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Explosions in the sky over Jerusalem. Alamy Stock Photo

Iran launches drone and missile attack against Israel, warns US to 'stay away' from conflict

Iran has said the attack involves “dozens of missiles and drones at specific targets”.


IRAN HAS LAUNCHED a drone and missile attack at Israel directly from its territory, marking a major escalation of the long-running covert war between the regional foes.

Blasts were heard in the skies above Jerusalem early Sunday, AFP journalists said.

The attack, which Iran has confirmed, follows a presumed Israeli strike on 1 April that levelled an Iranian diplomatic building in Syria, killing seven members of the elite Revolutionary Guards including two generals.

Speaking on Saturday evening, IDF military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a televised statement that Israel was prepared for the impending assault.  

“Iran launched UAVs from its territory towards the territory of the state of Israel,” Hagari said, adding it would take several hours for the aircraft to arrive. 

An Israeli official said that the military had identified “more than 100 UAV drones launched towards Israel from Iran”. 

Israel has a number of layers of air defence capable of intercepting everything from long-range missiles to UAV’s and short-range rockets.

US media has reported that US forces have been involved in shooting down drones launched at Israel from Iran, with Sky News reporting that the RAF has also been involved in Israel’s defence. 

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed a retaliatory drone and missile attack was under way against Israel in retaliation for the Damascus strike which killed seven Guards, two of them generals.

The Iranian mission at the UN also released a statement claiming “legitimate defence”.

“Conducted on the strength of Article 51 of the UN Charter pertaining to legitimate defence, Iran’s military action was in response to the Zionist regime’s aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus. The matter can be deemed concluded,” the statement said, adding: 

However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe. It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the U.S. MUST STAY AWAY!

White House

Iran’s drone attack on Israel is likely to last several hours, the White House said, while pledging to support its ally’s defense against Tehran.

“Iran has begun an airborne attack against Israel. President Biden is being regularly updated on the situation by his national security team and will meet with them this afternoon at the White House,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

His team is in constant communication with Israeli officials as well as other partners and allies.  This attack is likely to unfold over a number of hours.  President Biden has been clear: our support for Israel’s security is ironclad.

“The United States will stand with the people of Israel and support their defense against these threats from Iran.” 

US President Joe Biden earlier cut short a weekend trip to Delaware today for urgent consultations in Washington on the Middle East as tensions soared in the region.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has condemned “in the strongest terms” what he termed Iran’s “reckless attack” against Israel.

Sunak said the UK will “continue to stand up for Israel’s security and that of all our regional partners”.

France’s Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne also condemned Iran’s attack.

“France condemns with the greatest firmness the attack launched by Iran against Israel,” he said on the platform X.

“In deciding to take this unprecedented action, Iran has reached a new level of destabilisation and is risking a military escalation,” he added. 


news-themen-der-woche-kw15-news-bilder-des-tages-230411-tel-aviv-april-11-2023-israeli-prime-minister-benjamin-netanyahu-speaks-in-a-press-conference-in-tel-aviv-israel-on-april-10-2023-is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was prepared for a direct attack from Iran. Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s war cabinet is meeting in Tel Aviv.

“Netanyahu is convening the War Management Cabinet at this time, in Kirya in Tel Aviv,” the prime minister’s office said.

Netanyahu said earlier today that Israel was prepared for a “direct attack from Iran” following its threats of retaliation for a deadly air strike on its Damascus consulate.

“Our defence systems are deployed, we are prepared for any scenario, both in defence and attack,” he said in a televised statement, adding that Israel had the backing of the United States and “many” countries.

Israeli aviation authorities say the country’s airspace will be closed to all flights ahead of the impending strike. 

Flight-tracking data showed the airspace over Jordan empty, while few flights continued on their north-south routes over Iraq. A sole Middle East Airlines flight from Dubai to Beirut remained airborne over Syria. 

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards also seized a container ship “related” to Israel in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, which was now heading towards Iranian waters, Iranian state media reported.

© – AFP 2024