Iran Pushes World to Brink of War With Attack on Israel

A missile is launched
A missile is launched during a military exercise in Isfahan, Iran. | Image by Iranian Army

For the first time in history, Iran has attacked Israel from its own territory, aggravating an already tense situation in the Middle East and prompting fears that a wider war in the region could draw in the United States and other global powers.

Saturday afternoon, Iran reportedly launched roughly 300 drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles at various targets around Israel. The vast majority were destroyed before entering Israeli airspace. Both the United States and Jordan assisted in neutralizing the bulk of the barrage. No deaths have been reported, although a 10-year-old girl in southern Israel was seriously injured by shrapnel, according to Israeli authorities.

This escalation comes roughly six months after the beginning of Israel’s war in Gaza with the terrorist organization Hamas, which Iran has been supporting financially and militarily. Other purported Iranian proxies like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Houthi rebels in Yemen have also been involved in the conflict. Dozens of rockets were reportedly fired from Lebanon into Israel during Iran’s approximately 5-hour-long aerial assault, per CNN.

Iran said Saturday’s attack was in retaliation for the bombing of its embassy in Syria, which Israel has been widely assumed to have executed in an effort to hinder the Islamic Republic’s ability to arm and direct its proxies.

“Conducted on the strength of Article 51 of the UN Charter pertaining to legitimate defense, Iran’s military action was in response to the Zionist regime’s aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus. 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 U.S. MUST STAY AWAY!” the Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the UN in New York posted on X.

As previously reported by The Dallas Express, officials in Israel and the United States had been anticipating an Iranian military response to the April 1 bombing in Damascus that killed Brig-Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s Quds Force in Lebanon and Syria, his deputy, Brig-Gen. Mohammad Hadi Haji-Rahimi, a member of Hezbollah, and five other Iranian officers.

“Israel withstood an attack tonight by hundreds of missiles and drones, and the IDF halted the attack impressively,” said Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who also lauded the assistance provided by Israel’s allies, according to The Times of Israel.

President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during Saturday’s attack, reiterating his professed support for Israel.

“I’ve just spoken with Prime Minister Netanyahu to reaffirm America’s ironclad commitment to the security of Israel. I told him that Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks — sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel,” Biden said in a statement.

However, a senior White House official purportedly told Axios that Biden informed Netanyahu on a call that the United States would not support Israel in a counterattack against Iran. The official said that the president and his advisors were concerned a retaliatory attack on Israel’s part would result in a regional war.

Still, even before Axios’ report, some U.S. lawmakers criticized Biden’s approach to the Middle East, claiming that his policies were at least in part to blame for Saturday’s events.

“As Israel faces this vicious attack from Iran, America must show our full resolve to stand with our critical ally. The world must be assured: Israel is not alone,” House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA) posted on X. “I will continue to engage with the White House to insist upon a proper response. The Biden Administration’s undermining of Israel and appeasement of Iran have contributed to these terrible developments.”

An emergency meeting of the UN Security Council will be held on Sunday.

In a statement, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, “I strongly condemn the serious escalation represented by the large-scale attack launched on Israel by the Islamic Republic of Iran this evening. I call for an immediate cessation of these hostilities. I am deeply alarmed about the very real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation. I urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East. I have repeatedly stressed that neither the region nor the world can afford another war.”

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