Gaza: flashpoint for regional war? (redux redux)

At least 42 people were reportedly killed March 29 in Israeli air-strikes near the Syrian city of Aleppo, allegedly targeting an arms depot belonging to the militant group Hezbollah. Those killed include members of Hezbollah and Syrian soldiers. Israeli air-strikes in southern Lebanon on March 27 killed 16 people, and one person in Israel was killed by a barrage of rockets fired by Hezbollah from south Lebanon. Earlier in the week, a series of air-strikes on Syria's eastern province of Deir el-Zor killed 15 people, including a World Health Organization staff member as well as an Iranian military adviser. It was not immediately clear who was responsible for those strikes. (TNH)

Israel's intermittent air-strikes on Iran-backed militia forces in Syria have been escalating since the Gaza bombardment began.

Three UN observers injured by border shell explosion in Lebanon

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) stated March 30 that three UN military observers and a Lebanese interpreter were injured during a foot patrol along the Blue Line when an explosion happened nearby.

The UNIFIL spokesperson Andrea Tenenti's statement, which was shared by the official X (formerly Twitter) account of UNFIL, read: "We are investigating the origin of the explosion. Safety and security of UN personnel must be guaranteed. All actors have a responsibility under international humanitarian law to ensure protection to non-combatants, including peacekeepers, journalists, medical personnel, and civilians. We repeat our call for all actors to cease the current heavy exchanges of fire before more people are unnecessarily hurt."

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) denied any involvement. The IDF said in a statement on its official X account: "Contrary to the reports, the IDF did not strike a UNIFIL vehicle in the area of Rmeish this morning." (Jurist)

Israel accused of attack on Iranian embassy in Damascus

Syria accused Israel on Apri 1 of an attack on Iran's diplomatic consulate in Damascus.

The Syrian Ministry of Defense stated the attack took place at 5 PM local time with numerous missiles fired from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. It claimed that several missiles were "shot down," with the remaining missiles completely destroying the consulate and killing everyone inside. The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), the state-run news agency of Iran, stated that all diplomatic staff were safe.

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Nasser Kanaani condemned the attack, calling it a "gross violation" of international law. Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, diplomatic staff are considered "inviolable."

Israel has not commented on the alleged attacks. (Jurist)

Quds Force commander killed in Damascus attack

The attack on the Iranian consulate Damascus, which marked the fifth strike in eight days in Syria, is now said to have killed a senior commander from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, Brig Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi. (FirstPost)

Iran strikes Israel: scripted spectacle?

In a first-ever direct attack on the Jewish state, Iran launched hundreds of missiles and drones on Israel April 13—but the overwhelming majority were intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome missile shield or US forces operating in the region. The sole casualty was a Bedouin girl who was struck and wounded by falling shrapnel in the Negev desert. "Minor damage" was caused to the Negev's Nevatim airbase. President Biden has reportedly told Prime Minister Netanyahu that the US will not support an Israeli counter-strike on Iran. "You got a win. Take the win," Biden reportedly told Netanyahu. (ToI, Axios)

Israel strikes Iran: scripted spectacle?

Presumed Israei missiles or drones struck an Iranian air force radar installation outside the Natanz nuclear facility near Isfahan—but not the facility itself. Natanz, a uranium enrichment plant, has been targeted for sabotage before. However, there appear to have been no casualties in the new air-strikes, and Tehran is saying no retaliation is planned.

While hopes for de-escalation seem warranted, Israe's hardliners clearly are not satisified. National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who had pushed for a forceful response to Iran's recent strikes on Israel, tweeted the single word "lame!"

Targets were also reportedly struck in as-Suwayda governorate of southern Syria, and in the Baghdad area and Babil governorate of Iraq. (JP, ToI, ToI)

Iraq air-strike targeted Iran-backed militia

One of the April 19 air-strikes on Iraq is said to have struck on the Kalsu military base in Babil governorate, some 20 miles south of Baghdad. The former US post that was handed over to the Iraqi military in 2011, now houses troops from te Iran-backed Popular Mobilization Forces. Threee PMF troops were apparently wounded in the attack. (AP)