Iran attack Israel: Iran launches over 300 drones and missiles at Israel warning of larger attack if there is retaliation

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Iran has launched hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel in a retaliatory assault

Iran has launched hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel in a retaliatory assault. It is Iran’s first direct attack on Israeli territory, setting off air rad cities across Israel including Tel Aviv and West Jerusalem last night (Saturday 13 April).

The attack wounded a seven-year-old girl and caused minor damage at an Israeli military facility. Explosions were heard as air defences intercepted the projectiles.

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The Israeli military said the Iranian salvo consisted of more than 300 “killer drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles”, but that 99 percent were intercepted with help from forces from France, the United Kingdom and the United States. British RAF Typhoons are understood to have been involved in shooting down Iranian drones over Syria and Iraq overnight, defence sources have indicated, with confirmation expected in a statement from the Ministry of Defence later.

The launches came from Iran, as well as from Iraq and Yemen, the Israeli military added. Medics said a girl in southern Israel was wounded by shrapnel from an intercepted drone, while the military said “a small number of hits were identified, including at [an Israeli military] base in southern Israel, where minor damage was caused to infrastructure”.

Iran has launched hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel in a retaliatory assault. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)Iran has launched hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel in a retaliatory assault. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images)
Iran has launched hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel in a retaliatory assault. (Photo: AFP via Getty Images) | AFP via Getty Images

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) confirmed the attack, saying it launched the drones and missiles under Operation True Promise as part of the punishment for “the Zionist entity’s crime of targeting the Iranian consulate in Syria” on April 1. The raid in Damascus killed 12 people, including two senior generals in the IRGC’s elite Quds Force.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the consulate attack. With the missiles and drone attack, Iran’s mission to the United Nations said it now deemed the matter “concluded” and warned Israel of a “considerably more severe” response should the “Israeli regime make another mistake”.

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It also warned the US to stay out of the conflict. The escalation comes six months into Israel’s war on Gaza, which has driven up tensions in the region.

Before the Iranian response, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon announced temporarily closing their airspace. Western countries condemned Iran’s missile and drone assault, including the US, the UK, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Mexico, the Netherlands and Norway. 

US President Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his Delaware beach house to meet with his national security team at the White House on Saturday afternoon. He also spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late on Saturday, reaffirming Washington’s “ironclad commitment” to its ally’s security.

Biden said he told Netanyahu that “Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks – sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel”. Netanyahu, in a brief post on X, said Israel will achieve victory. He said: “We intercepted, we repelled, together we shall win.”

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres condemned Iran’s attack, saying he was “deeply alarmed about the very real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation”. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on all parties to “exercise calm and restraint”, describing the situation as the “latest spillover of the Gaza conflict”. It said it was deeply concerned by the escalation and said Israel’s war on Gaza “must end now”.

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