Israel Under Aerial Attack From Iran, But Deflects Rockets And Drones.

File photo: A test detonation of a cruise missile.
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For the first time ever, as widely reported in global media, Iran has carried out air strikes involving frones and missiles against Israeli territory, with many long-range missiles overflying Iraq. However, most were intercepted and none hit populated areas in Israel.

The attack happened in the middle of Saturday night, with air raid alerts sounding off across Israel and residents being urged to seek shelter as explosions lit up the night sky.

Here’s what else you need to know about the attacks:

Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles towards Israel, the Israeli military said on Sunday

The bombardment was launched from several countries, including Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has said some Iranian missiles hit inside Israel, causing minor damage to a military base

US President Joe Biden said “we helped Israel take down nearly all” of missiles and drones

British RAF Typhoon fighter jets were also deployed to shoot down drones while Jordan says it intercepted flying objects that entered its airspace

Some 12 people were injured in Israel overall, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari for the IDF said, including a seven-year-old girl from a Bedouin Arab community near the southern town of Arad

Iran says the attack “achieved all its objectives” and warned Israel against responding in kind. this is interpreted as meaning that Iran does not want an all out war against Israel.

The attack included 170 drones and 30 cruise missiles, none of which entered Israeli territory, and 110 ballistic missiles of which a small number reached Israel, military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a televised statement. These numbers cannot be independently verified.

The shortest distance from Iran to Israel is about 1,000km (620 miles) across Iraq, Syria and Jordan.

On Saturday night Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said it had launched drones and missiles.

Iraqi security sources told Reuters that projectiles were seen flying over Iraq in the direction of Israel.

The IRGC said ballistic missiles were fired almost an hour after the slower moving drones so that they would strike Israel at roughly the same time.

The US defence department said US forces intercepted dozens of missiles and drones launched from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

The Iran-backed Hezbollah group in Lebanon also said it had fired two barrages of rockets at an Israeli military base in the occupied Golan Heights, a plateau which Israel has annexed from Syria in a move not recognised by most of the international community.

Some 99% of the incoming barrage was intercepted either outside Israeli airspace or over the country itself, Rear Adm Hagari said.

They included all the drones and cruise missiles, which follow a flat trajectory, and most of the ballistic missiles, which are fired on an arcing trajectory that uses gravity to reach very high speeds.

US President Joe Biden said US forces “helped Israel take down nearly all” drones and missiles launched by Iran on Sunday. In a statement, he said the US had moved aircraft and warships to the region before the unprecedented attack.

Operating from undisclosed bases in the region, US forces shot down a number of Iranian drones over southern Syria near the border with Jordan, security sources told Reuters.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has confirmed that UK RAF Typhoon jets also shot down a number of Iranian attack drones. Mr Sunak said the Iranian attack was a “dangerous and unnecessary escalation which I’ve condemned in strongest terms”.

Jordan – which has a peace treaty with Israel but has been highly critical of the way it has carried out its war against the Palestinian group Hamas in Gaza – also intercepted flying objects that entered its airspace to secure the safety of its citizens, a Jordanian cabinet statement said.

France also helped to patrol airspace but it was unclear if they had shot down any drones or missiles, the Israeli military said.

In Jerusalem BBC correspondents reported hearing sirens and seeing Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system in operation, which uses radar to track rockets and can differentiate between those that are likely to hit built-up areas and those that are not.

Interceptor missiles are only fired at rockets expected to strike populated areas.

A few of the ballistic missiles got through and struck Israeli territory, Rear Adm Hagari said.One of them “lightly hit” the Nevatim air force base in the Negev desert in southern Israel. Rear Adm Hagari said the base was “still functioning”.

Israel’s Channel 12 TV cited an unnamed Israeli official as saying there would be a “significant response” to the attack.

Sources: BBC, AP, news agencies, IDF.

 

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