Watch | Why is the Israel-Iran shadow war escalating?

Watch | Why is the Israel- Iran shadow war escalating?
| Video Credit: Thamodaran B.

Stanly Johny, The Hindu’s international affairs editor, explains why the Israel-Iran shadow war is now escalating

April 06, 2024 01:00 pm | Updated April 07, 2024 04:59 pm IST

Even during the second world war, attacks on diplomatic missions were unheard of. According to the The 1961 Vienna Convention, embassy and consular premises should be protected even in times of war. But on April 1, Monday, an annex of Iran’s embassy in Damascus, the Syrian capital, came under air strikes.

At least 13 Iranians, including General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, the Quds Force commander who was in charge of the Revolutionary Guards’ Syria operations, were killed in the attack.

There’s no price in guessing who is behind the attack. Iran immediately blames Israel. Israel neither confirms nor rejects that it’s carrying out air strikes in Syria. But it’s now an open secret. A few days earlier, Israel had attacked a weapons depot in northern Syria, killing at least 38 Syrian soldiers and half a dozen Hezbollah fighters. A day after the embassy attack, Israel’s defence minister Yoav Gallant said, “We are in a multi-front war, offensively and defensively. We are acting everywhere and every day to prevent the strengthening of our enemies.”

Editorial | Escalation ladder: On Israel’s offensive, and the danger ahead

The recent spell of the crisis began on October 7, when Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group that has Iran’s backing, carried out a cross-border attack in Israel, killing at at least 1,200 people. Since then, Israel has carried out dozens of air strikes in Syria and Lebanon, besides its full-throttled invasion of the Strip, hitting Iranian, Syrian and Hezbollah targets.

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