Iran attacks, Israel defends itself with the support of its allies

George Marinescu
English Section / 15 aprilie

Iranians celebrate in Palestine Square in Tehran after Iran launched drone strikes against Israel (EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh). Photo source: Agerpres

Iranians celebrate in Palestine Square in Tehran after Iran launched drone strikes against Israel (EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh). Photo source: Agerpres

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Israel's ability to defend itself was sorely tested Saturday night into Sunday after Iranian forces and their allies in the Middle East sent nearly 300 drones and ballistic missiles into the Jewish state aimed at hitting several military and administrative targets. The Israeli military forces (IDF), benefiting from the support of the USA, Great Britain, France, as well as the Jordanian air force, managed to intercept and destroy 99% of the warheads sent to the Holy Land.

According to the IDF, only 1% of the missiles and drones sent by Iran hit their targets, but the damage was minor, the only victim with serious injuries being the 7-year-old daughter of a Bedouin, according to the Jerusalem Post and The Times of Israel. Even though the Iranian news agencies, IRNA and Tasnim report the statements of the officials in Tehran according to which the attack on Israel was crowned with success, in reality the whole operation prepared for two weeks by Iran turned into a huge fiasco, which strengthened them the power of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had recently faced huge protests for failing to release all the hostages kidnapped by Hamas on October 7, 2023, and which entitles Israel to retaliate at any time.

The attack was announced by the Iranian leaders as early as April 1, after several officers from the Revolutionary Guard Corps lost their lives following the bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus. Ayatollah Khameni and President Ebrahim Raisi initially warned that Israel would pay for that crime on the last Friday of the Ramadan fast, that is, Quds Day (Jerusalem Day), which this year fell on April 5. But nothing happened that day. The same did not happen until the Muslim holiday Eid al Fitr, which took place on Wednesday, April 10. It took three days of celebration for the leaders in Tehran to give the order for the attack. During this time, the US twice warned Israel that an Iranian attack was imminent in the next 24-48 hours, and the forces in Tehran even held an exercise on the night of April 10-11, which led the Lufthansa airline to suspend their flights to that destination.

But what happened on the night of Saturday to Sunday practically showed the power of reaction of Israel, a country whose anti-aircraft defense seems impenetrable at the moment, although it was subjected in only six months to two similar operations of massive air attack with missiles and drones. The first - in October 2023 from Hamas, and the second now, from Iran. Israel's aerial impenetrability was reiterated in his speech by Moshe Patel, director of the Israel Missile Defense Organization (IMDO), who stated, quoted by the Jerusalem Post, that almost 40 years of investment in long-range missile defense - so Israel's so-called "Star Wars" program - have finally paid off.

Moshe Patel said: "All the defense systems proved to be perfectly functional. All actions were coordinated, according to significant training and development, simulations and integration with real combat situations. If someone thought that all the scenarios we designed were imaginary, now he saw their relevance".

According to the cited source, in its attack Iran used 100 ballistic missiles and cruise missiles and 100 drones, which were combined with other missiles and drones sent by allies of the Tehran regime in the region.

It was the first time that Iran had launched a massive attack on Israel, and as a result, several Jewish policymakers called for a quick response, meaning the bombing of certain targets vital to the authorities in Tehran.

Among them are the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Israel. Bezalel Smotrich, Israel's finance minister, yesterday called for an attack on Iran, saying, according to the Jerusalem Post, that "this is the time for the country's leadership to respond with actions and not slogans or statements to deter any attack and for to restore the security of the citizens of Israel".

"The eyes of the entire Middle East and the entire world are on the State of Israel. If our reaction will have an effect throughout the Middle East for generations to come, we will win," added Bezalel Smotrich in a press release, according to the quoted source.

For its part, the Foreign Ministry issued a statement insisting that Israel has the right to self-defense and saying that "Iran must pay a price for its aggression," and the initial price must be the immediate recognition of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps - the force massive paramilitary that answers to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei - as a terrorist organization, as well as new sanctions against Iran.

"This attack proves what Israel has been saying for years: Iran is behind terrorist attacks in the region and is also the biggest threat to regional stability and world order," the Ministry's press release said. of Foreign Affairs, quoted by The Times of Israel.

The representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs specified that the militias supported by Iran in Iraq, the Houthi rebels in Yemen and the terrorist group Hezbollah in Lebanon "supplemented" the Iranian attack with their own airstrikes on Israel.

"Just like any other country, Israel has the right to defend itself against Iran's massive attack. Israel has successfully defended itself against Iran's aggression and will continue to do so in the future," the Foreign Ministry concluded.

However, although he held a meeting with military leaders, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the cancellation of any quick response after he had a phone call with Joe Biden, the US president, who asked him not to act to escalate tensions in the region.

Meanwhile, leaders in Tehran announced that the attack on Israel was over and warned the US that any retaliation against Iran would lead to a stronger attack by Iranian forces.

"Our response will be much greater than tonight's military action if Israel retaliates against Iran," Iran's armed forces chief of staff, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, told state television, adding that Tehran had warned Washington that any support for Israeli retaliation will lead to the targeting of American bases in the Middle East.

For his part, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said in a press release: "If the Zionist regime (Israel) or its supporters demonstrate reckless behavior, they will receive a decisive and much stronger response."

The commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hossein Salami, also warned that Tehran would retaliate against any Israeli attack on its interests, officials or citizens and said the operation overnight from Saturday to Sunday was a success "beyond expectations".

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said yesterday, according to Iran's Tasnim news agency, in a meeting with foreign ambassadors in Tehran, that his country had informed the US that its attacks against Israel would be "limited" and only for self-defense. .

Meanwhile, according to The Times of Israel, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan conveyed to his counterpart in Tehran, in a telephone conversation, that Ankara does not want a further escalation of tension in the region after Iran's attack with drones and missiles against Israel.

However, Canada, France, India, the US, the Netherlands, Germany and Austria yesterday warned their own citizens against traveling to the Middle East because of tensions between Israel and Iran.

We mention that yesterday, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran and even Israel reopened their airspace, after it was closed on Sunday night, with several civil flights being canceled or postponed due to the events in the Holy Land. Following the attack, German airline Lufthansa suspended flights to Israel, Jordan and Iraq until Tuesday and maintained the suspension of flights to Tehran until April 18. Lufthansa flights to Beirut (Lebanon) are also suspended until Thursday.

This was also felt at Otopeni airport, where an air flight to Tel Aviv, which was supposed to take off on Sunday night after 0:00, was postponed to yesterday afternoon at 16:00, according to the information transmitted by TVR 1.

Regarding the situation in Israel, the Home Front Command announced yesterday that schools will remain closed today due to the active security threat from Iran.

Following the Iranian attack on Israel, Josep Borrel, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, called a meeting of foreign ministers from the European Union for tomorrow to find solutions regarding the de-escalation of the situation in the Middle East.

Also in this sense, last night, after the closing of the edition, a meeting of the UN Security Council requested by the Israeli authorities following the attack by Iran was to take place.

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