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Israel says 300 Iranian drones and missiles downed in ‘unprecedented’ attack – CNBC

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Israel says 300 Iranian drones and missiles downed in ‘unprecedented’ attack  CNBC

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The shadow war between Iran and Israel has been exposed. What happens next? – Yahoo! Voices

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The shadow war between Iran and Israel has been exposed. What happens next?  Yahoo! Voices

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@IDF: The architect of global terrorism: Iran Iran heavily funds, supports and trains terrorist groups around the world—expanding its influence all across the globe. Iran has revealed it’s true face as the biggest sponsor of global terrorism.

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The architect of global terrorism: Iran

Iran heavily funds, supports and trains terrorist groups around the world—expanding its influence all across the globe.

Iran has revealed it’s true face as the biggest sponsor of global terrorism. pic.twitter.com/nFXVymAozf

— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) April 14, 2024


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Israeli President addresses strike on Iranian consulate in Syria – Sky News

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Israeli President addresses strike on Iranian consulate in Syria  Sky News

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Biden in ‘very tough spot’ trying to stop Middle East escalation

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Iran’s attack on Israel gives Joe Biden a familiar dilemma, but on steroids — how to balance support for a difficult ally while preventing the nightmare scenario of a wider war?

Tensions with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over Israel’s war on Gaza were papered over as the US president offered “ironclad” support, including shooting down Iranian drones.

But the White House said it would not support an Israeli counterattack and warned Israel to “think carefully” about escalation that could trigger a full-blown regional conflict.


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Israel Faced a Sophisticated Attack From Iran

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The weapons Iran used on Saturday travel farther and are more precise than those Hamas and other allies have used against Israel in the past six months.

A bright line of light arcs across a dark nighttime sky.

Drones or missiles being fired at Israel from Iran on early Sunday.Credit…Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

Jin Yu Young
  • April 14, 2024, 2:41 a.m. ET

Late Saturday, Iran began firing hundreds of drones and missiles at Israel, including weapons that experts say are more sophisticated than anything Israel had encountered until now in six months of fighting with Hamas and its allies in the region.

Previously, Israel had faced aerial attacks from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, whose rocket arsenal includes short-range (12 to 25 miles) and somewhat inaccurate 122-milimeter rockets of the Grad family, as well as Syrian-made M-302 rockets with a range of about 100 miles. Hamas also has Fajr-5 rockets from Iran and a similar, locally made version of the Fajr-5, both with a range of about 50 miles.

The weapons Iran used on Saturday can travel much farther, and some of them can travel much faster. Still, Israel said that nearly all of the missiles and drones that Iran fired were intercepted, many with help from U.S. forces.

In Saturday’s attack, 185 drones, 36 cruise missiles and 110 surface-to-surface missiles were fired toward Israel, according to Israeli military officials. Most of the launches were from Iran, though a small portion came from Iraq and Yemen, the officials said.

Fabian Hinz, an expert on Iran’s military at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in Berlin, said in a post on X that Iran is likely using a cruise missile developed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the Paveh 351. It has a range of more than 1,200 miles — plenty to reach Israel from Iran.

According to his post, different versions of that missile have also been provided to the Houthis in Yemen and to the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces.

And Jeffrey Lewis, a member of the International Security Advisory Board at the U.S. State Department, said in a post on X that Iran was using land-attack cruise missiles that could carry around a ton of explosives.

He also noted that much of Iran’s arsenal of ballistic missiles have a long enough range to reach Israel. And though Iran’s drones carry much smaller explosive payloads than missiles, they have the advantage of being able to hover and shift targets.

In recent decades, Iran has largely been focused on deterrence, long-range missiles, drones and air defenses. It has one of the largest ballistic missile and drone arsenals across the Middle East, according to weapons experts, and is also becoming a major arms exporter globally.

Last year, after the attack by Hamas in October, Israel asked the United States for more precision-guided munitions for its combat aircraft and more interceptors for its Iron Dome missile defense system. Israel’s weapons arsenal includes Vietnam-era missiles, some of which have a failure rate as high as 15 percent.


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Iranian Attack: 5 billion shekels in a single night

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The former economic advisor to the Chief of Staff, Col. (Res.) Ram Aminach, argues that the defense budget should be increased due to the intensification of the Iranian threats.

