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  Opinion   Edit  15 Apr 2024  AA Edit | Fears of war after Iran strike

AA Edit | Fears of war after Iran strike

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Apr 15, 2024, 12:31 am IST
Updated : Apr 15, 2024, 12:31 am IST

The Iranian assault marks unprecedented aggression, sparking concerns of wider conflict.

A panoramic view of Jerusalem's Old City is pictured at dawn of April 14, 2024, after Iran launched a drone and missile attack on Israel. Iran launched more than 200 drones and missiles on Israel in an unprecedented attack late April 13, 2024, the Israeli army announced, in a major escalation of the long-running covert war between the regional foes. (Photo by RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP)
 A panoramic view of Jerusalem's Old City is pictured at dawn of April 14, 2024, after Iran launched a drone and missile attack on Israel. Iran launched more than 200 drones and missiles on Israel in an unprecedented attack late April 13, 2024, the Israeli army announced, in a major escalation of the long-running covert war between the regional foes. (Photo by RONALDO SCHEMIDT / AFP)

There has been a deadly and historic twist to the Middle East security situation with Iran attacking Israel for the first time from its own territory. The boiling cauldron that the area is, the latest attacks by Iran may have pushed it to the very brink of all-out war.

Israel’s Iron Dome defence system may have emerged from its most severe test with flying colours as an attack comprising 185 drones, 36 cruise missiles and 110 surface-to-surface missiles, mostly from Iran and a few from Iraq, Syria and Yemen, did little damage, injuring a child and causing some harm to a military base in the Negev desert.

The fear is the Iran retaliation for Israel’s attack on an embassy complex in Damascus on April 1 is just beginning even if Iran may have stated that this is all the direct military action it will be taking for a while and Israel dialled down its own rhetoric of harming those who harms it.

And yet Israel’s response alone may not define what will happen soon for Iran, with an extra-large arsenal of missiles and drones that enables it to be a major arms exporter, is a larger power than any that countries in the region may have had to reckon with.

Any misadventure with a direct strike at Iran could plunge humanity into a world war. Many of Israel’s actions in history to secure its territory may have seemed just, but its disproportionate response in the Gaza Strip to the Hamas strike on October 7 engenders the fear that a degree of recklessness is never beyond its beleaguered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  

Shades of extraterritorial adventurism may have been seen in the attack in Damascus killing seven Iranian military commanders.  Repeated strikes on Hezbollah militants in Lebanon and Houthi rebels have also been keeping up the adversarial heat in operations.

India, one of the few countries that has a direct relationship with Iran, is seized of the matter of 17 Indian crew of an Israel-linked cargo ship that Iran impounded and has initiated moves to get them freed. Indian commercial passenger aircraft are also avoiding the theatre of conflict in the Middle East, but that is a small price that global aviation companies are paying.

Given its neutrality over much of what is going on in the Middle East as well as in other wars and conflicts raging in the world now, India could play a more active role in damping down tensions rather than just fall back on the homily that the way past all troubles is through dialogue.

 

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