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World

Iran's military officials warn Israel and US against retaliation

  • Israel claims 99% of 300 missiles and drones shot down after Iran launches unprecedented strikes
Published April 14, 2024
An anti-missile system operates after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon: Photo: Reuters
An anti-missile system operates after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon: Photo: Reuters

DUBAI/OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Iran warned Israel on Sunday of a larger attack on its territory should it retaliate against Tehran's overnight drone and missile attack, adding that US bases would be targeted if Washington backs any Israeli military action against Iran.

Iran launched explosive drones and fired missiles at Israel late on Saturday in its first direct attack on Israeli territory, a retaliatory strike against Israel's bombing of its consulate in Syria's capital on April 1 that killed seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

"Our response will be much larger than tonight's military action if Israel retaliates against Iran," armed forces chief of staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri told state TV, adding that Tehran warned Washington via Switzerland that any backing of Israeli retaliation against Iran would result in US regional bases being targeted.

"Our operations are over and we have no intention to continue them," Bagheri said, before claiming that Iran's attack had successfully targeted two Israeli military bases.

Addressing Iranian state TV, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Major General Hossein Salami, said Tehran had entered a new equation in which any Israeli attack on its interests, assets, officials, or citizens would be reciprocated from its own territory.

Earlier, Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight, 99% of which were shot down, the Israeli military said, adding that the armed forces remained fully functional and were discussing follow-up options.

In a televised briefing, chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari deemed Iran's actions "very grave" and said they "push the region toward escalation".

His remarks came after Iran launched an unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel, the Israeli army announced, in a major escalation of the long-running covert war between the regional foes.

Blasts were heard in the skies above Jerusalem early Sunday, AFP journalists said.

Iran had repeatedly threatened to strike Israel in retaliation for a deadly April 1 air strike on its Damascus consular annexe and Washington had warned repeatedly in recent days that the reprisals were imminent.

Toll rises to 16 in Israeli strike on Iran’s Damascus consulate

"Iran launched UAVs from its territory towards the territory of the state of Israel," military spokesman Daniel Hagari said earlier in a televised statement.

"We are working in close cooperation with the United States and our partners in the region in order to act against the launches and intercept them," Rear Admiral Hagari said.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards confirmed a retaliatory drone and missile attack was under way against Israel in retaliation for the Damascus strike which killed seven Guards, two of them generals.

Netanyahu says Israel prepared for 'direct attack from Iran'

The Guards said its ballistic missiles were fired almost an hour after the slower moving drones.

An Israeli army official earlier said Iran had launched more than 100 attack drones at Israel and said he expected more to follow.

"We expect the drones to be here in the following hours and we might see some more waves of drones as time progresses," the official said.

Iran's allies in the region joined the attack with Yemen's Houthi rebels also launching drones at Israel, according to security agency Ambrey, and Lebanon's Hezbollah movement announcing rocket fire at Israeli positions in the annexed Golan Heights.

'Unfolding' attack

The White House said it expected the attack -- which comes against the backdrop of the six-month Israeli aggression in Gaza -- to "unfold over a number of hours".

It said Washington would "stand with the people of Israel".

The Iranian mission to the United Nations warned Washington to keep out of Iran's conflict with Israel.

"It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the U.S. MUST STAY AWAY!" it said.

Iran will bear consequences for any escalation, Israeli military says

President Joe Biden cut short a weekend trip to his home state of Delaware for urgent consultations, the White House said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz postponed a planned visit to Hungary and Austria while the prime minister convened his war cabinet in Tel Aviv.

An adviser to Iran's supreme leader said that Israel was in "complete panic" over Tehran's looming response.

"They don't know what Iran wants to do, so they and their supporters are terrified," senior adviser Yahya Rahim said.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak condemned Iran's "reckless" action and pledged that his government would "continue to stand up for Israel's security".

France echoed its commitment to Israel's security. "In deciding to take this unprecedented action, Iran has reached a new level of destabilisation," Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne said.

Airspace closing

Shortly before the launches, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was prepared for a "direct attack from Iran".

"Our defence systems are deployed, we are prepared for any scenario, both in defence and attack," the Israeli premier said in a televised statement, adding Israel had the backing of the United States and "many" other countries.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards had already seized an Israeli-linked container vessel in the Gulf earlier on Saturday, putting the whole region on alert.

Israel said it was closing schools nationwide while Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon announced they were temporarily closing their airspace.

Israel said it was closing its own airspace from 2130 GMT.

The Israeli military warned Iran it would suffer the "consequences for choosing to escalate the situation any further".

The April 1 strike in Damascus, which killed 16 people, including two Iranian generals, had been widely blamed on Israel. Iran had repeatedly vowed to hit back, but had not specified how.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized a container ship "related" to Israel in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, which was now heading towards Iranian waters, Iranian state media reported.

The ship's operator, the Italian-Swiss group MSC, said it was working with the relevant authorities to ensure the wellbeing of the 25 crew onboard.

Both Israel and the United States denounced the seizure as piracy, with Israel also demanding that the Guards be declared a "terrorist organisation" by the European Union.

In Washington, National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson called on Iran "to release the vessel and its international crew immediately".

"Seizing a civilian vessel without provocation is a blatant violation of international law, and an act of piracy", she said.

Gaza truce stalemate

The Gaza war began with the unprecedented October 7 attack by Hamas which resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

Israel's retaliatory aggression has killed at least 33,686 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the territory's health ministry.

Israel's military said Saturday it had struck more than 30 Hamas targets across Gaza.

In the main central city of Deir al-Balah, fire burned in the rubble of a destroyed mosque.

Israel's military "demanded that the whole area be evacuated" before it was "wiped out in minutes", said Abdullah Baraka, a witness.

