Israel could 'keep Iran waiting' for response as Joe Biden gets involved

April 15, 2024
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World leaders are urging Israel not to retaliate after Iran launched an attack involving hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron told the BBC on Monday the UK does not support a retaliatory strike, while French President Emmanuel Macron said Paris will try to “convince Israel that we must not respond by escalating”.

The Iranian attack on Saturday, less than two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria that killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building, marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

An Israeli military spokesman said that 99 percent of the drones and missiles launched by Iran were intercepted.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Gabrielle Reid, Associate Director at geopolitical and cyber risk consultancy S-RM, said: “Much of what happens next will be down to what Israel determines is sufficient of a reaction.

“With the US having played an important role in Israel’s defence, there is potential that the Biden administration has gained some leverage over Benjamin Netanyahu to ensure a tempered response. Israel’s success in repelling the attack – in large part due to a US-led Middle Eastern alliance that facilitated intelligence sharing – will be rightly touted as an important example of forging cooperation over competition, and an avenue that will remain in the best interests of the US and Middle East governments.

“And, Israel has already shown the desire to avoid a hasty reprisal, stating any response will take place at a time and manner of their choosing.

“This echoes the relatively measured response adopted by Iran – marked by its timely warning of a reprisal attack.

“These – under the circumstances – tempered and forewarned responses will likely be to avoid further direct engagement while still demonstrating condemnation of the actions of their adversaries.”

Others, however, believe it is unlikely Israel will remain cautious in the face of Iran’s attack.

RUSI associate fellow Samuel Cranny-Evans told MailOnline: “Israel has and can act independently (of the US) – they have to do something to restore deterrence… Netanyahu is all about security, and in the context of Hamas’ October 7 attacks is unlikely to want to be seen as weak in the face of Iranian aggression.”

He added: “Israel could choose to strike against Iranian proxies in Yemen, Syria and Lebanon to undermine Iran’s strength in those regions. This is the safest for Israel, as the IDF is already conducting such operations.

“Stepping up strikes of this nature allows Israel to deal blows to the Islamic Republic without direct escalation.

“It’s also worth noting this course of action may give further grounds for the US and UK to continue their operations in the Red Sea, striking Houthi assets.

“But there is, of course, still a risk that this could still be seen as escalatory by the Iranian regime.

“If Israel goes for something bigger, that could trigger another retaliation.”

Retired US Army Colonel Jonathan Sweet and security expert Mark Toth also claimed a direct attack could be expected on IRGC’s military bases.

They also told MailOnline: “Israel can deploy one or all of its long-range assets – F-35 stealth fighter-bombers and precision strike missiles.”

They added: “(An Israeli attack) could take the form of the IDF striking Iran’s nuclear sites in an effort to kill two birds with one stone: deterrence and markedly setting back Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s nuclear programme.”

Israel and Iran have been on a collision course throughout Israel’s six-month war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The war erupted after Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two militant groups backed by Iran, carried out a devastating cross-border attack on October 7 that killed 1,200 people in Israel with 250 others being kidnapped.

An Israeli offensive in Gaza has caused widespread devastation and killed over 33,700 people, according to local health officials.



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