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Israel, Iran at a draw after Isfahan attack, ready to return to covert war

Israel's very limited, calculated attack on Iran perhaps signals that Israel opted to avoid escalating regional tensions.
This picture taken on April 15, 2024 shows a view of a billboard depicting named Iranian ballistic missiles in service, with text in Arabic reading "the honest [person's] promise" and in Persian "Israel is weaker than a spider's web", in Valiasr Square in central Tehran. Iran on April 14 urged Israel not to retaliate militarily to an unprecedented attack overnight, which Tehran presented as a justified response to a deadly strike on its consulate building in Damascus. (Photo by ATTA KENARE / AFP) (Photo by

TEL AVIV — On Friday morning, a few hours after mysterious attacks on targets in Iran, official and unofficial Israel was cloaked in silence. 

Iranian officials claimed that Israel had struck a military air base near Isfahan, in central Iran, and that a separate Israeli attack had been thwarted in Tabriz, to the south. The damage and nature of the attacks were unclear. Iranian news agencies reported explosions being heard near both cities, and Syrian media said Israeli missiles had hit air defense positions in southern Syria.

Iranian commentary made light of the alleged Israeli operation. Social networks and official media accounts specifically highlighted a Friday morning post to X by hard-line Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who referred to the attack with a single word — “Dardeleh!” (Hebrew for "weak" or "disappointing").

The truth, as always, is somewhere in the middle. Even before the actual target of the attack, the perpetrator or the outcome are known, both sides can claim to have scored points.

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