DC Edit | Fears rise after Damascus strike

The Gaza war and Israel’s actions have escalated tensions, raising the threat of a wider Middle Eastern conflict

In the wake of deadly escalation of tensions over the Gaza war thanks to Israel’s adventurism this week that goes beyond all the measures undertaken for its security after being struck by Hamas on October 7, 2023, the threat of a wider Middle Eastern conflict has grown manifold.

The Israeli missile strike that killed the top commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, the highest -ranking soldier killed since the US assassination of Gen. Qaseem Soleimani four years ago, and a couple of senior commanders inside a building owned by the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, has elicited dire warnings of revenge from Iran.

A rise in proxy attacks is predictable, but the greater risk is of Iran deciding to take a direct hand in any of the goings-on in the region around the Gaza war and across the Israel border where the militant group Hezbollah and others have aimed missile and rocket, while the Houthis have been targeting commercial and western military vessels in the Red Sea.

Iran is being blamed by Israel and the US as the main initiator of trouble through proxies in four countries in the region, but there is no denying that Israeli actions, especially in Gaza, and which are seen as a disproportionate response to the Hamas attack, have been adding friction freely to the Middle Eastern cauldron.

The UN’s call for a ceasefire in Gaza, supposedly binding legally, is not worth the paper it was typed on as Israeli airstrikes have reportedly killed foreign aid workers and their Palestinian driver after the group that they belonged to brought a shipload of food aid to the war-torn Gaza Strip where much of the population is said to be on the brink of starvation.

The senselessness of war has never been more acutely brought out than by such mishaps of indiscriminate killing as missiles fly into areas already ravaged. Add nearly 33,000 Palestinian deaths, including of children, to around 2,000 Israeli deaths and the question is well worth asking of where it is all heading.

Will Israel see reason, at least on realising that its objective of completely destroying Hamas is not achievable, or be reined in by the US and brought to the table to talk of a ceasefire in Gaza first?

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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