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Calls for restraint after Iran attack blamed on Israel

The community international calls à restraint after retaliatory attack on Iran attributed to Iran Israel, in a context of escalation in the Middle East since the devastating war in Israel Gaza where the strikes continue on Saturday.

After a day of high tension on Friday in the region, airstrikes continue in different sectors of the Gaza Strip.

In Iraq, a “bombing”, the origin of which remains unknown, caused casualties on a base housing army troops and former pro-Iran paramilitaries of the Hachd al-Chaabi coalition, sources reported. security, all in an already explosive regional context.

Before dawn on Friday, explosions were heard near a military base in the Isfahan region of central Iran. But Iranian authorities have downplayed the impact of the explosions and have not directly accused Israel, which has not claimed responsibility for them.

Media in the United States, citing American officials, claimed that this was an Israeli operation carried out in response to an unprecedented Iranian drone attack and missiles against Israel on April 13. Israel has vowed to make Iran, its sworn enemy, pay the price for its attack.

A senior US Congress official who did not wish to be named confirmed to AFP an Israeli attack in Iran.

Drones were shot down but “it there was no missile attack,” said the spokesperson for the Iranian space agency. There have “been, so far, no air attacks from outside the borders against Isfahan or other regions of the country”, he added.

Calls for restraint after Iran attack blamed on Israel

A bazaar in Isfahan, April 19, 2024 in Iran © IRNA – Rasoul SHOJAEI

According to the New York Times, citing Iranian officials, the attack was carried out by small drones, probably launched from Iranian territory.

For its part, the Washington Post, citing an Israeli official who requested anonymity, affirmed that the attack aimed to show Iran that Israel had the capacity to strike inside its territory.

Questioned by AFP, the Israeli army did not comment on these events in Iran.

– “De-escalation” –

The United States “was not involved in an offensive operation” declared the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken, stressing that the “objective” of his country and the other members of the G7, meeting in Capri, Italy , was “de-escalation”.

The White House has not commented on these events other than to say that President Biden was being briefed in “real time” by his advisors at national security and that Washington does not want “an extended war with Iran”.

Calls for restraint after Iran attack blamed on Israel

Iran and the Middle East © AFP – Olivia BUGAULT, Hervé BOUILLY, Jean-Michel CORNU

A sign of growing concern, the American embassy in Israel nevertheless ordered its employees to limit their travel in the country. And the Chinese embassy in Iran called on its nationals to take “precautions”.

The head of Russian diplomacy Sergei Lavrov reported contacts with the Iran and Israel. “We told the Israelis that Iran does not want escalation,” he said.

“It is high time to stop the cycle dangerous reprisals in the Middle East,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, quoted by his spokesperson.

– “Calibrated counterattack” –

For Sanam Vakil, expert at Chatham House, “Israel's counterattack against Iran (…) was calibrated to avoid damage and further Iranian aggression.”

“As long as Iran continues to deny the attack and deflect attention from it and no further attacks are observed, both sides have for now the opportunity to lower the “escalation,” he argued.

In Iran's first ever direct attack on Israeli territory on April 13, Israel claimed having intercepted with its allies, mainly the United States, almost all of the approximately 350 Iranian drones and missiles.

Calls for restraint after Iran attack blamed on Israel

Demonstration against Israel in Iran, April 19, 2024 © AFP – Atta KENARE

Iran said it acted in “self-defense” after the attack which destroyed its consulate in Damascus on April 1 and cost the lives of seven of its soldiers, including two senior officers. Tehran accused Israel, which neither confirmed nor denied.

– Gaza, Turkey, Washington –

Tensions between Israel and Iran are unfolding in the context of the war that has been going on for more than six months in the Gaza Strip and which has left 34,012 dead, mainly civilians, according to the Hamas Ministry of Health.

Israel launched a vast offensive in Gaza after an attack on its territory on October 7 by Hamas commandos, supported by Iran, which resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mainly civilians, according to an AFP report established from official data.

More than 250 people were kidnapped during the attack and 129 remain held in Gaza, 34 of whom died according to Israeli officials.

In retaliation for the October 7 attack, Israel said it wanted to destroy Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement which took power in Gaza in 2007 and is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the European Union and Israel

Calls for restraint after Iran attack blamed on Israel

Palestinians fill water containers in Deir al Balah on April 19, 2024 in the Gaza Strip. © AFP – –

In addition to the heavy human toll and destruction, the approximately 2.4 million inhabitants are threatened with famine according to the UN, which is urging the entry of more humanitarian aid into this small territory.

Hamas leader Ismaïl Haniyeh arrived in Turkey on Friday evening and is to be received by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a time when Qatar says it wants to “reassess” its role as mediator in the conflict in Gaza.

Qatar, which is stalling in the negotiation of a truce between Hamas and Israel, threatens to withdraw under Israeli criticism and to some American Democrats. However, Turkey, which has relations with Israel and Hamas, could take advantage of this to try to resume mediation.

In Washington, the American House of Representatives will vote on Saturday on a major aid plan for Ukraine, Taiwan and Israel, including $13 billion in military assistance to this ally at war with Hamas.

All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116