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Fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East

2024-04-14 14:39:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Fears of a wider conflict in the Middle East

Israel's Defense Minister, Yoav Gallant, said that the confrontation with Iran "is not over yet".

He made the comments after Iran launched hundreds of drones and missiles at Israel on the night of April 13-14 in retaliation for a deadly attack on its consulate in Syria on April 1.

Although Iran accused Israel of carrying out this attack, the latter neither confirmed nor denied it.

Israel said about 300 drones and missiles were launched from Iran, with several more from Iraq and Yemen.

The Israel Defense Force said 99% of them were shot down before entering Israeli airspace.

"We pushed them back, together we will win," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Platform X on Sunday.

The question now is how Israel will react.

The country's authorities vowed to retaliate against any direct attack by Iran, and the war cabinet met overnight to discuss the situation.

Iran, meanwhile, warned of an even tougher response if Israel attacks it.

Tensions between Israel and Iran have been high for decades, but this is the first time a direct attack has occurred.

"The situation is evolving," the Israel Defense Forces said, adding that it "stands ready to counter any further threat from Iran."

Israel's top military spokesman, Daniel Hagari, said Iran's actions "push the region toward escalation."

US President Joe Biden said he told Prime Minister Netanyahu that Israel has demonstrated "tremendous capacity" to defend itself against Tehran's unprecedented attacks.

Biden said he would call a meeting of the leaders of the G7, or group of most industrialized countries, "to coordinate a united diplomatic response" to the Iranian attack.

Italy, which currently holds the G7 presidency, called for a virtual meeting to discuss the attack, Reuters news agency reported.

According to the same source, Iran's most powerful ally in the region, the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah - which has exchanged fire with Israel since the start of the Gaza war last October - said early Sunday that it had fired several rockets at an Israeli base.

It is reported that Yemen's Houthi group, also linked to Iran, carried out drone attacks against Israel.

Reuters writes that "these clashes threaten to turn into an open direct conflict, which would pit Iran and its regional allies, on one side, and Israel and its main supporter, the US, on the other."

The Israeli military said it does not advise residents to prepare to evacuate.

Israel also reopened its airspace after a seven-hour closure. Jordan did the same.

Iran's Fars news agency quoted a source as saying that Tehran is closely watching Jordan, which could become the next target, in case of any move in support of Israel.

The European Union, Britain, Japan, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway and other countries condemned Iran's attack against Israel and called for restraint./ Rel

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