Iran answers to the Israeli provocation

Tel Aviv condemned the move as a “dangerous escalation” and said its forces were on high alert

April 13, 2024

The Iranian military has launched an attack on Israel involving “dozens” of drones, Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said, noting the strikes were retaliation for a deadly Israeli strike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

The attack was announced on Saturday in a statement carried by Iranian state media, saying the UAVs were “fired at the occupied territories and positions of the Zionist regime.”

“In response to the numerous crimes committed by the Zionist regime, including the attack on the consular section of the Iranian embassy in Damascus and the martyrdom of a group of commanders and military advisors of our country in Syria, the IRGC Aerospace Force fired dozens of missiles at specific targets inside the occupied territories,” the statement said.

US and Israeli officials have acknowledged the attack – which is expected to take some time to reach Israel’s territory – with the IDF saying it was on “high alert” and “constantly monitoring the operational situation.”

“Iran has launched a direct attack from Iranian soil towards the state of Israel,” IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in a video statement, adding “This is a severe and dangerous escalation. Our offensive and defensive capabilities are at a high state of readiness ahead of this large-scale attack from Iran.”

The White House similarly said it was closely following the situation and was in “constant communication with Israeli officials as well as other partners and allies.” National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson predicted the attack would likely “unfold over a number of hours,” and reiterated US support for Israel.

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When asked whether Washington would directly intervene in hostilities between Israel and Iran during a press briefing earlier this week, Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder declined to “get into hypotheticals,” only reiterating the US’ “ironclad commitment to Israel’s security.”

The exact model of drone used in the attack remains unclear, though unverified footage making the rounds online purported to show Shahed kamikaze UAVs flying over Iraq. Baghdad and other regional states have reportedly closed their airspace, while Jordanian security sources told Reuters Amman would down any Iranian drone that entered its skies.

The attack comes weeks after Israeli forces bombed Tehran’s consulate building in the Syrian capital, killing seven officials, including a senior IRGC commander, Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi. The attack triggered a major spike in regional tensions, and Iran vow to respond in kind.

In another apparent reprisal earlier on Saturday, IRGC commandos stormed a cargo vessel with ties to Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer as it transited the Persian Gulf and took control of the ship. The Portuguese-flagged vessel, MSC Aries, and its international crew of 25 remain in Iranian custody.

Will Porter is assistant news editor at the Libertarian Institute and a regular contributor at Antiwar.com. Find more of his work at Consortium News and ZeroHedge.

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