08 Jun

Introduction :

  • Iran launched its first-ever direct assault on Israeli territory late on 13-04-2024 in retaliation for a deadly Damascus strike, marking a major escalation of the long-running covert war between the regional foes.
  • Its proxies and allies also carried out coordinated attacks on Israeli positions as sirens sounded in many places and AFP correspondents heard blasts in the skies above Jerusalem early on 14-04-2024.
  • Israeli army says at least 12 injured, including 7-year-old; "minor damage" to air base.
  • Iran had repeatedly threatened to strike Israel in retaliation for a deadly air strike on 01-04-2024 on its Damascus consulate building.
  • The attack, according to the mission, was "conducted on the strength of Article 51 of the UN Charter pertaining to legitimate defence".
  • "If necessary", Tehran "will not hesitate to take defensive measures to protect its interests against any aggressive military action," Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.
  • Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles (ballistic missiles) towards Israel late on Saturday, injuring 12 people, the Israeli army said.

Reason behind attack :

  1. Iran says recent bombardment of Israel is a response to the 1 April airstrike on an Iranian consulate building in the Syrian capital Damascus, which killed senior Iranian commanders.
  2. Iran blames Israel for the air strike, which it saw as a violation of its sovereignty. Israel has not said it carried it out but is widely assumed to have done so.
  3. Thirteen people were killed, including Brig Gen Mohammad Reza Zahedi- a senior commander in the Quds force, the overseas branch of Iran's elite Republican Guards (IFRGC). He had been a key figure in the Iranian operation to arm the Lebanese Shia armed group Hezbollah.
  4. The IRGC channels arms and equipment, including high precision missiles, through Syria to Hezbollah. Israel is trying to stop these deliveries, as well as seeking to prevent Iran from strengthening its military presence in Syria.

Iran-Israel Relations since 1979 :

  1. The two countries were allies until the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran, which brought in a regime that has used opposing Israel as a key part of its ideology.
  2. Iran does not recognize lsrael's right to exist and seeks its eradication
  3. The country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has previously called Israel a "cancerous tumor" that "will undoubtedly be up rooted and destroyed".
  4. Israel believes that Iran poses an existential threat as evidenced by Tehran's rhetoric, its build-up of proxy forces sworn to Israel's destruction, its funding and arming of Palestinian groups including Hamas and of the Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah, and what it believes is Iran's secret pursuit of nuclear weapons, though Iran denies seeking to build a nuclear bomb.
  5. Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has frequently called for Israel's destruction and made support for the Palestinian cause a center piece of its foreign policy.
  6. But had refrained from directly striking Israel until 13-04-2024, an attack on a scale which appeared to catch many in the international community by surprise.
  7. For decades, Iran relied on a network of allied groups to exert its influence in the region and to deter Israel and the United States, according to experts.
  8. A 2020 report by the Washington Institute said that Tehran had adopted a policy of "strategic patience", which had "served it well since the inception of the Islamic republic in 1979".
  9. Former moderate president Hassan Rouhani was a staunch defender of the strategy, especially following Washington's 2018 withdrawal from a landmark nuclear deal, advocating for Tehran not to take immediate counter measures and taking a longer view.
  10. Even after the 2020 US killing of Qasim Soleimani, an IRGC commander revered in Iran, Tehran gave prior warning to Washington, US sources said, before it launched missiles against two American bases in Iraq, and no soldiers were killed in the attack.
  11. After recent attack on Israel, Guards chief Hossein Salami also said Iran was "creating a new equation" by creating new allies.

Who are Iran's allies?

  • Iran has built up a network of allies and proxy forces in the Middle East that it says form part of an "axis of resistance" challenging US and Israeli interests in the region. It supports them to varying degrees.
  • Syria is Iran's most important ally. Iran, along with Russia, helped the Syrian government of Bashar a-Assad survive the country's decade-long civil war.
  • Hezbollah in Lebanon is the most powerful of the armed groups Iran backs. It has been trading cross-border fire with Israel on an almost daily basis since war erupted between Israel and Hamas. Tens of thousand of civilians on both sides of the border have been forced to leave their homes.
  • Iran backs several Shia militias in Iraq which have attacked US bases in Iraq, Syria and Jordan with rocket fire. The US retaliated after three of its soldiers were killed at a military outpost in Jordan.
  • In Yemen, Iran provides support to the Houthi movement, which controls the most populated areas of the country. To show support for Hamas in Gaza, the Houthis have fired missiles and drones at Israel and have also been attacking commercial shipping near its shores, sinking at least one vessel.
  • Iran also provides weapons and training to Palestinian armed groups including Hamas, which attacked Israel on 7 October 2023, sparking the current war in Gaza and the confrontations drawing in Iran, its proxies and lsrael's allies in the wider Middle East. However, ran denies any role in the 7 October attack itself
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Operation 'True Promises' :

