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Israel and Iran airstrikes: 'Vicious cycle of retaliation'

Israel and Iran airstrikes: 'Vicious cycle of retaliation'

Posted April. 20, 2024 08:14,   

Updated April. 20, 2024 08:14


Israel retaliated against Iranian military bases six days after Iran attacked its mainland for the first time in history. This response comes after Iran's strike on mainland Israel last Saturday, which was triggered by Israel's bombing of the Iranian consulate in Syria on April 1. Concerns arise over the potential escalation to a full-scale war between Middle Eastern military powers if the ongoing cycle of attacks and counterattacks persists.

According to reports from ABC and other sources, Israel launched a missile strike on a target in Iran on Friday (local time). Iranian state TV reported that around 4 a.m. on this day, three unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) were sighted in the sky over Isfahan, the capital of the central province of Isfahan, and the air defense system was activated, shooting them all down. Israeli officials, speaking anonymously to foreign media, acknowledged the Iranian attack, but neither Israel nor Iran has made official comments regarding the incident.

Isfahan is home to Iran's nuclear infrastructure, including the Natanz nuclear facility, a uranium enrichment facility, as well as military facilities like the Iranian Army Air Corps base. However, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced, "We have confirmed that there is no damage to Iranian nuclear facilities." A U.S. government official also informed CNN that the Israeli attack did not target Iranian nuclear facilities.

Although the Israeli attack seems limited in scope, Iran has previously threatened immediate and maximum retaliation if Israel strikes again. Hence, there's an analysis that the ball is now in Iran's court. CNN global affairs analyst Kimberly Dozier expressed concern that this escalation ladder between the two countries could lead to a truly terrible all-out war.

Eun-A Cho achim@donga.com