Israel dealt a heavy blow to Iran. An analyst says what will trigger the attack in Damascus

Israel dealt a heavy blow to Iran. An analyst says what will trigger the attack in Damascus
Israel dealt a heavy blow to Iran. An analyst says what will trigger the attack in Damascus
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After the start of the war in the Gaza Strip, the world was most afraid of the spread of the conflict to the entire Middle East. This has not happened yet, after Monday’s Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate building in Damascus, tensions in the area will undoubtedly increase.

“We strongly condemn the shameful terrorist attack,” said the statement of the head of Syrian diplomacy, Faisal Mikdad. Iran then assured that “this crime will not go unanswered”, then the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah promised Israel revenge. Syria and Hezbollah are traditional allies of Iran, which has long been very hostile to Israel.

However, according to analyst Josef Kraus from Masaryk University in Brno, Monday’s strike does not have the same importance as the 2020 assassination of Kasim Solejmání, then commander of the Kuds special forces under the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

“Although the number of victims is significantly higher this time, it will not mean a dramatic reversal in the enforcement of Iran’s foreign policy. It will certainly mean logistical complications for the Iranians and their allies, and it can realistically reduce the ability of Iran to resist the state of Israel for some time,” Kraus explains to Seznam Zprávy.

The Iranian consulate building, which is adjacent to the embassy, ​​was destroyed in an attack most likely from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The Syrians reported that all the people inside at the time were either killed or injured. A total of 11 people were killed, including eight Iranians, two Syrians and one Lebanese.

Photo: Sobhan Farajvan/Pacific Press, Profimedia.cz

Demonstrators in Iran protest against the Israeli attack. The portrait shows Qasim Soleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards killed four years ago in an American strike.

According to the Syrian Organization for Human Rights (SOHR), all the dead were fighters. A prominent member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards was Mohammad Reza Zahedi, commander of the elite Quds Force for Syria and Lebanon. Zahedí, who was previously commander of the air force and ground forces of the Revolutionary Guards, was the number two man of this parastatal military organization. He was on the US and European Union sanctions list.

“We strongly condemn the shameful terrorist attack,” said the statement of the head of Syrian diplomacy, Faisal Mikdad. Iran then assured that “this crime will not go unanswered”, then the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah promised Israel revenge. Syria and Hezbollah are traditional allies of Iran, which has long been hostile to Israel and the Iranian regime in the entire Middle East region,” he explains.

Shelling Israel from Lebanon and Syria

In addition to complaints about violations of international law, attacks on Israeli targets from the south of Lebanon by Hezbollah can be expected, according to him. “I can also imagine the use of Syrian territory to attack the north of Israel. But I don’t think that Iran would start preparing for war and that there would be a threat of escalation into a regional-wide conflict,” he estimates.

As early as Tuesday, the UN Security Council will meet on Monday’s attack at Russia’s request. The Israeli Walla News server reported that the Americans had told Tehran that they had no part in the attack or had any prior knowledge of it. Two American diplomatic sources told the reporter anonymously.

Although the Iranian regime has sharply defined itself against Israel since the beginning of the war in Gaza, it has clearly avoided escalation with Israel. Hamas’ bet to start a wider conflict has clearly failed. So why is Israel attacking Iranian targets now? According to political scientist Kraus, the strike in Damascus may have a double reason: “Israel could have information that the personnel present may be important for conducting some field or other operations of Hezbollah or Syrian armed groups, thus the elimination of the personnel was important,” he explains.

As a second possible reason, he cites Israel’s effort to divert attention from the war in Gaza, for which it is facing huge international criticism. “It can be a distraction not only for the international community, but also for the domestic audience, to whom it shows that the conflict is much broader than just settling scores with Hamas, but that it is regional in nature.”

For completeness, the attack in Damascus’ al-Maza diplomatic district came less than 24 hours after an Iranian-made drone attacked the naval base in Eilat, penetrating all layers of defense and surprising the Israeli air force, which failed to intercept the threat. Nevertheless, the alarm went off and the attack was avoided without damage or casualties.


The article is in Czech

Tags: Israel dealt heavy blow Iran analyst trigger attack Damascus

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