1. "Iran has formed a coalition against itself." Consequences of the attack
  2. Why Iran is not Russia. Allies' position
  3. Fear of a new big war. Conclusions for Ukraine

Iran has directly and massively attacked Israel for the first time – launching more than 300 cruise and ballistic missiles and drones at the country. The threats were intercepted by a collective effort: most of the threats were destroyed by the United States, France, Britain, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

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The country practically avoided casualties and damage from the attack.

"Iran has inadvertently formed a regional coalition against itself [in the Middle East], which has now proven its effectiveness in defense," Israeli MP and Knesset Deputy Speaker Evgeny Sova explains to the allies' activity.

The drones and cruise missiles were shot down before they even entered Israeli airspace – over Jordan and Iraq, Israeli Defense Forces officer Yigal Levin tells They were flying at least 1,200 kilometers across Jordan, Iraq, and Syria.

Meanwhile, yet another Russian missile flew for 39 seconds into the territory of Poland, a NATO country, and left freely to strike Ukraine's energy system overnight on March 23-24. The Polish military scrambled fighter jets but did not shoot it down.

Not to mention destroying Russian missiles in the skies over Ukraine, as Kyiv has repeatedly asked its Western allies to do. analyzed why Ukraine is not Israel, and Iran is not Russia, and why the United States and its allies will not shoot down missiles over the country.

"Iran has formed a coalition against itself." Consequences of the attack

Iran attacked Israel as a response to the April 1 Israeli attack on the embassy in Damascus, which killed senior Iranian officers.

Over the 40 years of conflict, the Israelis have repeatedly targeted Iranian advisors, weapons, proxies, and facilities outside of Iran. Tehran has always responded through proxies, Levin says.

"Technically, nothing has changed. For Israel, it makes no difference whether it shoots down Iranian missiles from Hezbollah terrorists from Lebanon or from Iran itself. In the second case, it is even easier because they fly longer. The whole coalition helped to fight back, including Saudi Arabia and Jordan, in addition to Western countries. While the Jordanians recognize Israel's right to exist, the Saudis do not. But Iran united everyone as a common threat," Levin says.

"Iran has proven to be a threat to stability in the Middle East. It is one thing to conduct aggressive actions against Israel through proxies, and another to threaten the United States to strike its military bases in the Persian Gulf or countries that cooperate with Jerusalem," Israeli politician and Knesset Deputy Speaker Evgeny Sova tells

"Inadvertently, Iran has formed a regional coalition against itself that has proven effective in defense. In the future, I hope it will also be effective in eliminating the Iranian threat. Tehran, as a UN member state, openly threatens to wipe Israel off the map. It is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. We take these statements more than seriously," says Sova.

The first consequence of the Iranian attack is that the "red line" in the form of the threat of direct Iranian attacks on Israel has disappeared, Iliya Kusa, a Middle East expert at the Ukrainian Institute for the Future think tank, tells In fact, this has already happened.

The second is that Iran did receive information on how Israel and its allies' air defense works in the region, the analyst adds.

Third, Jerusalem successfully repelled the attack, showing that the multibillion-dollar investment in air defense is fully justified. The attack showed that most external actors, including regional countries, do not want a direct war between Israel and Iran.

"The United States and its allies, when they shot down Iranian missiles, deterred Israel itself from retaliating," Serhiy Danilov, deputy director of the Center for Middle East Studies, tells, "It would have taken place if the attack had caused significant damage or deaths. Also, Western allies were defending their place as players in the region."

Іранська атака на Ізраїль в ніч проти 14 квітня (Фото: EPA-EFE / ATEF SAFADI)
Iranian attack on Israel on the night of April 14 (Photo: EPA-EFE / ATEF SAFADI)

On April 19, Israel responded to the attack by launching an air strike on military targets in Iran. The United States was not involved, but it was warned. Nuclear facilities were not attacked. The explosions occurred near a military base in the central city of Isfahan and in the sky above the city of Tabriz.

Why Iran is not Russia. Allies' position

After the attack, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on partners to increase assistance to Ukraine, noting that NATO's Article Five was not even needed to protect Israel from missiles: this is a clear demonstration of what allies are not on paper.

"The world has seen how effective unity can be in defending against terror, if there is sufficient political will at the core. Iranian Shahed [drones] sound the same in Ukraine and in the Middle East," he said.

The United States has very different relations with Ukraine and Israel, and America fears a nuclear war with Russia, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller explained the difference in US actions on April 16.

Іранські ракети середньої дальності Nazeat показують під час святкування Дня армії в Тегерані, 17 квітня (Фото: EPA-EFE / ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH)
Iranian medium-range Nazeat missiles are displayed during the Army Day celebrations in Tehran, April 17 (Photo: EPA-EFE / ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH)

"I saw President [Zelenskyy's] comments and very much understand where he’s coming from... It is important to note the context that we have an entirely different relationship with Ukraine and Israel in that our relationship with Israel goes back decades in terms of a security partnership. We have had a decades-long security partnership with Israel where we have been providing them direct military aid, not just going back two years of a conflict, but for decades and have had long broad-standing communications between our military and the Israeli military... Ukraine is just in a different position in that we did not have that kind of agreement with them prior to the immediate months before this conflict," Miller said.

