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Iran attacks Israel
Iran attacks Israel | Ian Bremmer | Quick Take

Iran attacks Israel

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take: Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and a Quick Take on a Sunday, which usually means something is not going well, and that is certainly the case in the Middle East, where you had unprecedented strikes by Iran and its proxies against Israel.

Now, on the one hand, clearly a very dangerous thing to do, on the other hand, could have been a hell of a lot worse. What do I mean by that? Well, it is not World War III. Americans warned Iran not to hit the United States, and the Iranians gave a heads-up, days in advance, through a number of actors, most importantly through Iraq. This reminds me very much of after the American servicemen and women, three were killed in Jordan, by an Iranian proxy. The Americans did not want a war to break out with the Iranians directly, waited about a week, gave a heads up through Iraq, of the kind of attack that the Americans were planning, waited four days, gave the Iranians a chance to basically prepare and get their own forces out, and warned them that if this were to happen again, there would be direct consequences, a direct strike on Iran itself.

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A view of drones during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in Iran.

Iranian Army/WANA handout via REUTERS

Hard Numbers: Ukraine hits Iranian drones, Lula still leading, Japan needs stimulus, Chad bans opposition

70: Ukraine's military has shot down 70% of Iranian-made drones launched by Russia since mid-September. The drones are one of several reasons the war is having unexpected spillover effects in Middle Eastern politics.

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Smoke rises after a Russian drones strike on Kyiv, Ukraine.


What We’re Watching: Drones over Kyiv, GOP’s advantage, Kishida’s church probe

Russia starts droning on

Russia attacked targets across Ukraine on Monday with Iranian-made “suicide drones,” which fly into targets and then explode. At least four people were killed when one of them struck an apartment complex in Kyiv. The building is located across the street from the offices of Ukraine’s national energy company, which may have been the intended target. That’s consistent with Russia’s recent approach of striking critical civilian infrastructure in retaliation for Ukraine’s sabotage of the Kerch Strait bridge earlier this month. Also on Monday, a Russian drone strike crippled a major sunflower oil export terminal in the southern city of Mykolaiv, raising the prospect of a renewed turbulence in prices for cooking oil, a staple in kitchens around the world. Tehran denies supplying the drones, but experts say they are clearly Shahed-136 drones from Iran. Until now, drones have been deployed to the most devastating effect by the Ukrainians, but Russia — suffering military setbacks on the ground and unable to establish aerial dominance — could be seeking a way to strike lots of targets crudely and at a relatively low cost. Although drones are slow-moving and easier to shoot down than jets or missiles, Ukraine is still calling for better air defenses overall. See our recent interview with a Ukrainian drone operator here.

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