Israeli Minister Defies PM's Order, Tweets 'Dardale!' After Iran Airstrike

Tensions escalate as Israel strikes Iranian air defense system, raising fears of wider regional conflict, with the US backing Israel's actions.

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Nimrah Khatoon
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Israeli Minister Defies PM's Order, Tweets 'Dardale!' After Iran Airstrike

Israeli Minister Defies PM's Order, Tweets 'Dardale!' After Iran Airstrike

On April 22, 2024, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir defied Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's order to remain silent on a mysterious airstrike near Isfahan, Iran, by tweeting 'Dardale!' amid tensions following a failed Iranian missile and drone attack on Israel five days earlier. The airstrike, which was not officially acknowledged by Israeli or Iranian officials, was reported by White House sources and seen as a message from Israel to Iran about its military capabilities.

Satellite imagery confirmed that the attack hit an Iranian air defense system, specifically the S-300 surface-to-air missile system, at the Eighth Shekari Air Base near Isfahan. Experts analyzed the damage and concluded that the precision strike likely targeted and destroyed the fire control radar of the S-300 system, while leaving the missile launchers intact. The attack was calculated to deliver a message to Iran that Israel could bypass its defense systems undetected and paralyze them.

The strike came after Israel's April 1 attack on an Iranian consulate in Syria, which killed seven Iranian military figures and was effectively endorsed by the US. In the aftermath, the US gave Israel a 'blank check' to attack Iran, while also authorizing an Israeli assault on Rafah in Gaza that could displace hundreds of thousands of Palestinians.

Why this matters: The escalating tensions and military actions between Israel and Iran, with the backing of the US, have raised concerns about a wider regional conflict and the potential for a 'third world war.' The relatively limited scope of Israel's strike and the muted response from Iranian officials seem to have eased tensions for now, but the situation remains volatile.

While the attack was in retaliation for Iran's aerial barrage, it used a fraction of the firepower Tehran had deployed, which was intercepted by Israel and its allies with minimal damage. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, dismissed any discussion about the effectiveness of Iran's attack on Israel, "acknowledging that few projectiles actually made it through to their targets." Analysts believe both Iran and Israel are trying to dial back tensions following the series of escalatory attacks between them as the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip rages on and inflames the wider region.

Key Takeaways

  • Israeli minister defied PM's order, tweeted about airstrike on Iranian air defense system.
  • Airstrike targeted and destroyed S-300 radar, leaving missile launchers intact, sending message.
  • Israel's attacks on Iran and Gaza backed by US, raising concerns of wider regional conflict.
  • Iran's missile and drone attack on Israel intercepted with minimal damage, tensions easing.
  • Both Israel and Iran trying to de-escalate tensions as Israel-Hamas war in Gaza continues.