Here is what happened in the Middle East on Tuesday: Islamic State militants attacked a charity convoy with thousands of tons of humanitarian aid from Lebanon and Jordan, in a bold show of force that highlighted the growing political ramifications of the sectarian conflict in Syria.
And, in Tehran, Iran unleashed a full-on bomb-laced invasion of the heavily fortified city center of the world’s most powerful Shi’ite Muslim power. Three Israelis were killed and at least 30 were wounded in the attack, which was carried out by men claiming allegiance to the Islamic State.
It was a night of extreme violence in the Middle East — about which more later.
Iran and Israel are engaged in a tense battle for supremacy in the Arab world, and the government of Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is working to influence the political unrest that is shaking the region. This conflict extended to the border city of Haifa, as passengers on buses traveling from Israel bound for Baghdad were attacked, with rockets landing near an elementary school and the highway that serves as a transfer link between Israel and Lebanon.
The attack was carried out by Palestinians who appeared to take credit for the killing of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006.
Meanwhile, Islamic State militants began striking a convoy carrying assistance from countries that fought with the United States against the militants in Iraq and Syria.