The United States is not in an armed military conflict with Russia, he stressed. Therefore, they cannot fly American planes in the skies over Ukraine in response to Russian attacks.

"The President of the United States has made that very clear. It’s in the interest of the American people that we not be in direct armed conflict between the United States and Russia because we do not want World War III," Miller stated.

"Different conflicts, different airspace, different threat picture" are mentioned by the White House security adviser John Kirby: "President Biden has been crystal clear since the beginning of this conflict: there will be no U.S. troops on the ground in a combat role in Ukraine. We are providing Ukraine with the weapons it needs to protect its airspace."

С-300 на святкуванні Дня армії в Тегерані, 17 квітня (Фото: EPA-EFE / ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH)
S-300 at the Army Day celebration in Tehran, April 17 (Photo: EPA-EFE / ABEDIN TAHERKENAREH)

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said on LBC that their air force cannot shoot down drones and missiles over Ukraine as it does over Israel, as this risks escalation and a large-scale war in Europe.

"We've done more than any other country individually to help the Ukrainians. We've trained over 60,000 Ukrainian troops, we were the first to give them anti-tank weapons, long-range artillery and tanks. But there are risks if we use British weapons in a direct confrontation with Russia. If you want to avoid an escalation in terms of a wider European war, I think the one thing you do need to avoid is NATO troops directly engaging Russian troops," Cameron said.

During the invasion, Russian missiles flew into Poland twice (the last time for 39 seconds) and crashed twice more, killing two people. Warsaw claimed that the people were killed by fragments of Ukrainian air defense, and summoned the Russian ambassador and charge d'affaires. Russian UAVs flew into Romanian airspace three times on top of one missile. Bucharest summoned the ambassador. No attempt was made to shoot down the missiles.

Fear of a new big war. Conclusions for Ukraine

NATO countries do not want to get directly involved in Ukraine's war against Russia, because they are really afraid of a nuclear war, Kusa states. The fear of European countries and the United States affects their political decisions.

They do not see such a risk with Iran yet.

Israel has signed military assistance agreements with the United States and some European countries. Ukraine has no such agreements.

For 25 years, Israel has been building and still strengthening its air and missile defenses, Knesset Deputy Speaker Evgeny Sova tells The country relies primarily on itself, on its own engineering developments and money: "This is very expensive for the Israeli taxpayer, but when lives are at stake, the state's choice is clear."

Israel does not wait for help, but initiates and does what is necessary. In particular, it is always working with partners. The Iron Dome and Arrow missile defense systems are joint U.S.-Israeli developments, he notes.

"We have one big drawback: a small country with no strategic rear. In particular, in terms of air defense. Hence the urgent need for regional alliances. The attack showed that to effectively defend our territory, we need to involve the forces of neighboring states in the sky. However, most of the drones, cruise and ballistic missiles were shot down by Israel itself with the support of its allies, not the other way around," Sova adds.

There are several reasons why the allies have repelled attacks on Israel, but do not want to do so with Ukraine, Danilov said: "The different weight of Iran and Russia. Moscow can threaten America. Tehran can only threaten US regional interests. Iran does not yet have nuclear weapons or intercontinental ballistic missiles, only short-range ones."

The combined missile and drone attacks on Israel are very similar to those suffered by Ukrainians, Levin says: "Ukraine should establish more military cooperation with Israel. It is beneficial for both, because we have a common enemy – Iran. We should exchange experience more actively."

Акція перед посольством США в Празі 17 квітня з закликом до країн НАТО захистити небо над Україною так само, як над Ізраїлем (Фото:  EPA-EFE / MARTIN DIVISEK)
Action in front of the US Embassy in Prague on April 17 with a call to NATO countries to protect the skies over Ukraine in the same way as over Israel (Photo: EPA-EFE / MARTIN DIVISEK)

If the countries have a common interest and practical opportunities for cooperation, anything is possible, the Israeli lawmaker adds. But such things "should not be the subject of open discussion in the media."

Among the main conclusions for Ukraine, first, is that the EU and NATO countries are not ready to fight two major wars at the same time, says Kusa.

Secondly, destabilization of the Middle East is not beneficial for Ukraine, as it distracts the attention of partners and raises oil prices in the world, which is beneficial for Russia, Kusa adds. A potential new major war creates additional risks that may prompt partners to try to freeze the war in Ukraine, as they will not be able to handle several major conflicts at the same time.

Thirdly, Ukraine's own air defense system and strong military-industrial complex are the key to its security. Relying on aid alone is a bad strategy.