As Israel considers its options in relation to Iran, can the US and its allies stop a full-scale war?


,- Israel's war cabinet has evoked a familiar term to explain its strategy against Iran, claiming that strikes will be done "in the manner and at the time of our choosing." 
Benny Gantz, the opposition leader who recently joined the war cabinet following the Hamas strikes on October 7th, highlighted the solidarity between Israel and its Western partners. 

"In the face of Iran, it's Israel versus the world.  This convergence constitutes a strategic victory that we must harness for Israel's security," emphasised Mr. Gantz. 

The rhetoric used by Mr. Gantz did not rule out the potential of another attack on an Iranian target or perhaps a first overt Israeli strike within Iran.  Israel has previously targeted Iran's nuclear program through cyber-attacks and the killing of officials and scientists.  However, there may be room for the diplomatic reaction demanded by President Joe Biden through the upcoming G7 conference of the wealthiest Western nations. 

The recent escalation of hostilities, following from Israel's strike on Iran's embassy compound in Damascus two weeks ago, represented the latest chapter in the protracted conflict that occurred after Hamas' assault on Israel.  The air strike on April 1st resulted in the killing of a senior general, his deputy, and other aides. 

Israel's choice to undertake the operation without collaboration with the United States reflects a calculated risk aimed at eliminating senior commanders of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC). 

While Israel has officially defended the airstrike, arguing that the presence of senior military commanders on diplomatic premises justified the attack, Iran regarded the incident as an assault on its sovereign territory. 

Iran lost no time in declaring its intent to retaliate, with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei voicing emphatic declarations.  Despite significant warning indicators, including radar identification of slow-moving drones approaching Israeli targets, Iran's following strike mostly employed drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles launched from its own territory. 

Although Israel's formidable air defenses, reinforced by allies such as the US, UK, and Jordan, intercepted the majority of incoming munitions, the scale of Iran's onslaught exceeded many experts' estimates. 

In response, President Biden reaffirmed the US commitment to Israel's security, underscoring unflinching support.  However, the US encouraged prudence from Israel to prevent further escalation, underlining the need to draw a line to avert a bigger conflict. 

Iran, too, appears inclined to de-escalate, signaling that its retaliatory strike in reaction to the Damascus attack should serve as an adequate response.  By mostly failing to inflict considerable damage, Iran wants to recover its deterrence capability, which was seen to be damaged following Israel's earlier assault. 

Although Israel's effective defense against Iran's attack offers a momentary relief, underlying tensions linger, with some Israeli factions clamouring for reprisal.  The G7's diplomatic efforts try to prevent the region from plunging into deeper turmoil, as the stakes remain high amidst continuous instability. 

President Biden's recommendation for Israel to exhibit caution offers a glimmer of hope for de-escalation, although the situation remains fluid, with the potential for further developments in this explosive affair.
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