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Iran’s retaliatory attack against Israel, briefly explained

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Iran's retaliation explainedIran launched a retaliatory strike Saturday night on Israel for its deadly attack on Iranian officers in the Islamic Republic’s embassy in Damascus after days of signaling it would do so.

The response came in waves throughout Saturday, beginning with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) seizing a vessel in the Red Sea connected to Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer’s company, Zodiac Maritime. By around 11 pm local time, that had graduated to multiple waves of attack drones and missiles headed toward Israeli targets.

The drones — thought to be slow-moving Shahed-136 models — could have been intended to confuse Israeli radar systems and allow missiles to penetrate, but also could have been chosen as a carefully choreographed response intended to telegraph the regime’s anger at Israel’s embassy strike on April 1. The Israeli military said the missile barrage included both ballistic and cruise missiles.

The last two weeks and particularly Iran’s attack Saturday have raised fears that finally it — as in, the outright regional war that has been feared ever since Hamas’s October 7 attacks and Israel’s ensuing invasion of Gaza — is here.


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