Home World wide Western allies call on Israel to avoid escalation
World wide - April 15, 2024

Western allies call on Israel to avoid escalation

Iran attacks Israel with over 300 drones, missiles

Industry Desk : Israel’s allies have urged it to avoid any escalation, as it considers a response to Iran’s unprecedented missile and drone attack.
Israel’s Western allies, including France, Germany and Britain, have appealed for Israel to show restraint, warning over further escalation in the region.
Iran has launched a massive aerial attack on Israel, two weeks after a deadly strike on its consulate in Syria.
Iran unleashed a barrage of missiles and drones on Saturday and during the early hours of Sunday, targeting Israel in retaliation for last week’s suspected Israeli strike on its consulate in Damascus that killed 13 people, report Al Jazeera and Star.
Russia, which is more closely aligned with Iran, also warned that further escalation is “in no one’s interests”, as China’s foreign ministry also called for calm.
But an Israeli government spokesman said it’s “up to Israel to decide how to defend its people” ahead of the country’s war cabinet meeting this afternoon.
David Cameron, the UK foreign secretary, tells the BBC Iran’s attack had almost entirely failed, and Israel should be “smart as well as tough”.
The UK Foreign Secretary told the BBC that Iran suffered a “double defeat” after its attack on Israel failed and it showed its true nature to the world.
Cameron also insists the UK’s efforts are focused on ensuring a pause in fighting and getting aid into Gaza.
The United Nation’s general secretary Antonio Guterres said the “Middle East is on the brink” and it was time to “defuse and de-escalate”.
Germany’s foreign minister, AnnalenaBaerbock, called for calm.
President Emmanuel Macron says France will do everything possible to avoid a regional conflagration.
The massive aerial attack on Israel came two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike on its consulate in Syria. This marks the first-ever direct attack by Iran on Israeli territory from Iranian soil. Iran called the attack Operation True Promise.
The attack began on Saturday night around 20:00 GMT. It lasted approximately five hours, according to US officials.
During the attack, explosions were heard in cities across Israel, including Tel Aviv. The explosions were also heard in Jerusalem, and air raid sirens sounded in more than 720 locations as Israeli forces sought to shoot down the projectiles.
Israel’s chief military spokesman, Daniel Hagari, said Iran’s attack involved more than 120 ballistic missiles, 170 drones, and more than 30 cruise missiles, according to a report by The Associated Press news agency.
The Israeli military also said that the vast majority of the projectiles were intercepted outside the country’s borders, with help from the United States, the United Kingdom and France. Jordan also shot down some of the missiles aimed at Israel as they were flying through Jordanian airspace.
Israel’s military added that a “small number of hits were identified”. In a base located in southern Israel, “minor damage occurred to the infrastructure”.
A seven-year-old girl was also severely injured by missile fragments, while other patients sustained minor injuries and some were treated for anxiety.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said on Sunday that the US also intercepted “dozens” of missiles and drones launched at Israel from Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
During the attack, Israel’s military ordered residents in the northern Israeli-occupied Golan Heights – near the Syrian and Lebanese borders – and in the southern cities of Nevatim, Dimona and Eilat to remain near bomb shelters.
Nevatim is the site of an Israeli airbase, while Dimona has a nuclear reactor on the outskirts. Eilat is Israel’s southern Red Sea port, which has suffered from a sharp decline in operations because of repeated attacks by Yemen’s Houthis on ships passing through the waterway.
Iran’s attack is a retaliation for a suspected Israeli strike that killed an Iranian military commander, Major-General Mohammad Reza Zahed, in Damascus on April 1. He was killed along with six other Iranian nationals, including another general. At least six Syrian citizens were also killed.
“It seems that Iranian leaders are determined to take action, but also [be] seen to take action,” David Des Roches, an associate professor at the National Defense University in Washington, DC, told Al Jazeera.
“What that indicates to me is that there are considerations of pride and prestige that are divorced from strategy and tactical utility that may indicate a more dangerous era than we thought,” he added.
Hezbollah, a Lebanese armed group backed by Iran, and the Israeli military have been trading attacks across the Lebanon-Israel border since October 8, the day after the Hamas-led attack in southern Israel and Israel’s brutal retaliation on the besieged Gaza Strip.
On Saturday, Iranian state media announced that the the country’s armed forces had seized an Israel-linked container ship near the Strait of Hormuz.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country “will win”, in a tweet after the attacks. Earlier, he spoke to the nation, stating that the military was prepared for any scenario.
“Citizens of Israel, in recent years, and especially in recent weeks, Israel has been preparing for a direct attack by Iran,” Netanyahu said.
“Our defensive systems are deployed; we are ready for any scenario, both defensively and offensively. The State of Israel is strong. The [Israeli army] is strong. The public is strong.” He also thanked his allies, including the US and UK, for “standing alongside” Israel.
Towards the end of Sunday, the Israeli war cabinet – comprising Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Minister Benny Gantz, and several observers – met to discuss a response to the attacks but were divided on how and when to respond, according to media reports.
A senior official from the Biden administration said Israel was not seeking to escalate the situation.
“I think Israel made clear to us they’re not looking for a significant escalation with Iran. That’s not what they’re looking for. They’re looking to protect themselves and defend themselves,” the official said.
Iran warned Israel of any response. The Iranian armed forces chief of staff, Major-General Mohammad Bagheri, told state TV that if Israel retaliates, Iran’s response would be “much larger” than the overnight bombardment, according to a Reuters report.
Iran also warned Washington that backing Israeli retaliation would lead to the targeting of US bases.
Earlier, Iran’s mission to the UN cited the UN Charter provision for self-defence, under Article 51, and said that the country considered “the matter … concluded”, its permanent mission at the United Nations said on X.
“The matter can be deemed concluded. However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe. It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the US MUST STAY AWAY!”
President EbrahimRaisi issued a statement hailing the “brave men” of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who “taught a lesson to the Zionist regime”.

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