  • Iran' s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) launched "extensive" retaliatory drone and missile strikes - as part of what they called the Operation True Promise against "certain targets" inside Israel.
  • "Iran fired over 3O0 ballistic missiles, UAVs and cruise missiles towards Israel, " military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told a televised statement, revising an earlier figure of more than 200 launches.
  • Hagari said 170 drones and 30 cruise missiles were lunched, none of which entered Israeli territory, adding that 10 ballistic missiles were also fired and few of them reached Israel.
  • In a separate statement, the Israeli military said that "dozens of surface-to-surface missile launches" were identified, with the majority intercepted before crossing into Israeli territory.
  • Israel's military claimed it had intercepted 99 per cent of the aerial threats with the help of the United States and other allies, and that the attack caused only minor damage.

Attack foiled' or achieved its objectives :

According to Israel :

  • Israeli military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said that 99 percent of the launches had been intercepted, declaring that “the Iranian attack was foiled".
  • While 170 drones and 30 cruise missiles were shot down before they reached Israel, a few of the 110 ballistic missiles did get through, Israeli army said.

According to Iran :

  • The Iranian army declared that its attack was "completed successfully, " which it said was in "self-defence". "Operation Honest Promise... achieved al its objectives", said Iranian army chief Mohammad Bagheri.
  • He said the attack targeted an intelligence centre and the airbase from which Tehran says Israeli F-35 jets took off to strike the Damascus consulate. "Both these centres were significantly destroyed, " he said, though Israeli claim the attack only resulted in minor damage.

US reaction on recent escalation between Iran and Israel :

  1. The United States said on 14-04-2024, it will not join any lsraeli counter attack on Iran. The White House said Mr. Biden did not want a wider war after helping key ally Israel repel a massive aerial attack by Tehran - itself in retaliation for a presumed Israeli strike that killed senior Iranian military officers in Damascus.
  2. Iran's foreign minister on 14-04-2023 said Tehran had informed the United States and gave a 72-hour warning to neighbouring countries of its retaliatory attack on Israel.
  3. "We announced... to the White House in a message that our operations will be limited, minimal and will be aimed at punishing the Israeli regime," said Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.
  4. The US said at the UN Security Council on Sunday 14h April, id Iran attacked US targets or launched further attacks on Israel, it Would beheld responsible.
  5. The US condemns in the strongest terms the unprecedented attacks on Israel by Iran and its proxies and partners.
  6. The US also "supports Israel's inherent right to defend itself in the face of these attacks."
  7. However, Iran warned Israel and the US of a much larger response if there is any counter attack for its recent retaliation, as Israel said "the campaign is not over yet".

World response on Israel encirclement by Iran :

Countries around the world condemned Iran's strikes on Israel, warning the attack could further destabilize the Middle East. Here are some of the main reactions:

United Nations:

  • UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned "the serious escalation'". I am deeply alarmed about the very real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation, " he added, calling on parties to "avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East".

European Union

  • President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen called on Iran to "immediately cease" attacks, saying in a message on X, formerly Twitter, that "all actors must now refrain from further escalation and work to restore stability in the region".
  • Foreign policy chief Josep Barrel said the block "condemns in the strongest terms" the attack, calling it "an unprecedented escalation and a threat to regional security."


  • The G7 group expressed its "full solidarity and support to Israel and its people and reaffirm our commitment towards its security", the group said in a statement following video talks.
  • "We demand that Iran and its proxies cease their attacks, and west and ready to take further measures now and in response to further destabilizing initiatives", it said.


  • NATO spokesperson Farah Dakhlallah said the military alliance condemned Iran's attack and is monitoring developments closely", warning it is "vital that the conflict in the Middle East does not spiral out of control".


  • Beijing also urged restraint, calling the attack "the latest spillover of the Gaza conflict" and calling for the implementation of a recent UN Security Council resolution demanding a cease fire.
  • "China calls on the international community, especially countries with influence, to play a constructive role for the peace and stability of the region," it added.

