May 30, 2024

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Why did Iran attack Israel and what comes next?

Why did Iran attack Israel and what comes next?



CNN

Wave of drones and missiles that Headed towards Israel overnight Sunday brought with it a new phase of tension, uncertainty and confrontation in the Middle East.

Iran launched The unprecedented attack In response to a suspected Israeli raid on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, earlier this month.

This represents a new chapter in the dispute between the two countries, which has worsened for years and escalated since Israel declared war on Hamas last October.

The next steps are still unclear, but Israel is facing appeals from its allies to step back from the brink of open war and choose the path of de-escalation.

Here's what you need to know.

More than 300 missiles – including about 170 drones and more than 120 ballistic missiles – were fired towards Israel in the massive air assault overnight.

However, “99%” of them were intercepted by Israeli and allied air defense systems, according to the IDF, with only a small number of them reaching Israeli territory.

An Iranian army official said on Sunday that the attack launched by Tehran targeted the Nevatim air base, claiming that this is where Israeli forces are located. Attack on the Iranian consulate in early April I started from.

Daniel Hagari, a spokesman for the Israeli army, said that the Iranian ballistic missiles that arrived in Israel fell on the air base in the south of the country and caused only minor structural damage. Hajri added that the base is operating and continues its operations after the attack, with aircraft continuing to use the base.

A senior US military official told reporters on Sunday that the United States assessed that “there is no significant damage within Israel itself.”

American ships in the eastern Mediterranean destroyed between four and six Iranian ballistic missiles during the attack, and aircraft in the region shot down more than 70 Iranian drones in one direction heading toward Israel. The official said that the US Army's Patriot missile battery shot down a ballistic missile in the vicinity of the city of Erbil in Iraq.

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Israel and Iran are long-time rivals and have been engaged in a shadow war for years.

Israel's war on Hamas, which the armed group has waged since it attacked Israel on October 7, has exacerbated those tensions.

Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria launched attacks targeting American military sites in those countries, and the Iranian leadership did so It warned of attacks launched by its allies It will not stop until the Israeli war in Gaza ends.

But fears of an escalating regional war rose further in early April, when Iran accused Israel of doing so. Its diplomatic compound was bombed in Syria.

Watch this interactive content on CNN.com

That air raid The Iranian Foreign Ministry said at the time that the attack destroyed the consulate building in the capital, Damascus, killing at least seven officials, including Mohammad Reza Zahedi, the supreme commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and senior commander Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi.

Zahedi, the former commander of the IRGC's ground and air forces and deputy commander of its operations, was the most prominent Iranian target killed since then-US President Donald Trump ordered the assassination of IRGC General Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad in 2018. 2020.

Iran's Islamic Republic News Agency reported that Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Israel would be punished for the attack, while President Ebrahim Raisi said the attack “will not go unanswered.” The Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah group said the strike would be met with “punishment and retaliation.”

Since then, the region has remained in a state of tension, with the US and Israel warning of intelligence that an Iranian attack was imminent.

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How did Israel and its allies respond to the Iranian strike?

Israel responded angrily to the unprecedented strikes, while praising its army's response.

Defense Minister Yoav Galant said the attack was “thwarted in an unparalleled way,” but added, “We have to be prepared for every scenario.” In his first statements, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “We intercepted and contained. “Together we will win.”

But Israel's allies in the West urged the country to work to calm the crisis rather than respond in a way that could turn the situation into open war.

US President Joe Biden spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, and made it clear that the United States would not participate in any offensive operations against Iran, a senior official in the White House administration told CNN.

Biden told Netanyahu that he should consider Saturday night's events a “victory” because the Iranian attacks were largely unsuccessful, and instead… Proven “Israel’s remarkable ability to defend against and defeat unprecedented attacks.”

After a virtual meeting on Sunday, G7 leaders in a joint statement condemned the Iranian attack, which they said “risks provoking uncontrollable regional escalation.”

They said: “We call on Iran and its proxies to stop their attacks, and we are prepared to take further measures now in response to further destabilizing initiatives.”

02:29- Source: CNN

Listen to what a White House official says Biden told Netanyahu

The decisions taken by the Israeli War Council will determine the immediate next steps.

One of the members, Benny Gantz, said that Israel “will exact a price from Iran in a way and at a time that suits us.”

Hard-liners in the Israeli government called for firm action. Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich urged a response that would “reverberate throughout the Middle East,” and National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir said Israel should “go crazy.”

The hours-long war cabinet meeting on Sunday ended without a decision on how Israel would respond, according to an Israeli official.

The official said that the war government was determined to respond, but had not yet decided on the timing and scope. One of the main dilemmas facing the government is determining how quickly Israel should respond. The official said that the Israeli army was tasked with coming up with additional options for response.

Israel has informed the United States that it “is not seeking a major escalation with Iran,” a senior Biden administration official told reporters on Sunday.

“They are looking to protect themselves and defend themselves,” the official said.

On Sunday, Iran said a “new equation” in its hostile relationship with Israel had opened, and warned of a “much greater” attack on the country if Netanyahu decided to launch a tit-for-tat attack.

The Commander of the Faithful said: “We have decided to create a new equation, which is that if the Zionist regime attacks from now on our interests, assets, personalities and citizens, anywhere and at any time, we will take revenge on them.” Hossein Salami, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, told Iranian state television. “Zionist regime” is a term used by Iran to refer to Israel.