In nearby Nuseirat refugee camp, Abd Thabet said residents had been warned to evacuate on Friday evening ahead of a large explosion that caused "massive destruction".

"All of the houses were demolished, including my home," the 35-year-old told AFP.

Hamas said it had submitted its response to a Gaza truce plan presented by US, Qatari and Egyptian mediators at talks in Cairo this week.

The Palestinian group said it was sticking to its previous demands, insisting on "a permanent ceasefire" and the "withdrawal of the occupation army from the entire Gaza Strip".

During the October attack, Palestinian seized about 250 hostages, 129 of whom Israel says remain in Gaza, including 34 the army says are dead.

The Israeli prime minister's office accused Hamas of torpedoing efforts for an exchange of hostages for prisoners.

"Hamas to this day has refused any deal and any compromise proposal," it said.

Comments

200 characters
Salauddin Apr 14, 2024 06:37am
Begining of world war three. Pakistan should follow whatever Turkey does.
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test Apr 14, 2024 09:38am
Its not about launching strikes but it is about striking those zionists in israel precisely & fastly. The question is where was Iran when israel was mercilessly butchering those innocent Palestinians.
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test Apr 14, 2024 09:40am
Hitting the missiles on target is what we call strike not just some missile in the air and shotdown by the enemy forces. Its like achieving targets by hitting those targets accurately with missiles.
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KU Apr 14, 2024 10:19am
Same old resetting of geopolitics and war for economic interests, people of course will suffer death and misery.
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Ali Hossain Apr 14, 2024 10:47am
World war clouds hovering.
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SAMIR SARDANA Apr 14, 2024 11:07am
TOKEN STRIKE ! LIKE THAT AFTER SOLEIMANI WAS KILLED ! THEN IRAN ATTACKED A US BASE - AFTER WARNING THE US ! SAMIR SARDANA NOW, THE SLOW DRONES WERE SENT,SO THAT THEY COULD BE TRACKED & SHOT DOWN
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Az_Iz Apr 14, 2024 11:47am
What was Iran supposed to do,when it's embassy was attacked.It was within it's rights to act. Iran has also shown maturity by not escalating the situation too much.
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Syed Mazhàr ul haq Apr 14, 2024 12:08pm
In this situation nitenyahu immediately step down as a premier of Israeli to save Israeli people as well as Palestine people and stopped the war
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KU Apr 14, 2024 12:12pm
Iran just handed them an excuse to retaliate and accomplish longstanding wish. The thing to see is the response of KSA and OIC, as spectators they will be at a disadvantage for many years to come.
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Syed Mazhàr ul haq Apr 14, 2024 12:16pm
Iran and Israeli finalize directly without support of USA and Russia who is big in the reason
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SAMIR SARDANA Apr 14, 2024 12:17pm
@test, RIGHT ! IT IS A TOKEN STRIKE ! NO DEAD ! AND IRAN HAS SENT THE MESSAGE - AS ITS MISSILES PENETRATED ISRAEL AIRSPACE AND SOME LANDED ! ALSO IRAN LAUNCHED ON JERUSALEM ! END OF PHASE 1
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Maqbool Apr 14, 2024 12:46pm
@test, why Iran ? What about all the other macho Muslim country’s including our own ?? WW3 ?
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Mujahideen United Apr 14, 2024 12:48pm
@SAMIR SARDANA, rather than sitting comfortably and earning dollars in Chicago, time has come for you to return home.
thumb_up Recommended (0) reply Reply
Mujahideen United Apr 14, 2024 12:50pm
@SAMIR SARDANA, you are turning out to be a loose cannon and insignificant. Your Chicago stay is becoming more expensive.
thumb_up Recommended (0) reply Reply
Mujahideen United Apr 14, 2024 12:52pm
@SAMIR SARDANA, Muridke is upset with you.
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SAMIR SARDANA Apr 14, 2024 12:55pm
@Mujahideen United , YES SIR !
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SAMIR SARDANA Apr 14, 2024 12:57pm
@Salauddin , WW3 ONLY IF ISRAEL USES THIS AS A PRETEXT TO TAKE OUT IRANIAN NUKE PROGRAM ! FOR WHICH IAF NEEDS TO ENTER IRANIAN AIRSPACE & EXIT ! FOR WHICH IAF NEEDS A US AIRCRAFT CARRIER
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SAMIR SARDANA Apr 14, 2024 12:59pm
@test, IRANIAN MISSILES ARE INACCURATE ! ALL THE LOW FLYING CRUISE MISSILES AND DRONES WERE SHOT BY JORDANIAN AIRFORCE AND IAF OVER SYRIA AND IRAQ ! THE BALLISTC MISSILES USED BY ITRAN WERE OLD
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SAMIR SARDANA Apr 14, 2024 01:02pm
@KU, THIS WAS A TEST RUN ! NOW IRAN KNOWS THAT IAF SHOT DOWN ALL DRONES AND CRUISE MISSILES ! SOLUTION =,BALLISTIC MISSILES WITH PINPOINT ACCURACY !
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Azeem Apr 14, 2024 01:17pm
Irans just face saving. No worthwhile effects of the strikes. Iran should conditioned it to ceasefire at ghaza. Otherwise, the exercise is Useless.
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Amran Arshad Apr 14, 2024 02:44pm
Shame to all Muslim leaders whom r sitting silence as now we have to take action with full support to iran...sallute to islamic republic of iran
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SAMIR SARDANA Apr 14, 2024 03:58pm
@Mujahideen United , MY LORD,WHAT SHALL I DO TO BRING JOY TO MURIDKE ?
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Az_Iz Apr 14, 2024 07:37pm
Breaching through the defenses of US, UK, Jordan and Israel,using only the lower end of it's offensive capability,& showing restraint in not escalating the fight,Iran has done well.Iran had no choice.
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