Tension escalates as Iran launches unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel

Iran launches unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel that escalates tension in region
In images video grabs of Iran attacking Israel/ Photo courtesy: Screengrabs from X

Escalating tension further, Iran on Saturday (April 13, 2024) launched an unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel after warning of retaliation for a strike on its consular building in Syria.

Iran launched over 300 drones and missiles at Israel as its proxies and allies also carried out coordinated attacks on Israeli positions, media reports said.

Iran insisted it acted in “self-defence” after the targeting of its diplomatic mission in Damascus.

The country said it hoped its action would prompt no further escalation and “the matter can be deemed concluded.”

IDF reacts

In an X post, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said: “Dozens of surface-to-surface missile launches from Iran were identified approaching Israeli territory. The IDF Aerial Defence Array successfully intercepted the majority of the launches using the Arrow Aerial Defence System, together with Israel’s strategic allies, before the launches crossed into Israeli territory. A small number of hits were identified, including at an IDF base in southern Israel, where minor damage was caused to infrastructure.”

“Many dozens of hostile aircraft, as well as dozens of cruise missiles, were identified approaching Israeli territory from Iran and intercepted over the past few hours. Dozens of IAF fighter jets are currently operating to intercept all aerial threats approaching Israeli territory,” the post said.

The IDF said it is prepared and continuing to defend Israeli territory.

How Israel intercepted aerial threats?

IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari was quoted as saying by The Time of Israel that Iran launched more than 300 projectiles at Israel, comprising 170 drones, 30 cruise missiles, and 120 ballistic missiles, and that 99% of them had been intercepted by air defences.

“This is a very significant strategic achievement,” he said in a morning press statement as quoted by the newspaper.

“The Iranian threat met the aerial and technological superiority of the IDF, combined with a strong fighting coalition, which together intercepted the vast majority of the threats,” Hagari said.

All 170 drones and 30 cruise missiles were downed outside of the country’s borders by the Israeli Air Force and its allies, he said.

He said none of the missiles or drones could cross the enter Israeli airspace.

PM says Israel preparing for direct attack by Iran

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday said that his country has been preparing for a direct attack by Iran for years and will “harm” anyone who harms them.

“In recent years, and especially in recent weeks, Israel has been preparing for a direct attack by Iran. Our defensive systems are deployed; we are ready for any scenario, both defensively and offensively. The State of Israel is strong. The IDF is strong. The public is strong,” Netanyahu said.

US response

US President Joe Biden condemned the attack and promised “ironclad” support for Israel, after holding an urgent meeting with his top security officials over the spiralling crisis in the Middle East.

“I just met with my national security team for an update on Iran’s attacks against Israel. Our commitment to Israel’s security against threats from Iran and its proxies is ironclad,” Biden said on X.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has called for an emergency meeting over the fresh escalation of tension between Iran and Israel.