Iran concludes ‘retaliatory attack’ against Israel, UNSC meet scheduled, Israel opens airspace

Iran launches ‘killer’ drone strikes directly at Israel: Israel army
Iran concludes ‘retaliatory attack’ against Israel, UNSC meet scheduled, Israel opens airspace

Iran launched drones at Israel directly from its territory on Sunday, the Israeli army said, marking a major escalation of the long-running covert war between the nations.

"Iran launched UAVs from within its territory toward Israel a short while ago. The IDF is on high alert and is constantly monitoring the operational situation. The IDF Aerial Defense Array is on high alert, along with IAF fighter jets and Israeli Navy vessels that are on a defense mission in Israeli air and naval space. The IDF is monitoring all targets.

IDF Spokesperson RAdm. Daniel Hagari on the current attack from Iran: “Together with our partners, the IDF is operating at full force to defend the State of Israel—and the people of Israel. This is a mission that we are determined and ready to fulfill.“

Two security sources in Iraq said dozens of drones had been spotted flying from Iran towards Israel over Iraqi airspace in what Iranian Press TV called "extensive drone strikes" by the Revolutionary Guards, news agency Reuters reported.

Jordan's air defences were ready to intercept and shoot down any Iranian drones or aircraft that violate its airspace, two regional security sources said.

They said the army was also in a state of high alert and radar systems were monitoring drone activity.

Iran has vowed retaliation for what it called an Israeli strike on its Damascus consulate on April 1 that killed seven Revolutionary Guards officers including two senior commanders. Israel neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the attack.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu convenes war cabinet in Tel Aviv

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened the Israeli war cabinet at military headquarters in Tel Aviv after Iran launched drone attacks.

Israel has 'tens of aircraft' in Israel airspace: IDF

The Israeli Defense Forces have "tens of aircraft" in Israeli skies at the moment, an IDF official said at a briefing following Iran's launching of drones toward Israel. 

The IDF confirmed the launching of drones but said it cannot confirm that Iran has launched any missiles. The official said the IDF cannot confirm the type or the payload of drones launched. 

The official also said they cannot confirm if there have been any interceptions yet or what Iran is targeting in Israel. 

The IDF is operating on "a pre-prepared action plan," the official said, adding that the idea is to intercept the drones before they reach Israel but will intercept the drones over Israel if necessary.

Lebanon closes airspace

The Lebanese airspace has been closed to all arriving, departing and crossing aircrafts, Ali Hamiyah, The Minister of Public Works in the caretaker government, said in a post on X, in light of the attacks launched from Iranian territory toward Israel. 

The closure is temporary, the government said, and will start at 1 a.m. local time and will be in effect until 7 a.m. local time. 

Air traffic at Beirut Rafic Hariri International Airport will be completely closed during the same time period, according to the statement. Updates will be made according to developments in the situation.

X (Twitter) users circulate misleading videos amid Iran attack on Israel

When news broke that Iran had launched a retaliatory attack on Israel, some users on the social media platform X uploaded misleading videos, including footage from previous drone attacks or imagery from video games.

In one, an X user posted a video from six months ago showing Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system intercepting Hamas rockets in Ashkelon. In another post flagged by a reporter for the BBC, an X user falsely suggested that imagery from the video game “Arma 3” was video from today’s drone attacks.

UK PM Rishi Sunak condemns Iran’s ‘reckless’ attack against Israel, releases official statement

Yemen rebels launch drones at Israel in coordination with Iran

Yemen rebels launch drones at Israel in coordination with Iran, reports Reuters, citing security agencies.

Jordan's air defence ready to shoot down any Iranian aircraft that violate its airspace, reports Reuters.

Biden to meet Iraq's prime minister on Monday

President Biden is expected to meet with Iraq's prime minister, Mohammed Shia al Sudani, on Monday in Washington in a face-to-face discussion that has been on the president's schedule for weeks.

Rocket fire streaks across sky as air-raid sirens blare in Jerusalem

The dark sky above the Old City of Jerusalem lit up tonight with orange flashes of rocket fire as air-raid sirens rung out across the city. 

The bursts of rocket fire resembled shooting stars and appeared to come from Israel's sophisticated air defense system, not the Iranian drone attacks.

Iran fired missiles at Israel, U.S. official says

A U.S. official confirmed that Iran fired missiles at Israel and that the U.S. military is trying to shoot down Iranian missiles and drones bound for Israel.

The U.S. has shot down several Iranian drones but does not have confirmation that it has successfully shot down missiles. 

Iran says attack in response to 'Zionist regime’s aggression' has concluded

Iran said it conducted a military attack on Israel "in response to the Zionist regime’s aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus," and that "the matter can be deemed concluded." 

The Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the U.N. said in a post on X that if Israel makes "another mistake, Iran's response will be considerably more severe," and that the matter is between Iran and Israel, and that the U.S. should stay out of it. 

