Iran Launches Drones, Missiles Toward Israel

Iran launched more than 200 drones and ballistic missiles in an attack on Israel on Saturday night, The New York Times reports. A spokesman for the Israeli military, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said most of the aerial assault had been intercepted with assistance from allies, including the United States.

Tensions between the two nations have continued to mount following the beginning of Israel’s war in Gaza in October, and escalated after Iran accused Israel of the attack on its consulate in Damascus, Syria on April 1, which killed 12 people, including two Iranian generals, per The Associated Press. Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and other Iranian leaders said earlier this week they would retaliate against Israel for the Damascus attack.

Israeli aviation authorities said they closed its airspace to all flights at 12:30 a.m. local time, which is 5:30 p.m. ET. Jordan also temporarily closed its airspace at 11 p.m. local time citing growing risks in the region, Bloomberg reported.

Israel’s war on Hamas in Gaza has ignited further tensions in the Middle East, and the Iranian attack threatens to widen the conflict within the region — and increases risk that the United States will get more involved as well.

“The United States will stand with the people of Israel and support their defense against these threats from Iran,” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement.

President Joe Biden, who cut short a trip to Delaware to monitor the situation, met with the National Security Council to discuss the attack, per the White House.

The Israeli army’s spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said the country was “prepared and ready” for the offensive. He added there was “tight” cooperation with the U.S. and others in the region.

The head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Erik Kurilla, has been in Israel to meet with Israel about the Iranian threats.

The attack Saturday is the first time Iran has launched a full-scale military assault on Israel, according to the Associated Press. Iran has primarily avoided attacking Israel, despite Israel launching targeted killings of nuclear scientists and campaigns against Iran’s atomic atomic locations.

This is a developing story…

This article was updated at 11:26 p.m. on Saturday, April 13 to include the amount of drones and missiles reported in the attack and that most were reported to be intercepted.

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