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The Latest | Israel says it intercepted 99% of drones and missiles launched by Iran

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Israel praised the success of its defenses in the face of an unprecedented attack by Iran involving hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles.

An Israeli military spokesman said Sunday the launches numbered more than 300, but 99% of them were intercepted. Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Iran fired 170 drones, more than 30 cruise missiles and more than 120 ballistic missiles. Several ballistic missiles reached Israeli territory, causing minor damage to an air base.

The Iranian attack on Saturday, less than two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria that killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building, marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Israel and Iran have been on a collision course throughout Israel’s six-month war against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The war erupted after Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two militant groups backed by Iran, carried out a devastating cross-border attack on Oct. 7 that killed 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped 250 others.

An Israeli offensive in Gaza has caused widespread devastation and killed over 33,000 people, according to local health officials.

Currently:

Iran’s attack on Israel raised fears of a wider war, but all sides in the conflict also scored gains.

US helps Israel shoot down ‘nearly all’ Iran-launched attack drones as Biden vows support.

— President Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his Delaware beach house to meet with his national security team and monitor the situation in the Middle East as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

— Israel has a multilayered air-defense system. It faces a big test with the Iranian drone strike.

Here is the latest:

IRAN SUMMONS 3 EU AMBASSADORS OVER CONDEMNATION OF ATTACK ON ISRAEL

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday summoned the ambassadors of the U.K., Germany and France after the three European nations condemned an Iranian attack on Israel.

The ministry said on its website that the ambassadors were called in over their governments’ “irresponsible stances” on the Iranian operation against Israel, which was in retaliation for a strike widely blamed on Israel on an Iranian consular building in Syria earlier this month that killed two Iranian generals.

RUSSIA EXPRESSES CONCERN FOLLOWING IRAN’S ATTACK ON ISRAEL

Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its “utmost concern” Sunday following Iranian strikes on Israel.

It said it hoped that Middle Eastern governments would resolve their problems through political and diplomatic means.

It also said that Western states had stopped the U.N. Security Council from “adequately responding” to the April 1 strike on Iran’s consulate building in Syria.

“We have repeatedly warned that unresolved crises throughout the Middle East — primarily in the area of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — are often being fueled by irresponsible and provocative actions and will lead to increased tensions in the area,” the ministry said in a statement.

IRAN WARNS U.S. AGAINST COOPERATION WITH ISRAEL IN ANY NEW ATTACK

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran has sent a message to the U.S. warning Washington against cooperation with Israel in any military operation again Tehran following its unprecedented attack on Israel.

The state-run IRNA news agency quoted Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, as saying that Tehran had communicated its message to the U.S. through the Swiss Embassy, which handles U.S. interests in Iran in the absence of diplomatic relations.

President Ebrahim Raisi sent a message praising Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard for launching the attack, saying it had taught a lesson to the “Zionist regime.” He also warned that “any new adventure against the interests of the Iranian nation would be met with a heavier and regretful response from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

State TV meanwhile broadcast interviews with people on the street who praised the Iranian missile and drone attack on Israel and thanked the Iranian military.

HAMAS DEMANDS WRITTEN COMMITMENT THAT ISRAEL WILL WITHDRAW FROM GAZA

CAIRO — Hamas has demanded a “clear written commitment” that Israel will withdraw from the Gaza Strip during the second of a three-phase cease-fire deal, a senior Egyptian official and a Hamas official said Sunday.

The Palestinian militant group said Saturday it submitted its response to a six-week cease-fire proposal to Egyptian and Qatari mediators. It said it’s still committed to its demands for a permanent cease-fire, Israeli army withdrawal from all parts of Gaza, the return of displaced people to their homes, intensifying the flow of aid and the start of reconstruction. Israel said earlier Sunday that Hamas had rejected the latest proposal for a deal submitted last week.

“We confirm our readiness to reach a deal regarding a serious exchange of prisoners between the two sides,” Hamas said.

The proposal presented to both sides calls for a six-week cease-fire in Gaza, during which Hamas would release 40 of the more than 100 hostages the group is holding in the enclave in exchange for 900 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, including 100 serving long sentences for serious crimes.

The Egyptian official said Hamas wants “a comprehensive, phased deal” that included ending the war, Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and an agreement of all hostages in return for a large number of Palestinian prisoners. Israel says it wants to destroy Hamas’ military and governing capabilities.

