Iran launches missiles and drones at Israel

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Monday, April 15, 2024

Iranian missiles passing over Al-Aqsa.
Image: unknown.

On Saturday, Iran launched a volley of over 300 projectiles, including missiles and drones, at Israel, marking a significant escalation in the long-standing tensions between the two countries. Iran described this unprecedented assault as retaliation for an earlier Israeli strike on an Iranian consulate in Syria, which reportedly resulted in significant casualties, including high-ranking officials.

The complex attack included kamikaze drones, long-range ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles. Al Jazeera reported this as Iran's largest-ever drone and missile strike, as well as the largest drone strike conducted by any country to-date. Hossein Salami, commander-in-chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said, "The operation achieved a level of success that exceeded our expectations."

Israel's response to the attack was swift, involving the activation of its missile defense systems and readiness measures across the country. The country also saw disruptions in civilian life, including the temporary closure of airspace and a slight downturn in the stock market reflecting investor concerns over the escalating conflict.

On Sunday, the Group of Seven (G7) met virtually to coordinate a response. Following that meeting, the G7 members issued a joint statement forcefully condemning Iran's "direct and unprecedented attack" on Israel. They proclaimed their "full solidarity and support to Israel and its people" and reaffirmed their commitment to Israel's security.

Other international actors, including the EU, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, Denmark, Norway, and others have called for restraint and emphasized the need for a diplomatic resolution to prevent further escalation.

Last year Iran unveiled new drones and long-range ballistic missiles, named after significant figures and locations in Iranian military history, signaling a robust enhancement of their military capabilities. These advancements are seen by Tehran as shifting the regional power balance, potentially increasing Iran's leverage in geopolitical negotiations.

The Iranian government has openly praised groups like Hamas for their attacks on Israel, underscoring Iran's support for what it views as anti-Zionist resistance movements across the region. This stance is part of a broader Iranian strategy aimed at countering Israeli influence and operations in the Middle East.