United States

  • US President Joe Biden promised "ironclad" support for Israel after holding an urgent meeting with top security officials.
  • "Our commitment to Israel's security against threats from Iran and its proxies is ironclad, " Biden said on X, posting a picture of the meeting in the White House Situation Room.
  • White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on NBC's "Meet the Press" later that "we don't want to see this escalate". "We're not looking for a wider war with Iran", he said.


  • UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned the "reckless" strikes, which he said "risk inflaming tensions and destabilizing the region". He called for "calm heads to prevail" and added Britain will "be working with our allies to de-escalate the situation".


  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Ottawa "unequivocally condemns Iran' s airborne attacks", adding: "We stand with Israel.


  • Cairo expressed "deep concern" at the escalation of hostilities and called for "maximum restraint". The foreign ministry also warned of the "risk of the regional expansion of the conflict", and added Egypt would be "in direct contact with all parties to the conflict to try and contain the situation".


  • French President Emmanuel Macron said on X: "I condemn in the strongest terms the unprecedented attack launched by Iran against Israel, which carries the risk of destabilizing the region."


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz condemned the Iranian attack as "irresponsible and unjustifiable", his spokesman said.


Indonesia's foreign ministry said it was "deeply concerned" and called on the UN Security Council "to act immediately to de-escalate tensions and continue working towards lasting peace in the Middle East, including by ending the illegal occupation of Palestine and various violations of international law by lsrael.


Iraq's President Abdel Latif Rashid called for a "reduction of tensions", warned against the "spread of conflict" and emphasized "the need to stop the aggression against the Gaza Strip and to find a solution to the Palestinian question, given this is a fundamental element to the stability of the region".


Qatar expressed "deep concern" following the strikes and called on "all parties to halt escalation" and "exercise maximum restraint". The gas-rich emirate, which has been engaged in weeks of talks with Israel and Hamas, urged the international community to "take urgent action to defuse the tension and de-escalate."


Moscow expressed "extreme concern over the latest dangerous escalation in the region" and urged all sides to "show restraint".

"We are counting on the regional states to solve the existing problems with political and diplomatic means," the foreign ministry said.

Saudi Arabia

 The Saudi foreign ministry called on "all parties to exercise utmost restraint and spare the region and its peoples from the dangers of War".

It urged the UN Security Council "to assume its responsibility towards maintaining international peace and security".

South Africa

"South Africa has continuously stressed that irrespective of whether states believe that their use of force is lawful, it is never wise to resort to war as inevitably, it is ordinary people who bear the brunt of conflict", its foreign ministry said in a statement.


Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez called for restraint, saying Madrid "will always condemn all forms of violence which threaten the security and the well-being of innocent civilians.


Turkiye' s foreign ministry called on all sides to refrain from further escalation. Israel's attack against the Iranian embassy in Damascus, contrary to international law, provoked our concern. The Iranian reprisal showed yet again that events can quickly transform into a regional war", it said in a statement.


Pakistan said it was watching the ongoing developments in the Middle East with "deep concern" and called for "utmost restraint".

In a statement, the Foreign Office emphasized "for months, Pakistan has underlined the necessity of international efforts to prevent expansion of hostilities in the region and for a ceasefire in Gaza"

It recalled its earlier statement where in it had "pointed to the dangers of the attack on an Iranian consular office in Syria as a major escalation in an already volatile region".

Need of De-escalation:

Meanwhile, world leaders have urged restraint and de-escalation. During a phone call with Raisi, Russian President VIadmir Putin called on both sides to show reasonable restraint and prevent a new round of confrontation, " the Kremlin said in readout of the call. He warned that further escalation in the Middle East could have "catastrophic consequences".

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that lsraeľ's Netanyahu and the Israeli leadership are solely responsible for the recent escalation of tensions. "Israel is trying to provoke a regional conflict, and its attack on Iran's embassy in Damascus was the last drop," he told a press conference in Ankara after a cabinet meeting.

He added that new regional conflicts were possible as long as the "cruelty and genocide" in Gaza continued, and called on all parties to act with common sense.

US President Joe Biden stressed that "the United States is committed to Israel's security" and wants to prevent the conflict from spreading.

Washington, Israel's top ally and arms supplier, has made clear it will not join Israel in any attack on their common adversary Iran, a senior US official said.

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