The officials said the response also included an increase in the number of Palestinian prisoners Hamas wants released from Israel.

The officials from Egypt and Hamas spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to disclose details from the sensitive negotiations. They said that Hamas’ response included the unrestricted return of displaced Palestinians in northern Gaza through the two main south-north thoroughfares.

The Egyptian official said mediators will carefully review the response before calling for another round of talks.

— By Samy Magdy

G7 LEADERS WILL CONVENE SUNDAY IN A VIDEO CALL

ROME — Leaders of the Group of Seven industrialized nations will hold a video conference Sunday to discuss an unprecedented Iranian attack against Israel.

Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni, whose country holds the G7 rotating presidency, wrote on X: “We express strong concern about a further destabilization of the region and continue to work to avoid it.”

U.S. President Joe Biden said the meeting is “to coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack.” The language indicated that the Biden administration does not want Iran’s assault to spiral into a broader military conflict.

JORDAN REPORTS IT BROUGHT DOWN IRANIAN OBJECTS OVER ITS TERRITORY

AMMAN, Jordan — The Jordanian Council of Ministers says that its forces “dealt with” parts of the Iranian attack that flew over its territory, “to prevent them from endangering the safety of our citizens and residential and inhabited areas.”

It said that fragments fell in multiple places but did not cause any significant damage or injuries.

The German Foreign Ministry said in a travel advisory Saturday that the Jordanian air force had shot down Iranian drones over Jordan, including over the capital, Amman.

Jordan’s airspace was reopened on Sunday morning.

JAPAN’S PRIME MINISTER CONDEMNS THE IRANIAN ATTACK

TOKYO — Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Sunday condemned Iran’s attack on Israel as a move to worsen the ongoing Middle East situation.

“I am deeply concerned and strongly condemn the escalation,” he told reporters.

Kishida said his government will do the utmost for the safety of Japanese citizens in the region, and stressed the importance of diplomatic effort to prevent further escalation of tensions. He said there has been no report of injury to Japanese nationals so far from the attack.

Kishida made the comment shortly after returning to Tokyo after a weeklong visit to the United States, where he stressed Japan’s role as a committed partner for the U.S. in global security and other issues.

IRAN SAYS ITS STRIKE WAS MORE SUCCESSFUL THAN IT EXPECTED

TEHRAN, Iran — The chief of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard says the operation against Israel was more successful than expected.

Gen. Hossein Salami, in an interview with state TV, said they were still collecting information but that “the part of the hits that we have detailed and documented reports from the field show that this operation was more successful.”

He also said the Iranian forces had carried out a limited operation that matched “the evil that the Zionist enemy had done.”

Salami described the Israeli air defense system as complex, multi-layered and advanced and said passing through this system was a very difficult task.

“It means designing an operation that can pass drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles through this space and destroy them (targets) on the ground with extremely high accuracy,” he said.

HAMAS LAUDS IRAN’S ATTACK ON ISRAEL

CAIRO — Hamas on Sunday praised Iran’s unprecedented missile and drone attack on Israel, saying it was a “deserved response to the crime” of a strike on Iran’s consulate in Syria two weeks ago.

The strike on the Iranian diplomatic compound on April 1 killed two Iranian generals and was widely attributed to Israel.

Hamas, an Islamic militant group backed by Iran, also appealed for continued support for its war with Israel in Gaza, now in its seventh month. Hamas directed the appeal at Arab and Islamic nations, as well as Iran-backed groups in the region.

Hamas said in the statement that it is fighting for “the right of our Palestinian people to freedom and independence and the establishment of its Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Hamas has been branded a terror organization by the West and has rejected a so-called two-state solution, instead seeking Israel’s destruction.

HEZBOLLAH SAYS IT FIRED DOZENS OF ROCKETS TOWARD ISRAELI MILITARY POSTS IN GOLAN HEIGHTS

BEIRUT — Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group says it fired dozens of rockets toward Israeli military posts in Syria’s Israeli-occupied Golan Heights early Sunday after an Israeli airstrike killed one person in Lebanon.

The group said the attack was in retaliation for Israeli airstrikes overnight on towns and villages in southern Lebanon that killed and wounded “civilians.”

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said Israeli airstrikes hit areas including the border villages of Kfar Kila and Odeisseh, as well as the town of Khiam. It said the airstrike on Khiam, a few miles from the border, killed one person and wounded others.

