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Iran’s attack on Israel: success out of failure?

Posted by: The Conversation

Date: Tuesday, 16 April 2024

Over the weekend, Iran launched a massive attack on Israel, following through on its promise of retaliation for a deadly strike on its embassy in Damascus two weeks ago. The attack, which involved over 300 drones and missiles, has been widely deemed a failure, with Israel and its allies successfully intercepting 99% of the projectiles. But it may well turn out to be a strategic success. Gavin Hall says the timing of the strike appears to have been orchestrated to expose divisions within Israel and between Israel and its key ally, the US.

Relations between Israel and the US have been under strain in recent weeks. While the attack on Israel may have brought Washington back onside for now, it also increases pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resolve the hostage situation. This may possibly result in an acceleration of plans for an assault on Rafah in southern Gaza, a move that would sour US–Israel relations further.

For his part, Javed Ali argues that the Iranian attack was not about inflicting physical damage on Israel. It was more about Iran attempting to restore deterrence with Israel following the Damascus incident and showing strength to its domestic audience. And that it seems more likely that Tehran will seek to revert back to its unconventional warfare strategy of supporting its proxy axis of resistance.

Sam Phelps

Commissioning Editor, International Affairs

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Iran’s attack on Israel may have failed, but its timing was orchestrated to create maximum division.

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