War in the Middle East: Suspected Israeli attack in Iran

War in the Middle East: Suspected Israeli attack in Iran

In the middle of the night, Iran’s air defenses are activated. There are initially no reports of damage following a suspected Israeli attack. How will Tehran react?

Israel has carried out a retaliatory operation against Iran in response to a major attack last weekend, despite international warnings. The New York Times cited two unnamed Israeli and three Iranian government employees.

As CNN, ABC News, Fox News and other media outlets reported, Israel carried out a military operation in Iran on Friday night. One or more Israeli missiles attacked a target in Iran. There have been no reports of damage so far. Israel and the US Defense Department have not yet commented. Iran’s state media rejected reports of missile attacks.

It remains to be seen whether and how Iran will react and whether hostilities will continue to escalate or whether there are signs of de-escalation. Iran’s military leadership initially announced an investigation. According to US media reports, the Iranian leadership is trying to downplay the attack.

Out of concern about a new major war in the Middle East, the USA, Great Britain, Germany and other countries have tried in recent days to put pressure on Israel’s government to refrain from attacking Iranian soil because of the threat of escalation.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz once again warned of further escalation in the Middle East. “Everyone must ensure now and in the near future that there is no further escalation of the war,” he said. Germany represents this position together with its allies. Representatives of Arab states made similar statements.

Iran’s state media rejected reports of missile attacks. The state news agency Irna reported that it was not a widespread attack. “A few hours ago, several small flying objects were spotted and hit in the sky of Isfahan,” a reporter said on a live broadcast on state television. Air traffic, which was briefly interrupted, has been resumed. At the same time, the Iranian government rejected reports that the country’s Security Council had met for an emergency meeting.

Over the weekend, Iran directly attacked Israel for the first time with more than 300 missiles and drones. The background to the Iranian missile and drone attacks was a suspected Israeli-led attack on the Iranian embassy compound in the Syrian capital Damascus, in which two generals of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard were killed at the beginning of April. Iran’s leadership then announced retaliation. In recent days, Iran’s military leadership has threatened a decisive response if Israel attacks Iran. Never before have the enemy countries been so close to war.

Expert: Attack was demonstration of military capabilities

According to a US media report, Israel wanted to show Tehran that it can attack targets in the country with the alleged air strike in Iran. The Israeli military carried out the attack in retaliation for Tehran’s drone and rocket fire last weekend, the Washington Post reported, citing an unnamed Israeli government official.

According to US military expert Cedric Leighton, Israel has proven that the Iranian air defense system does not have anywhere near the capabilities of the Israeli air defense system with the action, which was “clearly a direct response to the Iranian attacks over the weekend.”

CNN military expert Mark MacCarley said: “The Israelis had to retaliate, but that retaliation also carried a message that: Yes, we can do it. Don’t do it again. If you do it again, chaos will ensue. “

No Iranian nuclear facilities hit

CNN also reported that nuclear facilities were not the target of the attacks. The International Atomic Energy Agency also gave the all-clear. The organization in Vienna reported that no Iranian nuclear facilities were damaged. IAEA chief Rafael Grossi continues to “call on everyone to exercise extreme restraint,” said a statement on X, formerly Twitter. Nuclear facilities should never be targets in military conflicts, he emphasized.

According to the Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post, the attack targeted an air force base in Isfahan, not far from Iranian nuclear facilities. The message was unmistakable: “We have decided not to hit your nuclear facilities this time, but we could have done worse here,” unnamed sources told the newspaper.

Isfahan is known as a cultural city and center of the defense industry

According to state media, several small flying objects were shot at in the sky over the Iranian province of Isfahan during the night. There had previously been reports of an explosion near the city of the same name, Isfahan, which, according to state media, was triggered by air defenses. The explosion reportedly occurred near a military base. A general said the reason for the explosion was air defense. “We had no damage or incidents,” the officer explained.

Important facilities for the Iranian defense industry are located in Isfahan. The country’s largest nuclear research center is also located in the cultural city. According to the radio, there was no danger to the nuclear facilities there. At the end of January 2023, a Defense Ministry ammunition factory near the metropolis of Isfahan was attacked with several small aircraft in Iran. At the time, Iran blamed its arch-enemy Israel as the mastermind of the attack.

Shadow war between Israel and Iran now open conflict

In the past few months since the Gaza War began, the decades-old conflict between Israel and the Islamic Republic of Iran has escalated dramatically. The Jewish state finds itself under attack on multiple fronts following attacks by militias allied with Iran. Since the 1979 revolution, the USA and Israel have been considered archenemies of the Islamic Republic. Netanyahu has also described Iran as his “most important enemy” in the past.

In addition to the threat from a massive missile and drone arsenal, Israel also fears Iran’s controversial nuclear program. The US has repeatedly accused Tehran of seeking nuclear weapons. Iran denies the allegations and asserts that its nuclear program is used for purely civilian purposes. A religious legal opinion by Khamenei had banned weapons of mass destruction as incompatible with Islam.

Source: Stern

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