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Eyewitness footage shows explosion at military industry factory in Isfahan, Iran.

Reuters

What We're Watching: Iran weapons depot targeted, fierce battles in eastern Ukraine, Czechs back pro-EU president, McCarthy-Biden debt limit meeting

What we know about the Isfahan attack

In what’s broadly believed to have been an Israeli attack, three drones hit an Iranian ammunition factory in the central city of Isfahan, Iran, on Saturday night. Iranian state media said damage to the site was “minor,” but phone footage suggests that the compound – used to produce advanced weapons and home to its Nuclear Fuel Research and Production Center – took a serious blow. An oil refinery in the country's northwest also broke out in flames on Saturday, though the cause remains unknown. Then, on Sunday night, a weapons convoy traveling from Syria to Iraq was also targeted by airstrikes. US reports attributed the Isfahan attack to Israel – which has in the past targeted nuclear sites in Natanz and hit Iranian convoys transporting weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Indeed, this comes after Russia purchased hundreds of Iranian-made “suicide drones,” which it has used to pummel Ukrainian cities. While the deepening military alliance between Iran and Russia is a growing concern for Washington, it’s unclear if Uncle Sam played a role in the Isfahan hit – or whether Israel, which has to date refused to deliver heavy arms to Kyiv, agreed to carry out this attack in part to frustrate Iranian drone deliveries to the Russians. The escalation comes just days after CIA Director William Burns flew to Israel for meetings with his Israeli counterparts – and as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken heads to Israel and the West Bank this week. Crucially, it highlights the increasing overlap between Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and the longtime shadow war between Iran and Israel.

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GZERO Media

Israel, Iran, and the metastasizing war in Ukraine

Wars tend to spread, infecting parts of the world far from the frontlines and the Ukraine conflict is no exception.

The global economic ripple effects of the war in Ukraine – from the world’s sharpest “hunger pains” since World War II to soaring inflation and energy crises – have been clear for months.

The news that Iran has now become deeply involved in Russia’s war effort, by supplying the Kremlin with “suicide drones” for the bombardment of Ukrainian targets, has ricocheted deep into the Middle East, raising tough questions for one state in particular: Israel.

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