The exchange early Sunday came as Iran launched hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles toward Israel in an unprecedented revenge mission for the April 1 airstrike on the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital, Damascus.

ISRAEL REOPENS ITS AIRSPACE AFTER IRANIAN ATTACK

TEL AVIV, Israel — Israel has reopened its airspace following an unprecedented attack on its territory by Iran.

Israel’s Transportation Ministry said the country’s main international airport has resumed operations. It said domestic airports would reopen throughout the day Sunday.

Israel says Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles toward its territory in the early morning attack, and that air defenses intercepted 99% of them. Minor damage was caused to an air base, the military said.

The military announced measures on Saturday in anticipation of the Iranian attack, closing its airspace, canceling school and limiting public gatherings to no more than 1,000 people.

ISRAEL HAILS INTERCEPTION OF IRANIAN MISSILES AND DRONES

JERUSALEM — Israel on Sunday hailed the interception of virtually all of the more than 300 Iranian missiles and drones targeting its territory as a significant strategic success.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted on social platform X: “We intercepted. We blocked. Together, we will win.”

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant added that “the Iranian attack was blocked in the most impressive way, together with our partners, the Americans and others.”

The Israeli army spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said that 99% of more than 300 launches, including drones, surface-to-surface missiles and cruise missiles, were intercepted outside Israeli territory. He said only a few got through, causing minor damage to an air base and injuring a 7-year-old girl in another location.

The successful interceptions come at a time when Israel is bogged down in its war against Hamas in Gaza, triggered by the militants’ deadly Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel. At the start of the war, Israel vowed to crush Hamas and bring back hostages the militants had taken on Oct. 7. Yet Hamas, while significantly weakened, remains standing, and dozens of hostages are still in Gaza.

NETANYAHU SAYS HAMAS REJECTS LATEST CEASE-FIRE PROPOSAL

JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Sunday that Hamas has rejected the latest proposal for a temporary cease-fire in Gaza, which would was to include the release of about 40 hostages held by the Islamic militants.

The proposal had been presented to Hamas a week ago by mediators Qatar, Egypt and the United States.

The Israeli statement said that Israel had shown flexibility in the negotiations. It alleged that Hamas leader Yehya Sinwar “continues to take advantage of the tensions with Iran” and seeks a wider regional escalation.

The statement came just hours after Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel early Sunday, with Israel saying 99% of the launches were intercepted.

ISRAELI DEFENSE MINISTER CALLS IRAN ‘A COUNTRY OF TERROR’

JERUSALEM — Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Sunday called Iran “a country of terror” after Tehran launched hundreds of drones and missiles toward Israel in an unprecedented attack.

“The Iranian attack was blocked in the most impressive way, together with our partners, the Americans and others … The entire world saw today who is Iran — a country of terror,” Gallant said.

The attack, less than two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria that killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building, marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

U.N SECURITY COUNCIL CALLS AN EMERGENCY MEETING

The U.N. Security Council called an emergency meeting for 4 p.m. EDT (2000 GMT) on Sunday, after Iran launched hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles at Israel.

“The gravity and volume of the attacks is unprecedented,” Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan wrote in a letter to the council late Saturday calling for the meeting.

BIDEN SAYS U.S. HELPED ISRAEL DOWN ‘NEARLY ALL’ IRANIAN DRONES AND MISSILES

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden says U.S. forces helped Israel down “nearly all” of the drones and missiles launched by Iran and pledged to convene allies to develop a unified response.

Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke early Sunday, Israeli time, their governments said. Biden said in a statement that he reaffirmed “America’s ironclad commitment” to Israel’s security — a departure from his harsh criticism over Israel’s handling of the war in Gaza.

“At my direction, to support the defense of Israel, the U.S. military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week,” Biden said in the statement. “Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles.”

UN CHIEF CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE CESSATION OF HOSTILITIES

U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres is calling for an immediate halt to hostilities in the Middle East.

“I strongly condemn the serious escalation represented by the large-scale attack launched on Israel by the Islamic Republic of Iran this evening,” Guterres wrote in a statement Saturday night.

“I am deeply alarmed about the very real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation. I urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East,” Guterres wrote. “I have repeatedly stressed that neither the region nor the world can afford another war.”

GERMANY, FRANCE, CANADA CONDEMN IRANIAN ATTACKS AGAINST ISRAEL

The French government forcefully condemned the Iranian air attack on Israel.

