Analysis: As US watches, what’s next now after Iran’s first direct drone attack on Israel?

Analysis: As US watches, what’s next now after Iran’s first direct drone attack on Israel?


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Ohad Zwigenberg/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.


Booms and air raid sirens have sounded across Israel after Iran launched hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles in an unprecedented revenge mission that pushes the Middle East closer to a region-wide war.

The attack marks the first time Iran has ever launched a direct military assault on Israel.

Bradley Bowman, who serves as senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said this strike from Iran is unprecedented.

“If you asked me to characterize or qualify, generally speaking, what we’re seeing now, I’d say this, of the range of options available to the supreme leader in Iran this is among the most aggressive that I would have predicted,” Bowman said.

The Israeli military’s spokesman Daniel Hagari said most drones were intercepted outside Israel’s borders. Bowman is watching how the United States responds to the attack on its closest ally in the Middle East.

“What we’re seeing as we speak is Iran, the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism, directly attacking Israel, our closest and most reliable ally in the Middle East. And I think now is truly the time for the United States to stand with Israel, to help protect it and to make Iran regret this attack,” Bowman said.

But Bowman also notes that this is an opportunity for the United States to let it’s adversaries know where it stands when democracies are attacked.

“The world is watching. I’d say Beijing is watching, and Putin’s watching. America talks a big game about Israel. Now’s where we see if we put our money where our mouth is, and if we do that, we’re serving our American interests in the Middle East. We’re helping our ally, Israel, and we’re sending a message to Beijing and to Moscow that we stand by beleaguered democracies when attacked,” Bowman said.

Israel and Iran have been on a collision course throughout Israel’s six-month war against Hamas militants in Gaza. In the Oct. 7 attack, militants from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, also backed by Iran, killed 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped 250 others.

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