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  • Brian Ebarb

Iran's Attack: What Now?

On April 14, 2024 Iran sent a fleet of 300+ drones and missiles in its first direct attack against Israel. On first impression, it went about as well as one might expect:

iranian missile floating in the dead sea

But much like how Putin’s repeatedly failed offensives in Ukraine have not stymied the Russian war machine, no analyst should discount Khomeini’s violent potential. This attack was large and orchestrated very specifically.


Iran has spent decades funding and supplying terrorist proxies to conduct genocidal attacks on Jews around the world. Israel has been forced to repeatedly defend itself against these proxies and take action as necessary to achieve strategic anti-terrorism goals. This weekend's onslaught was no different.


Why Iran Attacked Israel: Breaking Down The Theories

There are three major theories on the motivation behind this attack:

  1. As a “proportional” response to Israel’s striking the Iranian consulate in Syria to kill two major terrorist targets.

  2. As an attempt to deplete stocks of Israeli anti-air interceptor assets and force relocation of defensive assets away from the Lebanese border.

  3. As a way to "test the waters” in terms of both how effective Israel’s air defense capabilities would be to a drone cloud attack and what real assistance would look like from Israel’s historical allies.

In my opinion, it was an opportunity to effect all three. By having made a lot of noise about a retaliatory attack ever since the strike on the Iranian consulate, Iran allowed Israel plenty of time to stage defensive resources against the anticipated attack. This also required that Israel prepare for moving defensive assets away from the border with Lebanon.

By launching a substantial but largely staged attack,[1] Iran demonstrated its willingness to openly attack and provoke a response from Israel. The response from the international community should have surprised Iran, however. The USAF and RAF taking out several drones/missiles was anticipated, but nobody expected Jordan to shoot down a few of those Iranian drones and missiles, too!

What Comes Next?

Will this lead to an escalation of hostilities in the region by requiring a retaliatory strike from Israel? Almost certainly, but not necessarily in the same capacity.

In this conflict, Bibi and Khamenei are playing chess—not checkers—while Biden is on the see-saw.

The Biden White House is pushing Israel not to respond, so as to prevent an escalation of hostilities in the region. Like Chamberlain before him, Biden’s treatment of Islamic terrorists smacks of appeasement. Michigan’s swing state status is being overblown by fringe DNC supporters, much to the chagrin of the Jewish population which has long been a steadfast DNC resource. Because Biden keeps see-sawing over support for Israel—a position that should never have wavered—he loses and gains support in waves from oft-unexpected places. Iran sees this lack of conviction as an opportunity to exploit in directly attacking Israel.

Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis are able to do what they do because of Iran. If Iran’s strategic region-influencing capacity can be reduced, then all terrorist proxies in the region will have their capabilities reduced as well. Israel has the military capability to strike in either the real world or the cyber world to decrease those capabilities, but it risks too much in doing so alone because of the multiple fronts that Israel faces on a daily basis.

An escalation in hostilities by an Israeli retaliatory attack opens up the possibility of intercession by the United States and NATO nations. [2] But Israel stands a better chance of being the regional driver of normalization if it stops playing defense and successfully achieves tactical victories against Iran.

If this happens, then it would free up Saudi Arabia to support Yemen and legitimately attack the Houthis, instead of laying low and hoping for peace talks. Hamas will run out of munitions. Bahrain, Iraq, Oman, UAE, Jordan, and Yemen would get on board with that. Syria might have a chance at getting things under control, if Russia is occupied in Ukraine and Iran can’t ship weapons to Hezbollah. [3]

The pieces on the board are apparent, even if exactly how and why they move remains shrouded for now. But all the players—secular, Jewish, and Muslim—need to accept that there is a common goal benefiting the entire world in curtailing Iran’s military and logistical support for terrorist proxies. Everyone knows it, but now it’s time to support Israel in putting down the shield and taking up the sword.


Notes


1 - The multi-day delay between Israel’s strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus and the Iranian drone swarm was more than enough time for Israel to get anti-air defenses in place. Iran absolutely knew this would happen prior to launching the first drone.

2 - Serious NATO involvement is unlikely considering the Ukraine situation necessitating defensive measures be kept close to home.

3 - CAVEAT — By no means should Bashar Al-Assad get a pass, regardless of the potential for Syria to stabilize and potentially be part of a Middle East normalized in its relationships among Muslim nations and Israel.


 

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