Home » Escalation in the Middle East: Iran attacks Israel with drones and missiles

Escalation in the Middle East: Iran attacks Israel with drones and missiles

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Escalation in the Middle East: Iran attacks Israel with drones and missiles

It had been feared for days, now Iran has carried out its threat and attacked Israel directly for the first time. There is a threat of a conflagration in the Middle East.

According to Israel, Iran has launched a drone and missile attack against Israel. Army spokesman Daniel Hagari confirmed this on Saturday evening. It will take several hours for all drones to reach Israeli territory. Hagari called the attack a “serious and dangerous escalation.” There were alarms in large parts of Israel and also in the West Bank. Residents reported numerous explosions. According to media reports, many missiles were intercepted by Israel’s missile defense.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard confirmed the military strike on Israel, as did Iranian state media. Rockets were also fired at Israel. “A broad drone operation by the Revolutionary Guards against targets in the occupied country (Israel) began minutes ago,” state television said in subtitles shortly before midnight on Saturday. This is the “response to the Zionist regime’s most recent crimes,” said a statement from the Revolutionary Guards read out live on television.

Hezbollah says it fires rockets into the Golan Heights

This is the first time in the history of the Islamic Republic that Iran has directly attacked its arch-enemy Israel. The Iranian defense minister warned of counterattacks on his country. Any state that attacks Iran will receive a “decisive response,” said General Mohammed-Reza Ashtiani, according to the state news agency Irna on Sunday night.

At the same time as the Iranian air strike on Israel, the Hezbollah militia in Lebanon fired rockets into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The Iranian-allied militia said on Sunday night that it had attacked an Israeli army base in the Golan Heights with “dozens of Katyusha-type rockets.”

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High alert in Israel

The US government has confirmed the start of an Iranian airstrike against Israel. US President Joe Biden will be continuously informed about the situation and will meet with his security team in the White House for consultations, said a spokeswoman for the National Security Council. The attack will “likely last several hours.”

The Israeli military is on high alert and monitoring the situation, according to a statement sent by the Israeli army via Telegram. This also applies to the air defense system, the fighter jets and the naval ships. Spokesman Hagari emphasized that the army is monitoring the situation and that all defense systems are ready. In addition, GPS reception is suppressed in various parts of the country.

The New York Times reported, citing Israeli representatives, that it was expected that the Golan Heights and an Israeli air force base in the Negev Desert could become targets of Iranian attacks.

Protection instructions for the Israeli population

In view of the tense security situation shortly before the attack, Israel had further increased the alert: The army issued new protection instructions for the civilian population, which were initially to apply from Saturday evening to Monday evening. Israel’s airspace was also closed.

Military tensions in the Middle East escalated after two Iranian brigadier generals were killed in a suspected Israeli airstrike on Iran’s embassy compound in Syria on April 1.

Biden had assured Israel of the full support of the USA in view of the feared attack from Iran. On Saturday, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin renewed that assurance.

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German ambassador to Israel: “A direct attack like never before”

The German ambassador to Israel, Steffen Seibert, has called on all Germans on site to adhere to the instructions of the security authorities. “A direct attack like never before: Iranian drones approaching Israel and there can be more to come,” he wrote on X (formerly Twitter) on Saturday evening.

“I urge all German compatriots to follow the instructions of the Home Front Command and local authorities for your safety.”

The German government has condemned the Iranian drone and missile attack on Israel and called on the leadership in Tehran to stop the attack.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the ongoing attack, which can plunge an entire region into chaos,” wrote Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock on the online platform X (formerly Twitter) on Sunday night. Iran and its allied forces must “immediately stop” the attack. “Our solidarity goes out to Israel in these hours,” added Baerbock.

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