Israel says the Iranian missile and drone attack was largely thwarted and caused “very little damage”.

Air raid sirens and loud booms rang out in Israel on Saturday evening after Iran launched a barrage of missiles and drones into the country. Counter attackBut Israeli officials said the attack was almost entirely thwarted by air defense systems and aid from the US and other Israeli allies.

Israel Defense Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari said more than 200 rockets and aircraft were fired from Iran in the direction of Israel. said. He said the vast majority had been intercepted, but pointed out that an unknown number of rockets had landed in Israeli territory. According to Hagar, one child was wounded as a result of the attack.

In a later statement, Hagari said that “more than 300 threats of various types” had been fired at Israel by Iran or its allies, but that “Iran’s threat was met by the IDF’s air and technological superiority, together with a powerful fighting coalition that held it together.” The vast majority of threats, 99% of threats launched against Israeli territory, have been intercepted – a very important strategic achievement.

An anti-missile system is operational after Iran launched jets and missiles at Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel, April 14, 2024.

Amir Cohen/REUTERS

IDF said In a separate statement on social media, there were some injuries from rockets fired by Iran, including at a military base in southern Israel, but no further details were immediately provided.

“Very little damage was done,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant said in a statement earlier Sunday, praising his own forces and Israel’s American and other international partners for “stopping this attack in impressive fashion.”

In a statement released late Saturday night, President Biden condemned the Iranian attack and said the US had “assisted Israel in shooting down almost all incoming aircraft and missiles.”

Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran at central Israel on April 14, 2024. Iran launched its first direct military attack against Israel on Saturday.

Tomer Neuberg / AP

US forces in the region “intercepted dozens of missiles and drones on their way to Israel that were launched from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said separately.

The president disclosed that over the past week, US forces have “moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense fighters into the region” in anticipation of the attack.

At midnight, Israel closed the airspace and fully activated it Air defense systems before the Iranian attack. It took several hours for the drones to enter Israeli airspace. The Israel-wide alert began at 2 a.m. local time on Sunday (Saturday evening), the IDF said. The alarm was raised in southern Israel, near the Dead Sea, in the Jerusalem and Shomron area.

The Iranian attack was the promised revenge April 1 for striking Israel At the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, killing seven officers of its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

People gather in support of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps attack on Israel on April 14, 2024, in Tehran, Iran. Iran launched a direct attack on Israel about two weeks after Israel attacked the Iranian consulate in Syria.

Getty Images

In a statement, the IRGC said Iran had “launched punitive strikes against the occupied territories,” referring to Israel. He acknowledged the operation, which includes “the use of both missiles and aircraft.”

Iran’s mission to the United Nations said on social media that the attack was a response to an attack in Syria, adding that “the matter can be considered over. However, if the Israeli regime makes one more mistake, Iran’s response will be much tougher.”

The mission added; “This is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime that the US must stay away from!”

Mr. Biden returned to the White House on Saturday in anticipation of an imminent attack by Iran. After a lengthy meeting with the National Security Council, he spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday evening.

In his statement, Mr. Biden said he reaffirmed to Netanyahu “America’s unwavering commitment to Israel’s security” and told his Israeli counterpart “that Israel has demonstrated a remarkable ability to defend and defeat even unprecedented attacks.”

The president said he would convene a meeting with G7 leaders on Sunday “to coordinate a unified diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack.”

Michael Herzog, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, wrote on social media that Iran was “responsible” for Saturday’s actions.

In this photo provided by the White House, President Biden, along with members of his national security team, receives an update on an Iranian airstrike on Israel as they meet in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington, April. 13, 2024. From left to right, in front of Biden are CIA Director William Burns; Avril Haynes, Director of National Intelligence; Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. Some of the papers on the desk have been blacked out by the source for national security reasons.

Adam Schultz/White House via AP

The U.S. was prepared for any further action by Iran or its proxies from within the region, a U.S. official told CBS News. U.S. military assets were positioned to shoot down drones coming from Iran, including in Iraq and Syria, three U.S. officials told CBS News. The United States also has fighter jets on standby.

The US Navy destroyer USS Carney remained in the central Mediterranean to provide additional protection if needed, while the destroyer USS Arleigh Burke was in the eastern Mediterranean.

The U.S. preference is for the Israeli government to wait and assess the impact of Iran’s crackdown before reacting, a U.S. official told CBS News. The US advantage is a calibrated response. The expectation was that Israel would calibrate its response based on whether it successfully intercepted incoming Iranian missiles and aircraft and whether there were casualties.

On Saturday night, Netanyahu convened his war cabinet in Tel Aviv after a video address.

“In recent years, and even more so in recent weeks, Israel has been preparing for the possibility of a direct attack from Iran,” he said. “Our defense systems are deployed, we are ready for any scenario, both defensively and offensively. The State of Israel is strong, the Israeli armed forces are strong, the community is strong.”

Israel’s War Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (3rd L), meets to discuss the April 14, 2024, Iranian drone attack in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Israel Government Press Office / Distribution / Anadolu via Getty Images

The British military has fired drones from Cyprus in response to an Iranian attack, a UK official confirmed to CBS News. The British Ministry of Defense later announced that it had moved additional fighter jets and aerial refueling tankers to the region.

“These UK aircraft will intercept any airborne assaults as part of our existing missions as required,” the Ministry of Defense said.

French warplanes were also involved in patrolling Israeli airspace during the attack, Israeli defense spokesman Hagari said on Sunday.

Before the attack on Saturday, Israel’s Home Front Command Guidelines issued Limiting all gatherings to a maximum of 1,000 people and banning them near the Gaza border. All schools were ordered to remain closed until at least Monday, including for day camps, although almost all schools will still be closed next week for the Passover holiday. Residents were advised to stay in safe rooms and shelters. The working week in Israel lasts from Sunday to Thursday.

On Friday, Mr. Biden urged Iran not to go ahead with the retaliation it has been promising for more than a week, saying his message to Tehran was: “Don’t.” Earlier in the week, the United States sent a senior general to Israel to coordinate with the close American ally on any response to the Iranian attack.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak issued a statement condemning the Iranian drone attack in the “strongest possible terms”.

Josep Borrell, Head of Foreign Affairs of the European Union, said A post on social media said the EU “strongly condemns Iran’s unacceptable attack against Israel, calling it an “unprecedented escalation and a serious threat to regional security”.

Tensions in the region have risen dramatically in the background Israel’s war in Gaza with HamasA close ally of Iran. before that in Iran on Saturday The commandos were captured A container ship bound for Israel near the Strait of Hormuz.

The US government called on Iran to immediately release the ship and its international crew.

“Detaining a civilian vessel without provocation is a clear violation of international law,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said. “This must be unequivocally condemned and we will work with our partners to hold Iran accountable for its actions.”

All US embassies in the Middle East have been put on high alert and are being asked to hold emergency action committee meetings. Diplomats Lebanon And Israel was specifically told not to travel to certain areas of these countries.

On the same day, Lebanon launched rockets in the direction of northern Israel. State media reported that Jordan had closed its airspace “amid growing risks in the region” and announced state of emergency

Sources on Friday told CBS News Retaliation could include attacks by both Iranian forces and proxy groups around the region, to which Iran has been supplying additional weapons for weeks.

The US State Department on Thursday warned Americans living in Israel not to travel outside major cities, which are better protected from incoming rocket fire by the country’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

Margaret Brennan, Eleanor Watson, Deborah Pata and Tucker Reales contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment