Israel Attacked By Iran As Middle East Enters Perilous New Phase

Multiple alarms sounded across Israel.

Iran launched armed drones and missiles against Israel, marking a new and more volatile phase of the Middle East conflict. The attack was in retaliation for an attack in Syria that killed a senior Iranian military officer, and is the first time Iran has attacked Israel from its soil.

Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari said early Sunday that most of the more than 200 ballistic missiles, cruise missiles and attack drones launched by Iran were intercepted with help from Israeli allies before landing. He said the only effects were a 10-year-old girl with serious injuries and some minor damage to the military base. Hagari previously called the attack from Iran a “serious and dangerous escalation.”

US President Joe Biden spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after the Iranian attack counterattack. Biden, who returned to the White House from his private residence in Delaware on Saturday, said in his X post that the US commitment to Israel’s security is “ironclad.”

Iran’s mission to the United Nations said the move was a “legitimate” defensive response to the Damascus attack, which Israel has not acknowledged, and suggested it was a warning. He also warned the United States to stay away from the conflict.

“This matter can be considered closed,” the Iranian mission said in a social media post. “But if the Israeli regime makes a mistake again, Iran’s response will be much harsher.”

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Multiple alarms were sounded in various parts of Israel, including Jerusalem, Beersheba and Dimona in the south, and the Jewish settlement of Ariel in the West Bank. Residents of Jerusalem reported hearing explosions. Alarms were also sounded in northern Israel. The Israel Defense Forces said it had cut off GPS services in some areas to counter the attack.

A US defense official confirmed that US forces in the region shot down an Iranian-launched drone aimed at Israel. The United States considers its military response to the Iranian attack to be a success, according to another U.S. official familiar with the matter.

Britain’s Ministry of Defense said it was deploying Royal Air Force fighter jets to intercept Iranian drones heading for Israel if necessary.

Israel has significantly strengthened its air defenses over the past 15 years, adding new systems to intercept ballistic missiles fired from 2,400 kilometers (1,500 miles) away. Its scope also includes Yemen, Syria and Iraq, where the extremist groups have formed alliances. It is also based in Iran as well as in Iran.

Israel’s most active and well-known air defense facility is Iron Dome, which has intercepted thousands of rockets fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza since 2011. However, Iron Dome is designed for short-range missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles, and is just one of the more advanced missiles. – Defense systems are in place.

Israel also possesses a medium- and long-range interceptor system known as the David Sling and an Arrow defense system.

accused attack

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was one of the first leaders to respond to the Iranian attack. Mr Sunak said in his statement: “The UK continues to protect the security of Israel and all our regional partners, including Jordan and Iraq.” France, Germany and the European Union also condemned Iran’s actions.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres echoed this sentiment, calling for an immediate end to hostilities, citing the risk of “catastrophic escalation across the region.” Israel called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.

The seven industrialized nations are scheduled to hold a video call later Sunday to discuss the attack, according to an official familiar with the matter.

The attack escalates the Middle East conflict that began on October 7, when thousands of Hamas operatives crossed into Israel from Gaza, killing about 1,200 people and kidnapping 250 others. A direct conflict between Iran and Israel is likely to draw in the Lebanon-based organization Hezbollah. As Hamas receives support from Iran, the possibility of a regional war increases.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei has repeatedly warned that Israel will be “punished” for the deadly April 1 attack in Damascus, which destroyed the Islamic Republic’s consulate and killed seven Iranian military officials. At least 13 people were killed, including a man. Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack, following its usual response to accusations that it targets Iran.

Recent history suggests that any attack will be measured against what may come next from Iran’s adversaries. For example, when the United States killed Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Qasem Soleimani in 2020, Iran opted for non-lethal attacks on military bases.

Israeli officials say Iranian leaders should expect a counterattack if their country is attacked, but Israel may consider portraying Iran’s attack as a failure when choosing a response. Ta.

Iran has been cautious about its role in hostilities by allied armed groups across its borders. That policy became even more difficult after Hamas attacked Israel and the war in Gaza dragged on. Yemen’s Houthi rebels have used this as a pretext for missile attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, while Hezbollah has engaged in firefights across the border with Israel almost every day since the invasion.