The apparent strikes carried out by Israel and Iran give new insights to both militaries

Washington (AFP) – Israel demonstrated its military dominance over its rival Iran in Clear precision strikes It struck nearby military and nuclear targets deep in the country's heartland, facing little significant challenge from Iran's defenses and providing the world with new insights into the capabilities of both militaries.

The international community, Israel and Iran expressed hope that Friday's air strikes would end a dangerous 19-day series of strikes and counterattacks, a very public test between two deep-rooted rivals who had previously never risen to the point of direct confrontation.

The transition to open combat began on April 1 with Israel is suspected of killing Iranian generals In an Iranian diplomatic compound in Syria. Pay it Iranian retaliatory bombing Last weekend, more than 300 missiles and drones that the United States, Israel, and regional and international partners helped shoot down were launched without significant damage in Israel. And then came the apparent Israeli strike on Friday.

As all parties assess the situation, regional security experts predict that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's far-right government and the country's allies will emerge encouraged by the superior performance of the Israeli military. But, in response to international calls, both Israel and Iran appeared to refrain from using their full military might throughout more than two weeks of hostilities, aiming to send messages rather than escalate into full-scale war.

More importantly, experts also warned that Iran has not brought into the main battle its greatest military advantage over Israel – Hezbollah and other Iranian-aligned militant groups in the region. Hezbollah in particular is capable of overwhelming Israel's ability to defend itself, especially in any multi-front conflict.

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Overall, said Charles Lister, a senior fellow and longtime scholar, “the big lesson to be drawn is that unless Iran does everything at its disposal at once, it is merely David, not Goliath, in this equation.” Regional researcher at the Middle East Institute in Washington.

Aside from those Iranian forces, “the Israelis have every advantage at every military level,” Lister said.

In Friday's attack, Iranian state television said Iranian air defense batteries opened fire in several provinces after reports of drones. Iranian Army Commander General Abdul Rahim Mousavi said that the crews targeted several flying objects.

Lister said it appeared to be a single mission flown by a small number of Israeli aircraft. He added that after crossing Syrian airspace, they appeared to have fired two or three Blue Sparrow air-to-surface missiles at Iran, most likely from a confrontation site in Iraqi airspace neighboring Iran.

Iran said its air defenses fired on a major air base near Isfahan. Isfahan is also home to sites linked to Iran's nuclear programme, including the underground enrichment site at Natanz, which has been repeatedly targeted by suspected Israeli sabotage attacks.

Israel did not claim responsibility for the attacks that occurred on April 1 or Friday.

The Jewish Institute for American National Security, a Washington-based center that promotes Israel-US security relations, quickly noted that Friday's small strike confirmed that Israel could inflict much greater damage “if it decides to launch a larger strike against Iran's nuclear facilities.” “.

By contrast, Iran's bombing last weekend appears to have exhausted most of its 150 long-range ballistic missiles capable of reaching Israel, more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) away, said retired Gen. Frank McKenzie, the former commander of the forces. American Armed Forces. Central command.

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Especially given the distance involved and how easily the United States and others can track missile deployments with overhead space sensors and regional radars, “it is difficult for Iran to launch a surprise strike against Israel,” McKenzie said.

The Israelis, for their part, “have shown that Israel can now strike Iran from its own territory with missiles, and perhaps even drones,” said Alex Vatanka, director of the Iran program at the Middle East Institute.

Vatanka said Iran's performance on Friday may have raised doubts about its ability to defend against such an attack. He noted that Iran is about 80 times the size of Israel, and therefore has a much larger area to defend.

In addition, Israel has demonstrated its ability to mobilize support from powerful regional and international countries, both Arab and Western, to defend against Iran.

The United States led Israel's assistance in shooting down Iran's April 13 missile and drone attack. Jordan and the Gulf states are believed to have provided varying degrees of assistance, including sharing information about upcoming strikes.

The two-week hostilities also provided the largest display yet of Israel's growing ability to work with Arab states, its former enemies, within the framework of US Central Command, which oversees US forces in the Middle East.

During the Trump administration, the United States transferred responsibility for its military coordination with Israel to Central Command, which actually hosted American military coordination with Arab countries. The Biden administration worked to deepen the relationship.

But while the Israeli-Iranian exchange of strikes revealed more about Iran's military capabilities, Lebanon-based Hezbollah and other Iranian-allied militant groups in Iraq and Syria appeared to remain largely on the sidelines.

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Hezbollah is one of the strongest armies in the region, with tens of thousands of experienced fighters and a huge arsenal of weapons.

After the violent war between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006, which resulted in the deaths of more than a thousand Lebanese civilians and dozens of Israeli civilians, both sides refrained from escalating into another large-scale conflict. But the Israeli militaries and Hezbollah still routinely fired across each other's borders during the war Israel-Hamas war in Gaza.

Hezbollah “is the only potential advantage remaining for Iran in this whole broader equation,” Lister said.

He said that six months of fighting in Gaza had “completely exhausted” the Israeli army. “If Hezbollah did everything in its power and launched the vast majority of its arsenal of rockets and missiles at Israel, all at once, the Israelis would have a very difficult time dealing with that.”

Regarding ground forces, he said that if Hezbollah suddenly opened a second front, the IDF “would be unable at this point” to fully fight with both Hezbollah and Hamas.

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