THERE were Iranian drones all over the Israeli skies over the weekend (April 13), and, soon thereafter, there was jubilation in the Muslim world. In fact, it reminded me of the day following the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct 7 last year, and the concerns I had expressed in my letter ‘Is it a trap for Hamas?’ (Oct 15, 2023). I still think that it was a trap planned by Israel to cut Hamas to size because of obvious reasons.

My question is still the same; was the Israeli attack on a building adjacent to the Iranian consulate in Damascus a trap for Iran? After all, Iran is silently strengthening its military power and posing a threat to Israel as well as its neighbours in the Middle East that are part of the American camp.

In case Israel and its allies choose to respond at a time and manner of their picking, it will be a rather deadly scenario. Russia is already engaged in conflict with Ukraine, and is licking its wounds from the recent attack by terrorists. Despite some strong words from Moscow, Russia is likely to prefer to wait and watch. China is too busy adding to its status of being a global economic giant, and will probably limit itself to proceedings at the United Nations. It will be Iran facing the brunt of a potential Israeli retaliation alone. Iran should be cognisant of such traps.

Malik ul Quddoos
Karachi

Published in Dawn, April 17th, 2024

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