"We should be prepared for continued airstrikes and exchange of fire along the border," said Turner, adding that both terrorist and cyberattacks targeting Israeli interests cannot be discounted. Meanwhile, Israel, emboldened by the Trump administration and tacit support from Gulf monarchies, will likely step up its aerial campaign against Iranian targets.
U.S. Ambassador James Dobbins, a senior fellow at RAND Corporation who served in crisis management posts for the Clinton, Bush and Obama administrations, agreed, adding that a full-scale war is still less probable. "Iran and Israel are likely to continue clashing in Syria," Dobbins told CNBC. "Strikes from Israel all the way to Iran or vice versa seem less likely, although possible if the local conflict becomes more intense."
While the possibility of an all-out war remains on the table, most regional analysts see the conflict continuing in the form of limited skirmishes, which risk consultancy firm Eurasia Group puts at a 65 percent probability, largely due to Iran's awareness of its own vulnerability to severe retaliation from Israel or the U.S.
The clashes "will likely be sporadic and not escalate to a wider conflagration," Eurasia Group researchers wrote in a report Thursday night. "Tehran will likely judge it must retaliate for last night's assault, but it also does not want to take action that would provide Israel the pretext to launch a wider attack on Iranian facilities and personnel, which remain vulnerable."