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  • Ari Sacher

Iranian Attack



Iranian Attack: For nearly two weeks, Israelis waited for the boot to drop. On April 1, Israel assassinated Mohammed Reza Zahedi, the top commander in the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) for Lebanon and Syria. Zahedi was the highest ranking Iranian official killed since the U.S. killed Qassem Suleimani in 2020. Zahedi was killed while in a building adjacent to the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria. 


It was clear that the Iranians could not let this go without a reprisal. Not only had a high-ranking officer been targeted, but the location and timing of the attack made a large impact on Iranian prestige. And so we waited, and we debated among ourselves. Would the Iranians respond directly or via one of their proxies? Would they attack Israel or one of our overseas embassies? Would they carry out a pinpoint attack on a high-value target or would they up the ante with a more significant attack? Would they aim for civilian targets, military targets, or perhaps symbols of sovereignty, such as the Knesset in Jerusalem? And when would it happen? For nearly two weeks, we read incessant reports of an “imminent attack” only to be followed by silence.


Iran and her proxies in Iraq and Yemen launched 331 ballistic missiles, suicide drones, and cruise missiles at Israeli targets. 99% of these were intercepted by ground-based Air Defense Systems such as Iron Dome and Arrow-3 and by air-to-air missiles launched by fighter aircraft. Only one target was hit – the Nevatim Air Force Base near the southern town of Beer Sheba, where Israeli F-35 fighters are based. The base sustained minor damage, and yesterday morning, the Israeli Air Force published footage of aircraft landing at the base to substantiate its claim. Israel had assistance – the U.S. sent 12 F-15 fighter jets from the a base in the U.K. to Israel a few hours before the attach, and Jordanian F-16 aircraft also intercepted a number of suicide drones. At 6:45 am, about seven hours after the attack began, the all-clear signal was sounded.


Over the next few days, the facts – the extent of the attack, targets, number of missiles intercepted, who did the intercepting and where the interceptions occurred – will become more clear, as will an Israeli response. President Biden has made it clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that the U.S. will not support an Israeli strike on Iran. It is unclear how things will develop. The main unknown is whether Israel responds according to the size of the attack or according to its results. Given President Biden's desire for de-escalation, I suspect the latter. I suggest that an attack on Iraq might be the proper response. This would make a number of points: First and foremost, it shows that Iranian proxies cannot hide behind Iran and that they will be held accountable for their aggression. It would also demonstrate to Iran that

[1] if Israel can hit Iraq, a country nearly a thousand kilometers distant, then she can certainly hit Iran, and

[2] if you ever try a stunt like that again, you're next. 


All of this information is available in some form or another on the mainstream news sites. You just have to know where to look and who to believe. Understanding Hebrew is also a big plus. But I want to shed some insight that cannot be gleaned off the mainstream media. Over the past twelve hours, I have been inundated with people who have been thanking me and my coworkers at RAFAEL for Iron Dome, C-Dome and David’s Sling. Were it not for these systems, they say, Israel would be in a very different situation, indeed. Their miraculous performance might just have saved us from World War 3. While I am flattered, I do not see the performance of our Integrated Air and Missile Defense systems as the big miracle here. 


The big miracle is the response of the Israeli people to having 331 missiles and suicide drones fired at their homes. Some of these weapons were carrying warheads that weigh nearly one ton. The damage that could have been wrought could have been devastating. And yet, Joe Israeli got up this morning, looked at his news feed, ate his breakfast and then went to work as if nothing happened. In the blink of an eye, we went from reciting the 20th Chapter of Psalms – “May G-d answer you on your day of despair” – to reciting the 100th Chapter – “A Hymn of thanks.” Our ability to brush off the dust and return to normal is unparalleled. Our nonchalance in the face of danger and our expectation that we will get through this without a scratch is remarkable. It can be called “bravado” or “overconfidence” – I call it “Trust in G-d.” It is so reminiscent of the Jewish People who had just escaped from Egyptian bondage. They stood at the shore of the Red Sea with Pharaoh and the Egyptian army closing in. They cried out to G-d, and He told them not to worry [Exodus 14:14] “G-d will fight from you and you shall be silent.” Silent, we were. 


This war is far from over, but the resilience that the Israeli People exhibited is a sign that this is a people that will settle for nothing less than victory.     


Good things,

Ari Sacher

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