Iran’s deadly kamikaze drones arrive in Jerusalem: Sirens heard across the city as Israel fires missiles to intercept aerial bombardment – with explosions seen lighting up the sky

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Written By Maya Cantina
  • This story is breaking, more to follow 

The night sky above Jerusalem is lighting up, as the more than 100 drones and missile sent by Iran have begun to enter Israeli airspace. 

Iran launched drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles towards Israeli targets in response to a drone strike at the beginning of April in Syria that left 12 Iranians, including two top generals, dead. 

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said via state media: ‘The aerospace unit of the Revolutionary Guards has attacked targets in Israel with dozens of drones and missiles in reaction to the Zionist regime’s crimes, including the attack on the consulate section of Iran’s embassy in Damascus and martyring our commanders and military advisers in Syria.’

Missiles have begun to enter Israeli airspace, with images from international media revealing missiles being intercepted by the Iron Dome system above Jerusalem, in Israel’s east.  

Iranian media reported that Tehran has also launched its first round of ballistic missiles towards Israel, which have an even shorter flight time than the cruise missiles. A third wave of drones has now been launched at Israel. 

Yemen-based Houthis have also claimed to have shot ‘dozens’ of rockets towards an IDF base in the north-east of Israel. it is not currently known if the Houthi attacks are linked to Iran’s salvo. 

The UK, among Israel’s closest allies, and other nations have reportedly begun to support Israel by sending fighter jets to shoot down the drones and missiles. US officials added that their military also intercepted drones and missiles heading to Israel. 

  • Britain has sent jets to support Israel as it is attacked by Iran 
  • The US is sending a naval task force with over 2,500 marines
  • But many of Iran’s Middle East allies, including Qatar and Kuwait,  are rallying around it 

Israeli schools have been shut down in response to threats made by Iran

Tensions between Israel and Iran have been escalating massively in the past few weeks

Tensions between Israel and Iran have been escalating massively in the past few weeks 

Iran has threatened to take revenge against Israel for levelling its embassy in Damascus, Syria

Iran has threatened to take revenge against Israel for levelling its embassy in Damascus, Syria

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said: 'The State of Israel is strong, the IDF is strong, the people of Israel are strong'

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said: ‘The State of Israel is strong, the IDF is strong, the people of Israel are strong’

Around a hundred drones and missiles were fired at Israel

Around a hundred drones and missiles were fired at Israel

The IDF’s spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, said that the Iranian attack was ‘a severe and dangerous escalation’ in tensions, adding: ‘Our defensive and offensive capabilities are at the highest level of readiness ahead of this large-scale attack from Iran.’

The IDF said: ‘The air defense array is on high alert at the same time as the Air Force planes and Navy ships that are on a mission to protect the country’s skies. The IDF is monitoring all targets.

‘We ask the public to adhere to and follow the instructions of the Home Front Command and the official IDF announcements regarding the matter.’

Israel’s allies have begun to send in military assets in to help Israel. 

US Congressional sources say the amphibious war ship Bataan is leading a US naval task force in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Bataan has two support ships and together they have about 2,500 Marines onboard. The US also has several guided missile destroyers including the Carney in the area.

US bases in Iraq have been placed on full alert and will also attempt to shoot down missiles and drones aimed at Israel. In addition, the US has two destroyers and a Cruiser in the Red Sea that are fully armed with anti-missile weapons and they too are under orders to shoot down any Israeli bound missiles or drones.

But Iran has threatened the US if it gets involved in the spat, claiming that it is a conflict between Iran and Israel alone. 

Iran’s mission to the UN wrote on X: ‘Conducted on the strength of Article 51 of the UN Charter pertaining to legitimate defense, Iran’s military action was in response to the Zionist regime’s aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus. 

‘The matter can be deemed concluded. However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe. It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the U.S. MUST STAY AWAY!’

Surrounding countries appear to have begun preparations for an escalation in hostilities. 

Jordan, Israel’s eastern neighbour, temporarily closed its airspace to all incoming, departing and internal flights. Its government refuted reported that it had ordered its armed forces to shoot down any drones that flew through its airspace. 

Syria is also on high alert, setting up its ground-to-air defence systems around the capital Damascus and major bases in the event of an Israeli strike, army sources said. 

Sources told Reuters they expected Israel would retaliate against army bases and installations where pro-Iranian militia were based after Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said they launched dozens of drones and missiles against specific targets in Israel.

Lebanon, which lies to Israel’s north, is also closing its airspace at 1am local time. 

Qatar and Kuwait have both issued directives against the US prohibiting the use of their airspace for any potential military action against Iran. 

US military aircraft are stationed at the Ali Al Salem Air Base and the Ahmed Al Jaber Air Base in Kuwait, as well as the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, the largest US airbase in the Middle East. 

The rest of the world has begun to react to Iran’s strikes. 

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement: ‘I condemn in the strongest terms the Iranian regime’s reckless attack against Israel. These strikes risk inflaming tensions and destabilising the region. Iran has once again demonstrated that it is intent on sowing chaos in its own backyard.

‘The UK will continue to stand up for Israel’s security and that of all our regional partners, including Jordan and Iraq.

‘Alongside our allies, we are urgently working to stabilise the situation and prevent further escalation. No one wants to see more bloodshed.’

