Days after attack on consulate, Iran fires 300 drones, missiles at Israel : The Tribune India

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Days after attack on consulate, Iran fires 300 drones, missiles at Israel

99% shots thwarted: Israel; G7 condemns ‘brazen attack’ | Biden backs Tel Aviv, but says won’t take part in offensive | Indian missions ask citizens to stay calm, no evacuation yet

Days after attack on consulate, Iran fires 300 drones, missiles at Israel

An anti-missile system operates after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel. REUTERS



Tribune News Service

Ajay Banerjee

New Delhi, April 14

Israel faced an unprecedented attack by Iran late last night, but it and its allies – the US and UK — managed to intercept 99 per cent of the more than 300 drones and missiles launched toward its territory mid-air. Regional tensions, however, remain high amid fears of further escalation in the event of a possible Israeli counter-strike.

Iran launched the attack in response to a strike widely blamed on Israel on an Iranian consular building in Syria earlier this month, which killed two Iranian generals. Israel said Iran launched 170 drones, more than 30 cruise missiles and over 120 ballistic missiles.

By Sunday morning, Iran said the attack was over and Israel reopened its air space. “We will build a regional coalition and collect the price from Iran in the way and at the time that suits us,” said a key member of Israel’s War Cabinet, Benny Gantz.

Israel’s Multi-tier defence system helps intercept missiles

Iron Dome forms the base

  • Forms lowest layer, intercepts short-range surface-to-surface rockets simultaneously

David’s Sling in the middle

  • Forms middle layer; tackles mid-range surface-to-surface missiles, large calibre rockets

Arrow-2 tracks missiles

  • Intercepts medium to long-range missiles; ‘Green Pine’ radar tracks missiles 2,400 km away

Arrow-3 for precision

  • Top layer enables longer range, high-altitude interception with precise missile engagements

Eam Jaishankar dials Israeli counterpart

  • S Jaishankar said he spoke to his Iranian counterpart Hossein. “Took up release of 17 Indian crew members of MSC Aries. Stressed the need for exercising restraint,” he said

Will exact price when time is right: Israel

  • Israeli minister Benny Gantz said they “will exact a price from Iran in response to its missile and drone attack when the time is right”

There’ll be much larger response: Iran

  • Iran too has warned Israel and the US of “a much larger response if there is any retaliation for its mass drone and missile attack on Israel”

UN fears escalation

  • UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for immediate cessation of hostilities, fearing real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation

Israel’s feat of thwarting the attack was possible with the technology it developed in the past four decades. It has a multilayered air-defence network that includes systems capable of intercepting a variety of threats, including long-range missiles, cruise missiles, drones and short-range rockets.

During these four decades, its allies like the US, helped Israel with funding and technology. By 2020, the total US financial contribution toward the Israel’s Arrow Weapon System exceeded $3.7 billion (almost Rs 30,000 crore).

The air defence shield was tested to the hilt early on Sunday during which the US and UK pitched in with men and machines to counter drones and missiles using their own resources.

Lt Col Peter Leaner, spokesperson for the Israeli Defence Forces, said Iran launched 180 explosive drones, 120 ballistic missiles and 30 cruise missiles.

A statement from the US Department of Defence said, “US forces in the Middle East intercepted dozens of missiles and UAVs en route to Israel, launched from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.” In London, British PM Rishi Sunak praised pilots of the Royal Air Force pilots confirming that British jets shot down “a number of” drones.

Israel and Iran have for years been engaged in a shadow war marked by incidents like the Damascus strike. But Sunday’s assault, which set off air raid sirens across Israel, was the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity.

Meanwhile, Daniel Hagari, Israeli military spokesman, said none of the drones and cruise missiles reached Israel and that only a few ballistic missiles got through. He said minor damage was caused to an Israeli airbase, but it was functioning. Rescuers said a 7-year-old girl was seriously wounded in southern Israel, apparently in a missile strike, though the police were investigating the circumstances.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu posted on X: “We intercepted. We blocked. Together, we will win.”

Later in the day, Biden convened a G7 meet to coordinate a rebuke to Iran and prevent a wider regional escalation. The G7 meeting, Biden said, was intended "to coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran's brazen attack". (With agency inputs)

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

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