Iran launches massive aerial attack on Israel

Ashkelon April 14, 2024 credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen
Ashkelon April 14, 2024 credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen

99% of the threats were intercepted, but some damage was caused to a military base in the south of Israel, and a Bedouin child was injured by falling debris.

Iran launched a massive aerial attack on Israel overnight. According to Israeli sources that spoke to "The New York Times", Iran fired 110 ground-to-ground missiles, and launched 185 UAVs and 35 cruise missiles, mots of them from Iranian territory but some from Yemen and Iraq. It was the biggest such attack Israel has ever had to deal with. 99% of the threats were intercepted, and the Iranians, who sought to hit a military installation, ultimately succeeded only in causing light damage to a base in the south of Israel. Nevertheless, air-raid sirens sounded several times in the Dimona area, where Israel’s nuclear facility is located, and a seven year-old Bedouin child was severely injured by the fallout from an interception.

The many successful interceptions were thanks to Israel’s multi-layered air defense array, from the short-range Iron Dome system to the David’s Sling, Arrow 2 and Arrow 3 systems, but also to assistance from others. US forces intercepted some of the threats, while British combat aircraft took off from the RAF base at Akrotiri in Cyprus to shoot down additional threats. Jordanian forces also intercepted threats over Jordanian territory aimed at Israel. Israel’s war cabinet has been authorized to decide on response, while Iran has warned countries of the region against allowing Israel to attack Iran from their territories.

Last night's attack did not come as a surprise. It followed an airstrike on a building near the Iranian embassy in Damascus on April 1, in which several members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard were killed, among them two generals. The Iranian government  vowed that it would avenge the deaths. 

The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, "Attacking military bases in Israel is legitimate defense under the UN charter," referring to the killing of Hassan Mahdawi, the commander of the Quds Force in Syria and Lebanon, in the April 1 airstrike. "We stress our determination to defend assertively our sovereignty, unity, and national interests against any aggression. We will not hesitate to take further defensive steps to safeguard our interests against any aggression." Despite the threatening declarations, Israeli sources have already sent the message that the response to the attack that caused 727 air-raid warnings will be severe and, according to "The New York Times", will be coordinated with Israel’s allies.

Israel's airspace, which was closed just before midnight last night, was reopened at 8:00 this morning, and air traffic is gradually returning to normal.

In the US, President Joe Biden appears to be concerned at the possibility of a large Israeli attack on Iranian territory and all-out war between the two sides. During last night’s attack, he spoke to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ""I've just spoken with Prime Minister Netanyahu to reaffirm America's ironclad commitment to the security of Israel. I told him that Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks," Biden said shortly after the call. According to a report on NBC, Biden has privately expressed the fear that Netanyahu is trying to drag the US into a wider regional conflict. Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant spoke to US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin overnight.

The UN Security Council is due to hold an emergency session today, at the request of Israel’s ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan. Erdan demanded that the Security Council should condemn the Iranian attack on Israel and designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organization. For its part, the Iranian mission to the UN issued a statement saying: "The matter can be deemed concluded. 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 US MUST STAY AWAY!"

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on April 14, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

Ashkelon April 14, 2024 credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen
Ashkelon April 14, 2024 credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen
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