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The New Year and the Situation in the Middle East

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Any hope that the new year would bring some stability to the Middle East has been dashed. There are now growing fears that the intertwining conflicts in the volatile region will become far bigger and more dangerous. In the first week of 2024, Iran was also damaged in the form of bombings, along with two major acts of violence related to the ongoing Israeli massacre in Gaza. On Wednesday, two bombs exploded near the tomb of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in the Iranian city of Kerman. More than 80 people who had gathered in 2020 to mark the anniversary of Soleimani’s assassination by the US were killed in the bombings. The bombings are one of the deadliest attacks on Iran in years. Just a day earlier, senior Hamas leader Saleh al-Aruri was killed, along with other associates, in a missile strike in Beirut’s Dahiya neighborhood, a stronghold of Iran-backed Hezbollah. It is not clear who is responsible for the Kerman blasts. Terrorists from the self-proclaimed Islamic State group have targeted Iranian targets in the past, while Israel has also carried out assassinations against Iranian military and government figures. Among them was the killing of a top Pasdaran commander in Syria late last year. With regard to al-Aruri’s murder, there is no doubt that Tel Aviv is responsible.

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