It said the attack was "legitimate defense" in response to the suspected Israeli attack on the Iranian consular building in Syria and was "conducted on the strength of Article 51 of the UN Charter."

The drones, launched hours ago, are beginning to arrive in Israel.

Sirens sound throughout Israel

TEL AVIV, Israel — Sirens have sounded across Israel — in southern and northern Israel, and the areas of Shomron, the Dead Sea and Jerusalem, the IDF confirmed. 

The sirens all sounded in the span of about three minutes. 

Residents of the northern Golan Heights, as well as the areas of Nevatim, Dimona and Eilat, have been told by the Israel Defense Forces they are required to stay near protective spaces until further notice. 

The IDF said residents are required to enter a protected space when sirens are activated. If there is no protected space, residents must find the most protected area possible and wait 10 minutes, it said.

U.S. military has shot down Iranian drones

The U.S. military has shot down some Iranian drones tonight, according to U.S. officials. 

The military intends to shoot down Iranian drones and missiles when they come into range of U.S. assets in Iraq, Syria and at sea.

The U.S. has beefed up its air defenses in recent months since the attack on Tower 22 and has repositioned assets in the region to be ready for this Iranian attack.

Biden meets with national security team

Iranian regime exercised 'its inherent right of self-defense' following diplomatic strike, foreign ministry says

The Iranian foreign ministry released a statement tonight reiterating its position that the strikes carried out against Israel were "in exercise of its inherent right of self-defense." 

“The Islamic Republic of Iran would not hesitate to take further necessary defensive measures to protect its legitimate interests against any act of military aggression or unlawful use of force,” the statement said.

U.N. Security Council to meet tomorrow

The United Nations Security Council will meet Sunday following a request to hold an emergency meeting from Israel’s ambassador to the U.N. 

The ambassador, Gilad Erdan, asked the council to condemn Iran's attack on his country and to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror organization. 

"The Iranian attack is a serious threat to global peace and security and I expect the Council to use every means to take concrete action against Iran," Erdan said in a post on X, which included the letter. 

The meeting will take place at 4. p.m. ET, according to a U.N. schedule released tonight.

U.N. Secretary General condemns Iranian attacks

António Guterres, United Nations secretary-general, condemned the Iranian attacks on Israel tonight in a statement expressing concern over the serious escalation in the Middle East. 

"I am deeply alarmed about the very real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation," Guterres said. "I urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East." 

Guterres also condemned the April 1 attack on Iran's diplomatic premises in Damascus the day after it occurred. 

He did not name Israel in that statement, which has not taken responsibility for the strike. Guterres emphasized the protection of diplomatic buildings and urged "all parties to respect all their obligations under international law."

U.S. destroyed 'dozens' of missiles and drones launched by Iran

The U.S. military shot down "dozens" of missiles and drones en route to Israel, part of an "unprecedented" attack by Iran, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement late Saturday. 

The aerial attacks by Iran were launched from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen, he said. 

"We condemn these reckless and unprecedented attacks by Iran and its proxies, and we call on Iran to immediately halt any further attacks, including from its proxy forces, and to deescalate tensions," Austin said in the statement. "We do not seek conflict with Iran, but we will not hesitate to act to protect our forces and support the defense of Israel."

Netanyahu issues first public statement

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued his first public comments since Iran's overnight attack, saying in a post on X, "We intercepted, we stopped. Together we will win."

Iran launched over 300 projectiles, Israeli military says

Israel intercepted 99% of the more than 300 projectiles launched by Iran, and is ready for “any further developments and scenarios,” Israel Armed Forces spokesman Daniel Hagari said.

Among the projectiles were some 30 cruise missiles, none of which made it into Israel, Hagari said. Only “few” of the more than 120 ballistic missiles launched entered Israel, with the rest being intercepted, he added.

Some of the ballistic missiles hit the Nevatim airbase, but they caused only minor infrastructure damage, and the base remained operational, Hagari said.

Iraq and Yemen also carried out launches against Israel, but none made it into the country, the IDF spokesman said. He added that “dozens” of rockets were launched from Lebanon toward the north of Israel, though Israel suffered no injuries or deaths and hit back by striking different targets in Lebanon.

A 10-year-old girl was severely injured by shrapnel, but there were no immediate reports of other Israeli injuries or deaths, Hagari said. 

“Iran did something very serious, very severe this night, as it pushed the Middle East toward escalation. We will do whatever is necessary in order to defend the citizens of the state of Israel,” he said.

Israel reopens its airspace

The airspace over Israel was reopened at 7:30 a.m. local time Sunday, a spokesperson for Israel's airport authority said in a statement. 

Flights out of Tel Aviv were likely to change, and travelers should check with airlines and on the airport authority's website for updates to flight schedules. 

Domestic airports would remain open throughout the day, the statement said.

We achieved a successful interception of 99% of aerial threats launched by Iran: Israel army

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