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Calls for de-escalation amid reports of Israeli strikes on Iran

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Countries around the world urged for de-escalation on Friday as US media reported Israeli strikes on Iran in the latest tit-for-tat exchange between the two arch-foes, whose decades of shadow war has broken out into the open and threatened to drag the region deeper into conflict.

Israel had previously warned it would hit back after Iran fired hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel almost a week ago, in retaliation for a deadly strike — which Tehran blamed on its foe — that levelled Iran’s consular annex at its embassy in Syria.

While most of the Iranian strikes were intercepted, fears of a major regional spillover from Israel’s Gaza offensive have since soared.

Today, Iran’s state media reported explosions in the central province of Isfahan, as US media quoted officials saying Israel had carried out retaliatory strikes on its arch-rival.

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