Iran Says Ballistic Missiles Are Headed to Israel

US offers to help ally intercept the aerial threats
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 13, 2024 4:12 PM CDT
Updated Apr 13, 2024 5:19 PM CDT
Iran's Attack Drones Are on Their Way to Israel
A general view shows the center of Tel Aviv, Israel, in December 2021.   (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

Iran launched its first full-scale aerial attack against Israel on Saturday, including ballistic missiles, and the US was helping its ally prepare to defend against the strikes. Israeli intelligence had detected the launch of dozens of bomb-carrying drones and cruise missiles from Iran and Iraq, the New York Times reports, and projected the targets to be in the Golan Heights and an Israeli air force base in the Negev Desert. Iranian state media later said ballistic missiles, which travel much faster than drones, also were on their way to targets inside Israel, per the AP. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was meeting with his war cabinet on Saturday night, and President Biden ended his weekend stay in Delaware to return to the White House to meet with the National Security Council about the escalation that threatened to start a broad war in the Middle East.

The Pentagon plans to assist Israel in intercepting anything flying toward Israel, per ABC News. Israel had shut its airspace earlier in the day in anticipation of the attack, and Jordan, Iraq, and Lebanon later did the same. The US, Israel, and Iran had all put their militaries on high alert, per the New York Times, after an April 1 strike by Israel on Iran's embassy in Syria, for which Iran promised retaliation. Israel said Saturday that dozens of its combat planes were airborne, waiting for the drones. Its defense systems are capable of downing ballistic missiles. But such a broad attack, involving scores of drones and missiles, makes it more likely that Israel will be struck.

Hezbollah announced in a statement early Sunday that it had fired dozens of rockets at an Israeli barracks in the Golan Heights, per the Times, without saying whether the attack is linked to Iran's. The Pentagon has been concerned that its troops could be targets during an escalation, and Iran warned the US not to join in any counterattack Israel might launch. American fighter jets in the region now are on standby, per CBS News. (More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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