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Iran Launches Drones Towards Israel, Heightening Regional Tensions

April 13, 2024

Late Saturday, the Israeli military confirmed that Iran had launched drones towards Israel, marking a significant escalation in tensions between the two nations. According to Iran’s state-run media, dozens of drones were fired towards Israeli territories.

“The country is prepared,” stated Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the Israeli army’s spokesman, emphasizing Israel’s readiness for any potential threat. The drone launch follows Iran’s threats of retaliation after an airstrike in Syria last week, which killed two Iranian generals.

Israeli aviation authorities promptly responded by closing the country’s airspace to all flights as of 12:30 a.m. local time. This move underscores the seriousness with which Israel is treating the situation.

In a statement carried by Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency, the Revolutionary Guard acknowledged the launch, stating, “dozens of drones and missiles” were directed towards Israeli territories. The White House pledged support for Israel’s defense, with National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson affirming, “The United States will stand with the people of Israel.”

President Joe Biden convened a principals meeting of the National Security Council to address the unfolding situation, demonstrating the gravity of the incident.

“Israel is prepared and ready,” Rear Adm. Hagari reiterated, highlighting the close cooperation between Israel and its allies in the region, including the United States.

The head of the U.S. Central Command, Gen. Erik Kurilla, has been in Israel in recent days, coordinating efforts to address Iranian threats. Israel, equipped with a robust air defense system, remains vigilant, although Hagari cautioned that no defense system is foolproof.

“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 reaffirmed.

The repercussions of the drone attack extend beyond Israel’s borders. Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency reported heavy Israeli airstrikes and shelling in south Lebanon following the drone launch. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hezbollah adds another layer of complexity to the situation.

In a separate incident earlier on Saturday, Iranian commandos seized an Israeli-affiliated container ship near the Strait of Hormuz. The vessel, MSC Aries, associated with London-based Zodiac Maritime, was targeted by the Revolutionary Guard.

“We are working closely with the relevant authorities to ensure their wellbeing, and safe return of the vessel,” MSC said in response to the seizure.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz condemned the attack, urging nations to designate the Guard as a terrorist organization. Despite mounting concerns, the United States reaffirmed its support for Israel’s security.

As tensions escalate in the region, the international community closely monitors developments, wary of the potential for further escalation and instability.

 

 

 

 

Credit: AP

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