The UK’s Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron took to X to say: ‘Iran’s reckless attacks on Israel will only further inflame tensions in the Middle East. The UK calls on the Iranian regime to stop this serious escalation, which is in no one’s interest.’

A spokesperson for the US’ National Security Council, meanwhile, said: ‘President Biden has been clear: Our support for Israel’s security is ironclad. The United States will stand with the people of Israel and support their defence against these threats from Iran.’

France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Stéphane Séjourné said via X: ‘France condemns in the strongest terms the attack launched by Iran against Israel. By deciding on such an unprecedented action, Iran is taking a new step in its destabilizing actions and taking the risk of a military escalation.

Iran has threatened the US if it gets involved in the spat, claiming that it is a conflict between Iran and Israel alone

Iran has threatened the US if it gets involved in the spat, claiming that it is a conflict between Iran and Israel alone

A general view of the empty streets of capital city as Iran launches dozens of drones towards Israel

A general view of the empty streets of capital city as Iran launches dozens of drones towards Israel

Tensions between Tehran and Tel Aviv have massively escalated in recent weeks

Tensions between Tehran and Tel Aviv have massively escalated in recent weeks

Tehran's streets are currently empty, with only a handful of cars being seen

Tehran’s streets are currently empty, with only a handful of cars being seen 

Israel's cabinet is currently meeting to discuss how to deal with the attack from Iran

Israel’s cabinet is currently meeting to discuss how to deal with the attack from Iran

‘France reaffirms its attachment to Israel’s security and assures it of its solidarity.’

It was reported today that Iran has more than 100 cruise missiles ready to be launched as part of an ‘imminent’ strike against Israel in retaliation for an airstrike against Iran’s embassy in Damascus, Syria.

Announcing increased security measures in Israel during a televised briefing, chief military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said dozens of combat planes were airborne as part of the state of readiness. 

Starting from 11pm tonight, the strict measures, which include the ban of all ‘educational activities’ across the country, the restriction of working in offices without ‘standard protected spaces’ and limits on the number of people at gatherings’, will be implemented. 

Educational activities have been banned across the country, while restrictions on working have been put in place on areas directly next to the Gaza Strip, and other areas in the Gaza Envelope. 

Israelis living on the areas next to the Gaza Strip have been banned from meeting outside in groups of more than 30, and are allowed to meet up to 300 people inside buildings. Beaches in the Gaza Envelope have also been closed to the public. 

Hagari said in the televised address that the directive will be reassessed at 6am local time, and urged Israelis to remain vigilant and to head to bomb shelters if they hear warnings.

The long-range air defence system called Arman is displayed during an unveiling ceremony in Tehran, Iran

The long-range air defence system called Arman is displayed during an unveiling ceremony in Tehran, Iran

A missile is launched during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in the south of Iran, in this handout image obtained on January 19, 2024

A missile is launched during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in the south of Iran, in this handout image obtained on January 19, 2024

‘We are taking all steps possible to ensure your safety. 

‘Since the start of the war, we have faced a variety of threats sent here by Iran’s proxies and adapted our defense and attack systems accordingly,’ Hagari said, adding that the IDF was ‘fully prepared’ for Iranian attacks. 

‘The air force’s defense and attack formations are on alert and dozens of planes are in the sky. We are conducting a situational assessment with our strategic partners, led by the USA, and we are maintaining close coordination with them,’ he added.

Hagari’s televised message came as Israel’s defence minister Yoav Gallant held a meeting with top-level defence officials, including the IDF’s chief Herzi Halevi. 

Gallant said the IDF was ‘closely monitoring a planned attack by Iran and its proxies against the State of Israel.’

‘We have added new capabilities – on land, in the air, at sea, in our intelligence directorate, within the State of Israel, and together with our partners, led by the United States.

‘Iran is a terrorist state – the world is seeing this now more than ever.’

Israeli Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in central Israel, November 5, 2023

Israeli Iron Dome air defense system fires to intercept a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in central Israel, November 5, 2023

Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from Lebanon towards Israel over the Israeli Lebanese border, as seen from northern Israel, April 12, 2024

Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from Lebanon towards Israel over the Israeli Lebanese border, as seen from northern Israel, April 12, 2024

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly on his way to the IDF’s headquarters in Hakirya for security consultations with top military officials in light of the threat of attack by Iran. 

He said in a prepared televised statement: ‘Our defense systems are deployed, and we are prepared for any scenario, both in defense and offense. The State of Israel is strong, the IDF is strong, the public is strong.’

‘We appreciate the US for standing by Israel’s side as well as the support of the UK, France and many other countries.’

‘I established a clear principle — whoever hurts us, we will hurt them. We will defend ourselves from any threat and we will do so calmly and with determination.’

‘I know that you, the citizens of Israel, are also keeping calm. I urge you to listen to the directives of the Home Front Command.’

‘Together we stand, and with God’s help, together we will overcome all of our enemies.’

The increased security measures were announced hours after Iranian commandos took control of an Israel-linked container ship as it travelled in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world’s most important shipping chokepoints. 

Tensions between Iran and Israel have been massively escalating after the IDF killed 12 people, including two top military figures, in an airstrike against Iran’s embassy in Syria’s capital, Damascus, on April 1. 

More to follow.  

ᴀʀᴛɪᴄʟᴇ ꜱᴏᴜʀᴄᴇ

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