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Iran Launches Drones at Israel, Egypt Calls for Restraint

April 13, 2024

In a significant escalation of tensions between Iran and Israel, Iran has confirmed launching a “massive” drone attack on Israel late Saturday, involving more than 50 drones. This assault marks the first direct Iranian military action on Israeli soil.

News reports from Iran reported that some drones were also launched from Yemen, indicating a broader regional involvement. In response to the assault, the airspace over Israel, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan has been closed or is in the process of being shut down. In addition to closing its airspace, reports indicate that Jordan has declared a state of emergency.

Meanwhile, Egyptian state media reports that Egypt’s air defenses have been placed on high alert, likely to intercept any missiles or drones that cross over into Egyptian territory. In late 2023, missiles launched from Yemen towards Israel struck Egypt’s Dahab and Taba, with the latter incident resulting in the injury of a number of Egyptians.

In a statement following news of the assault, Egypt’s Foreign Ministry expressed great concern about the escalation between Iran and Israel and urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint.

Israel Responds

Israeli news agencies report that Israel’s military and air defenses have been placed on high alert as the country braces for the potential impact of the incoming drones, which are expected to take several hours to reach their targets.

The Israeli war cabinet, under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, convened urgently to address the launch of drones by Iran. Prime Minister Netanyahu has emphasized the readiness of Israel’s armed forces, declaring that Israel will “protect ourselves from any threat with coolness and determination.”

The Iranian assault comes after Iran vowed retaliation for a strike on 1 April on an Iranian consulate building in Syria that killed a top Iranian commander – a strike widely attributed to Israel. The anticipation of an Iranian response had been mounting over recent days.

The United States is also closely monitoring the situation, with President Joe Biden scheduled to meet with senior security officials to discuss the unfolding events and potential implications for U.S. interests and its allies in the region. Earlier this week, Biden warned Iran against attacking Israel, stating that the U.S. would stand with Israel. Israel’s Prime Minister thanked the U.S. President for his support and said that Israel is “ready for any scenario”.

This story is developing.

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