Home » today » World » A cruel game started in the Middle East, where every move could be a disaster – 2024-04-20 06:31:01

A cruel game started in the Middle East, where every move could be a disaster – 2024-04-20 06:31:01

The expert estimates that Israel’s attack on Damascus raised the conflict in the Middle East to a new level.

Iranian drones heading towards Israel on April 14. ATEF SAFADI

A dangerous cycle of revenge is going on in the Middle East.

Director of the Finnish Middle East Institute Susanne Dahlgren assesses Iltalehti that neither side wants a full-scale war. A series of revenge attacks suits the leaders of both countries.

The stakes are high, and one mistake could derail the Middle East into full-scale war.

At the beginning of April, the Israeli air force struck the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria. According to Iran, the attack killed seven high-ranking officers in the building.

Iran’s leadership vowed revenge and responded to the attack last weekend by firing hundreds of drones into Israel.

The night before Friday, Israel’s revenge attack followed. According to Iran, it shot down three drones, and none of the targets suffered damage.

It is still unclear what happened and open questions are in the air.

The drone attacks are apparently carried out from inside Iran, and may be Sunni Islamist groups or anti-Iranian factions. It is also possible that Israeli commandos have invaded Iranian soil.

Some of the factions operating inside Iran are ones that could act on behalf of Israel for money, even though they are staunch supporters of Palestine.

This time, Israel has admitted that it carried out the attack, but has not commented on it.

Iran has announced that it will not retaliate against the Israeli strike.

Dahlgren does not believe that the Iranian leadership intends to withdraw. The front against Israel in the Middle East is wide. It consists of Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Houthis in the Red Sea, and of course Hamas in Gaza.

– However, it is possible that we will now return to the situation that was before Israel’s attack on Damascus. In that case, the conflict would continue with a lower intensity.

Iran and Israel strike each other armed. So far, the strikes have been limited, and civilian casualties have been avoided. This time too, Israel seems to have struck with only a few drones.

Iran, on the other hand, avoided causing extensive destruction in its attack last weekend by announcing the attacks in advance. Dahlgren sees features of a media game in the attacks.

– Here in Lebanon we talk about theater.

What happens next?

There are huge risks in theater, and the whole world is forced to watch it. Can anyone influence the parties?

– The key to the solution is ending the war in Gaza, says Dahlgren.

According to Dahlgren, the attack has concrete consequences. The economic consequences have been immediate: the price of oil immediately started to rise and stock exchange rates fell. The situation is unnerving, and all parties are preparing for the worst.

Next, an Israeli ground attack on Rafah is expected. More than a million people are packed into a small area of ​​land, and they should be moved somewhere.

– Good question, where will such a number of people be transferred.

The only one who can influence Israel is the United States, under the threat of ending military support.

Israel made it impossible. The attack on Damascus was a shrewd move by Israel, says Dahlgren.

– The attack in Damascus started a new phase in the conflict. US President Joe Biden has said that Israel’s security will be guaranteed. Now that a direct confrontation between Israel and Iran has occurred, it will be much more difficult for the US to back down.

Israel makes decisions in a small circle. Its war cabinet includes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and ex-Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

According to Dahlgren, the United States hopes that Gantz will succeed Netanyahu.

Benny Gantz gave a speech in March in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament. EPA / AOP

– Among the people, support for Netanyahu has begun to weaken. In the immediate aftermath of the Hamas attacks, popular support for military action was steadfast. It has now become clear that the release of the hostages is a secondary issue for the Israeli leadership, Dahlgren estimates.

Instead, the central goal of the Israeli regime is the destruction of Hamas. Emptying Gaza of Palestinians and making it a settlement also seems to be Netanyahu’s goal.

Destroying Hezbollah, which is significantly stronger than Hamas, would be a much more difficult task for Israel.

The plight of civilians does not seem to matter to the Israeli administration, says Dahlgren.

The before and after photos show the dire situation in Gaza in April. ISRAEL CHANNEL 12 NEWS / REUTERS

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