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Israel and Israel Alone Kicked Off This Escalation — In a Bid to Drag U.S. Into War With Iran

By Murtaza Hussain


Netanyahu’s recklessness was fostered by blind U.S. support, but Israel is the one pushing its war with Iran out of the shadows.

THE ISRAELI BOMBING of an Iranian consular office in Damascus on April 1 was the first salvo in a new phase of a regional conflict between the two countries. The attack, which killed several senior Iranian military officials, took the conflict from proxy warfare to direct confrontation.

On Saturday night, Iran launched its long-expected response to Israel, targeting the country with hundreds of drones and ballistic missiles. The attacks, reportedly telegraphed in the days beforehand as part of backchannel negotiations between the U.S. and Iran, were mostly intercepted en route to Israel.

The first direct attack by a state military against Israel since Iraq’s Scud missile launches during 1991’s Gulf War, the Iranian salvo — slow, deliberate, and forewarned — appeared calculated not to escalate the situation. The same cannot be said of Israel’s strike against the Iranians in Syria.

While Israeli officials, not least Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have sought to portray the Jewish state as the victims of an unprovoked Iranian attack, it was their own deadly strike on the Damascus consulate that triggered the new phase of the conflict. Though the U.S. created the conditions that may have encouraged Netanyahu’s gambit, it was reportedly Israel, acting on its own behalf, without coordination with its allies, that precipitated the latest grave escalation…


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