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13 Apr, 2024 22:32

Israel & allies intercept incoming Iranian drones – media

West Jerusalem and its allies have reportedly shot down more than 100 UAVs
Israel & allies intercept incoming Iranian drones – media

The US and other Western allies are reportedly helping Israel to defend against retaliatory Iranian airstrikes, deploying fighter jets and other defenses to intercept incoming drones and cruise missiles before they reach Israeli territory.

American forces began shooting down unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the skies over Iraq and Syria on Saturday night, according to unconfirmed Israeli reports. More than 100 Iranian kamikaze drones were taken out by US and UK forces before they reached West Jerusalem’s airspace, the Israeli military’s Army Radio outlet reported.

Israeli and British fighter jets were reportedly launched to intercept Iranian drones over Jordan. UK pilots allegedly took off from Cyprus after Iran began launching suicide drones against Israel on Saturday night, in apparent retaliation for a missile strike earlier this month that killed seven military officers at the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

With Tehran vowing revenge, US and Israeli leaders have been bracing for attacks in recent days. US President Joe Biden cut short a weekend visit to his Delaware beach house earlier on Saturday, returning to the White House to meet with his national security advisers. “We are devoted to the defense of Israel,” Biden said before the drone raids began. “We will support Israel. We will help defend Israel, and Iran will not succeed.”

Local broadcaster Channel 12 reported that in addition to the drone swarms, cruise missiles were launched into Israel. The Houthi rebels in Yemen launched drones toward Eilat, the outlet said. The Houthis and other Iranian-backed militias have ramped up attacks against Israeli and US targets across the Middle East since the Israel-Hamas war began last October.

The Iranian Defense Ministry warned its neighbors against allowing Israel to use their airspace for strikes against Tehran. Iran launched Shahed UAVs from within its own territory, and the drones apparently passed through Iraqi and Syrian airspace on their way to Israel.

Israel is preparing for several days of clashes with Iran, and an Israeli response to Saturday’s airstrikes is expected, broadcaster KAN reported. Earlier on Saturday, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Daniel Hagari warned that Iran would “bear the consequences for choosing to escalate the situation any further.”