French foreign minister Stéphane Séjourné said in a statement Saturday that in “taking such an unprecedented action, Iran has crossed a new threshold with regard to its destabilizing activities and is risking a potential military escalation.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock wrote early Sunday on X that Germany condemns “in the strongest possible terms the ongoing attack, which could plunge an entire region into chaos.

“Iran and its proxies must stop it immediately,” Baerbock wrote. “We offer Israel our full solidarity at this time.”

Likewise, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his nation “unequivocally condemns Iran’s airborne attacks against Israel.”

“We stand with Israel. After supporting Hamas’ brutal October 7 attack, the Iranian regime’s latest actions will further destabilize the region and make lasting peace more difficult,” Trudeau said in a statement.

“We support Israel’s right to defend itself and its people from these attacks.”

BRITAIN AND ARGENTINA RESPOND TO IRANIAN ATTACK ON ISRAEL

U.K. Defense Secretary Grant Shapps said additional Royal Air Force jets and air refueling tankers have been sent to the Middle East to bolster Britain’s existing operation against the Islamic State Group in Iraq and Syria.

He said the jets “will intercept airborne attacks within range of our existing missions,” but did not confirm whether RAF jets had already shot down any Iranian drones.

Meanwhile, the spokesperson of Argentine President Javier Milei says the leader will cancel a trip to Denmark and return to Buenos Aires due to Iran’s attack on Israel.

A statement from presidential spokesperson Manuel Adorni said Milei was flying home to form a “crisis committee in light of the latest events in Israel, to take charge of the situation and coordinate actions with the presidents of the Western world.”


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Israel says Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles, 99% of which were intercepted

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Loud booms were heard in Jerusalem after Iran launched missiles and drones at Israel.

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Booms heard in Jerusalem after Iran launches missiles and drones at Israel

Loud booms were heard in Jerusalem after Iran launched missiles and drones at Israel.

Sirens and explosions in Jerusalem after Iran fires drones and missiles

Sirens and explosions could be heard in Jerusalem on Sunday after Iran fired drones and missiles towards Israel.

Israeli military spokesman: we will do everything to defend Israel

The Israeli military said it would do everything to defend Israel, as Iran launched a first direct military attack against Israel on Saturday, sending drones and ballistic missiles toward Israel. Iran’s state-run media reported that dozens of drones had been fired.

Military expert weighs in on Iran’s military attack against Israel

Iran launched a first direct military attack against Israel on Saturday, sending drones and cruise and ballistic missiles toward Israel.

Israeli military says Iran has launched drones at Israel

Israeli military spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that Iran has launched drones from its territory at Israel. Israel has been preparing for the possibility of a direct attack from Iran and is ready “for any scenario,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Saturday.

Hardliners celebrate outside British embassy in Tehran after Iran’s attack on Israel

A group of hardliners gathered outside the British embassy in Tehran early Sunday to celebrate missile and drone attacks on Israel. Protesters chanted “Death to Israel” and thanked the revolutionary guard for the attacks.

Netanyahu: Israel is ‘prepared for any scenario’ regarding attacks from Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel’s defenses are ready after Iran launched dozens of drones and ballistic missiles toward Israel on Saturday

Iran state TV: missiles, drones fired at targets in Israel

Iran’s state TV confirmed early on Sunday that the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guard had launched drones and missiles at Israel. Iran launched drones toward Israel late Saturday, the Israeli military also announced, and Iran’s state-run media reported that dozens had been fired.

Iranian missiles or drones being intercepted in the sky above Jordan

Iranian missiles or drones were intercepted in the sky above the Jordanian capital, Amman, on Sunday.

Objects flying over the sky were seen from the West Bank as Iran attacks Israel

Objects flying over the sky were seen from the West Bank, while booms and air raid sirens have sounded in Jerusalem after Iran launched dozens of drones and ballistic missiles toward Israel in an unprecedented revenge mission that pushes the Middle East closer to a regionwide war.

Hardliners celebrate in Tehran after Iran attacks Israel with missiles, drones

A group of hardline supporters of the Iranian government gathered overnight in central Tehran to celebrate the country’s missile and drone attacks against Israel.

Iranian missiles seen over the West Bank

Missiles could be seen in the night sky over the West Bank early on Sunday as Iran launched a first direct military attack against Israel, sending drones and cruise and ballistic missiles toward Israel.

