May 19, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Israel strikes Iran, but scope appears limited: live updates

Israel strikes Iran, but scope appears limited: live updates

For decades, Israel and Iran have fought a shadow war across the Middle East, trading attacks on land, at sea, in the air and in cyberspace. The latest round of strikes – mainly the aerial bombardment launched by Iran against Israel last weekend – has brought the conflict more clearly into the open and raised fears of a wider war.

However, Israel's retaliatory strike on an Iranian air base on Friday appeared limited in scope, and analysts said it signaled an attempt to withdraw from the dangerous cycle and perhaps return the war to the shadows.

Below is the recent history of the conflict:

August 2019: An Israeli airstrike killed two Iranian-trained militants in Syria, a drone carried out an explosion near a Hezbollah office in Lebanon, and an airstrike in Al-Qaim, Iraq, killed the commander of an Iranian-backed Iraqi militia. Israel accused Iran at the time of trying to establish a land line for weapons supplies through Iraq and northern Syria to Lebanon, and analysts said the strikes were intended to stop Iran and send a signal to its proxies that Israel would not tolerate a fleet of smart missiles on the ground. Its limits.

January 2020: Israel received with relief the assassination of Major General Qassem Soleimani, commander of the foreign arm of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, in a US drone strike in Baghdad.

Iran responded by attacking two bases in Iraq housing US forces with a barrage of missiles, wounding about 100 US military personnel.

2021-22: In July 2021, an oil tanker operated by an Israeli-owned shipping company was attacked off the coast of Oman, killing two crew members, according to the company and three Israeli officials. Two officials said the attack appeared to have been carried out by Iranian drones.

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Iran did not explicitly claim or deny responsibility, but a state-owned television channel described the incident as a response to an Israeli strike in Syria.

In November 2021, Israel killed Iran's chief nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, and followed up with the assassination of the Revolutionary Guard commander, Colonel Sayyad Khodayi, in May 2022.

December 2023: After the Israeli bombing of Gaza began in response to the Hamas-led attack on October 7, Iranian-backed militias intensified their attacks. Late last year, Iran accused Israel of killing a high-ranking military figure, Brig. General Sayyed Radi Mousavi in ​​a missile strike in Syria.

General Mousavi, a senior adviser to the Revolutionary Guards, was described as a close aide to General Soleimani and was said to have helped supervise the shipment of weapons to Hezbollah. Israel, adopting its usual stance, refused to comment directly on whether it was behind the killing of General Mousavi.

January 2024: An explosion in a suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, killed Saleh al-Arouri, a Hamas leader, along with two leaders of the group's armed wing, marking the first assassination of a senior Hamas official outside the West Bank and Gaza Strip in recent years. Officials from Hamas, Lebanon, and the United States attributed the explosion to Israel, which did not publicly confirm its involvement.

Hezbollah, which receives significant support from Iran, intensified its attacks on Israel after the death of Mr. Al-Arouri. The Israeli army retaliated against Hezbollah in Lebanon, killing a number of the group's leaders.

He walks: An Israeli drone strike hit a car in southern Lebanon, killing at least one person. The Israeli army said it killed the deputy commander of Hezbollah's rocket and missile unit. Hezbollah acknowledged the killing of the man, Ali Abdel Hassan Naim, but did not provide further details.

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On the same day, air strikes killed soldiers near Aleppo, northern Syria, in what appeared to be one of the deadliest Israeli attacks in the country in years. The strikes killed 36 Syrian soldiers, seven Hezbollah fighters and a Syrian from a pro-Iranian militia, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based group tracking the civil war in Syria.

The Israeli army did not claim responsibility. But Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant wrote on social media: “We will pursue Hezbollah everywhere it operates and we will expand the pressure and the pace of attacks.”

April: An attack on the Iranian embassy building in Damascus on April 1 led to the killing of three senior Iranian commanders and four officers. Iran blamed Israel and vowed to respond forcefully.

Two weeks later, Tehran launched a barrage of more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel, an unexpectedly large-scale attack, although Israel and its allies shot down almost all of the weapons. Israel said for several days that it would respond, before a strike on Friday targeted a military air base near the central Iranian city of Isfahan.