached Israeli territory,” Yahya said.

She also noted that the recent mounting pressure on Israel over its conduct in Gaza has now shifted to deescalating regional tensions instead.

Israel taking further military action does not seem popular among its allies including the United States, said Eldad Shavit, who heads the Israel-U.S. Research Program at Israeli think tank the Institute for National Security Studies.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby told NBC that President Joe Biden does not want an escalation in the regional conflict or a “wider war” with Iran, and is “working on the diplomatic side of this personally.”

Urgent meetings of the G7 — the informal gathering of industrialized countries that includes the United States, United Kingdom, and France — and the U.N. Security Council were being held Sunday.

G7 meeting participants in a statement unanimously condemned Iran’s attack, saying “we stand ready to take further measures now and in response to further destabilizing initiatives.”

___

Associated Press writers Josef Federman in Jerusalem, Abby Sewell in Beirut, Amir Vahdat in Tehran and Thomas Adamson in Paris contributed to this report.

Support HuffPost

Our 2src24 Coverage Needs You

Your Loyalty Means The World To Us

At HuffPost, we believe that everyone needs high-quality journalism, but we understand that not everyone can afford to pay for expensive news subscriptions. That is why we are committed to providing deeply reported, carefully fact-checked news that is freely accessible to everyone.

Whether you come to HuffPost for updates on the 2src24 presidential race, hard-hitting investigations into critical issues facing our country today, or trending stories that make you laugh, we appreciate you. The truth is, news costs money to produce, and we are proud that we have never put our stories behind an expensive paywall.

Would you join us to help keep our stories free for all? Your contribution of as little as $2 will go a long way.

Can’t afford to donate? Support HuffPost by creating a free account and log in while you read.

As Americans head to the polls in 2src24, the very future of our country is at stake. At HuffPost, we believe that a free press is critical to creating well-informed voters. That’s why our journalism is free for everyone, even though other newsrooms retreat behind expensive paywalls.

Our journalists will continue to cover the twists and turns during this historic presidential election. With your help, we’ll bring you hard-hitting investigations, well-researched analysis and timely takes you can’t find elsewhere. Reporting in this current political climate is a responsibility we do not take lightly, and we thank you for your support.

Contribute as little as $2 to keep our news free for all.

Can’t afford to donate? Support HuffPost by creating a free account and log in while you read.

Dear HuffPost Reader

Thank you for your past contribution to HuffPost. We are sincerely grateful for readers like you who help us ensure that we can keep our journalism free for everyone.

The stakes are high this year, and our 2src24 coverage could use continued support. Would you consider becoming a regular HuffPost contributor?

Dear HuffPost Reader

Thank you for your past contribution to HuffPost. We are sincerely grateful for readers like you who help us ensure that we can keep our journalism free for everyone.

The stakes are high this year, and our 2src24 coverage could use continued support. If circumstances have changed since you last contributed, we hope you’ll consider contributing to HuffPost once more.

Support HuffPost

Already contributed? Log in to hide these messages.

Related

IsraelMiddle Easttehran

Read More