Photos

By JOSEF FEDERMAN and JON GAMBRELL
Updated [hour]:[minute] [AMPM] [timezone], [monthFull] [day], [year]  

JERUSALEM (AP) — Booms and air raid sirens sounded across Israel early Sunday after Iran launched hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles in an unprecedented revenge mission that pushed the Middle East closer to a regionwide war. A military spokesman said the launches numbered more than 300 but 99% of them were intercepted.

Calling the outcome “a very significant strategic success,” Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said Iran fired 170 drones, more than 30 cruise missiles and more than 120 ballistic missiles. Of those, several ballistic missiles reached Israeli territory, causing minor damage to an air base.

Rescuers said a 7-year-old girl in a Bedouin Arab town was seriously wounded in southern Israel, apparently in a missile strike, though they said police were still investigating the circumstances of her injuries.

In Washington, President Joe Biden said U.S. forces helped Israel down “nearly all” the drones and missiles and pledged to convene allies to develop a unified response.

The Iranian attack, less than two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria that killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building, marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Condemnation from the United Nations chief and others was swift, with France saying Iran “is risking a potential military escalation,” Britain calling the attack “reckless” and Germany saying Iran and its proxies “must stop it immediately.”

Hagari said the vast majority of the intercepts came outside Israel’s borders, including 10 cruise missiles that were intercepted by warplanes.

Israeli Iron Dome air defense system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran, in central Israel, Sunday, April 14, 2024. Iran launched its first direct military attack against Israel on Saturday. The Israeli military says Iran fired more than 100 bomb-carrying drones toward Israel. Hours later, Iran announced it had also launched much more destructive ballistic missiles. (AP Photo/Tomer Neuberg)

Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran, in central Israel, Sunday, April 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Tomer Neuberg)

“A wide-scale attack by Iran is a major escalation,” he said. Asked whether Israel would respond, Hagari said only that the army “does and will do whatever is required to protect the security of the state of Israel.” He said the incident was not over, and dozens of Israeli warplanes remained in the skies.

Israel’s military said its Arrow system, which shoots down ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere, handled most interceptions and noted that “strategic partners” were involved.

“At my direction, to support the defense of Israel, the U.S. military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week,” Biden said in a statement. “Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our service members, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles.”

An Iranian demonstrator chants slogans while attending an anti-Israeli gathering at the Felestin (Palestine) Square in Tehran, Iran, early Sunday, April 14, 2024. Iran launched its first direct military attack against Israel Saturday. The Israeli military says Iran fired more than 100 bomb-carrying drones toward Israel. Hours later, Iran announced it had also launched much more destructive ballistic missiles. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

An Iranian demonstrator chants slogans while attending an anti-Israeli gathering at the Felestin (Palestine) Square in Tehran, Iran, early Sunday, April 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

An Iranian demonstrator flashes a victory sign as he holds a model of a bullet during an anti-Israeli gathering at the Felestin (Palestine) Square in Tehran, Iran, early Sunday, April 14, 2024. Iran launched its first direct military attack against Israel on Saturday. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

An Iranian demonstrator flashes a victory sign as he holds a model of a bullet during an anti-Israeli gathering in Tehran, Iran, early Sunday, April 14, 2024. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a separate statement that U.S. forces “intercepted dozens of missiles and UAVs en route to Israel, launched from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.”

Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke early Sunday, Israeli time, their governments said. Biden said in his statement that he reaffirmed “America’s ironclad commitment” to Israel’s security — a departure from his growing criticism of Israel’s conduct in its war on Hamas in Gaza.

Iran had vowed revenge since the April 1 airstrike in Syria, which Tehran accused Israel of being responsible for. Israel hasn’t commented on it.

Israel and Iran have been on a collision course throughout Israel’s six-month war against Hamas militants in Gaza. The war erupted after Hamas and Islamic Jihad, two militant groups backed by Iran, carried out a devastating cross-border attack on Oct. 7 that killed 1,200 people in Israel and kidnapped 250 others. An Israeli offensive in Gaza has caused widespread devastation and killed over 33,000 people, according to local health officials.

Almost immediately after the war erupted, Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed militant group in Lebanon, began attacking Israel’s northern border. The two sides have been involved in daily exchanges of fire, while Iranian-backed groups in Iraq, Syria and Yemen have launched rockets and missiles toward Israel.

In a statement carried late Saturday by Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency, the country’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard acknowledged launching “dozens of drones and missiles towards the occupied territories and positions of the Zionist regime.”

In a later statement, the Revolutionary Guard issued a direct warning to the U.S.: “The terrorist U.S. government is warned any support or participation in harming Iran’s interests will be followed by decisive and regretting response by Iran’s armed forces.”

IRNA also quoted an anonymous official saying ballistic missiles were part of the attack. A ballistic missile moves on an arch trajectory, heading up into space before gravity brings the weapon down at a speed several times faster than the speed of sound.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel’s defenses are ready after Iran launched dozens of drones and ballistic missiles on Saturday.

Israel has a multilayered air-defense network that includes systems capable of intercepting a variety of threats including long-range missiles, cruise missiles, drones and short-range rockets. However, in a massive attack involving multiple drones and missiles, the likelihood of a strike making it through is higher.

Iran has a vast arsenal of drones and missiles. Online videos shared by Iranian state television purported to show delta-wing-style drones resembling the Iranian Shahed-136s long used by Russia in its war on Ukraine. The slow-flying drones carry bombs. Ukraine has successfully used both surface-to-air missiles and ground fire to target them.

Some Israelis watched the interceptions light up the night sky.

Air raid sirens were reported in numerous places including northern Israel, southern Israel, the northern West Bank and the Dead Sea near the Jordanian border.

Israel’s army ordered residents in the Golan Heights — near the Syrian and Lebanese borders — as well as the southern towns of Nevatim and Dimona and the Red Sea resort of Eilat into protective spaces. Dimona is home to Israel’s main nuclear facility, and Nevatim has a major air base. Loud booms were heard in Jerusalem and northern and southern Israel.

The army’s Home Front Command canceled school Sunday and limited public gatherings to no more than 1,000 people. Israel and some other countries in the region closed their airspace.

Earlier, Netanyahu warned: “Whoever harms us, we will harm them.”

In Washington, Biden convened a principals meeting of the National Security Council to discuss the attack.

Gen. Erik Kurilla, the head of the U.S. military’s Central Command, was in Israel over the weekend consulting with Israeli defense officials. The Central Command oversees U.S. forces in the Middle East.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations issued a warning to both Israel and the U.S. “Should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe,” it wrote online. “It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the U.S. MUST STAY AWAY!”

For days, Iranian officials including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had threatened to “slap” Israel for the Syria strike.

In Iran’s capital, Tehran, witnesses saw long lines at gas stations early Sunday as people appeared worried about what may come next. Dozens of hard-liners demonstrated in support of the attack at Palestine Square.

Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency reported heavy Israeli airstrikes and shelling on multiple locations in south Lebanon following Iran’s launch of drones. The Lebanese militant group Hezbollah said it launched “dozens” of Katyusha rockets at an Israeli military site in the Golan Heights early Sunday. It was not immediately clear if there was any damage.

Iranian missiles or drones were intercepted in the sky above the Jordanian capital, Amman. In Lebanon’s capital, Beirut, and elsewhere in the country, residents reported seeing missiles in the sky and hearing explosions, likely from interceptions. In Syria, explosions were heard in the capital, Damascus, and elsewhere. Britain-based war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that Syrian air defenses tried to shoot down Israeli attempts to intercept Iranian missiles.

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Gambrell reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. AP correspondents Nasser Karimi in Tehran, Iran, Michael Balsamo in New York, Krutika Pathi in New Delhi, Stephen Graham in Berlin, Thomas Adamson in Paris, and Zeke Miller and Lolita C. Baldor in Washington contributed to this report.


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@thehill: NEW POLL: President Biden has narrowed former President Trump’s lead in what is likely to be a tight rematch of the 2020 election, according to the poll. trib.al/iSKSbeF

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NEW POLL: President Biden has narrowed former President Trump’s lead in what is likely to be a tight rematch of the 2020 election, according to the poll. https://t.co/EQ4mi5DxQf

— The Hill (@thehill) April 14, 2024

The post @thehill: NEW POLL: President Biden has narrowed former President Trump’s lead in what is likely to be a tight rematch of the 2020 election, according to the poll. trib.al/iSKSbeF first appeared on The South Caucasus News.


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