[Watch] Sky Lit Up Amid Ringing Sirens, Blasts Sound After Iran Fires Explosive Drones At Israel

OB Bureau

New Delhi: Air raid sirens blared across Israel after Iran launched a swarm of explosive drones and fired missiles in its first-ever direct attack on Israeli territory on Saturday night, escalating long-standing tensions between the two nations.

The majority of these missiles launched were intercepted outside Israeli airspace, a statement from the Israeli defence force’s spokesperson read.

“A short time ago, dozens of launches of surface-to-surface missiles were detected that made their way from Iran to the country’s territory. The air defense fighters successfully intercepted using the “Arrow” system and, together with the strategic partner countries, most of the launches before they crossed the territory of the country,” the statement read.

It added that a few injuries were detected, among them at a military base in the south of the country with minor damage to the infrastructure.

Videos on social media platforms show the Arrow defense system, along with the Iron Dome system, intercepting aerial threats. Sirens were activated in Jerusalem at around 01:45 local time. Loud explosions were also heard with the air defence systems shooting down objects over the city, and multiple interceptions lit up the night sky, the BBC reported.

US and British warplanes also downed some Israel-bound Iranian drones over the Iraq-Syria border area, Channel 12 TV reported early on Sunday without citing sources.

Tehran said that it carried out the attack in response to an Israeli raid on the Iranian consulate building in Damascus killing at least 13 people, including two high-ranking members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, and added that the matter can now “be deemed concluded”.

Condemning the attack as “reckless and unprecedented”, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin told Iran to “immediately halt any further attacks, including from its proxy forces”. “We do not seek conflict with Iran, but we will not hesitate to act to protect our forces and support the defense of Israel,” he said in a statement.

US President Joe Biden has also told Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Washington would not support any Israeli counterattack against Iran, a senior White House official told Axios.

While reaffirming his “ironclad” support to Netanyahu, Biden, in a statement, said that he would convene his fellow leaders of the G7 group of wealthy nations on Sunday to coordinate a “united diplomatic response” to Iran’s “brazen” attack. “My team will engage with their counterparts across the region. And we will stay in close touch with Israel’s leaders. And while we have not seen attacks on our forces or facilities today, we will remain vigilant to all threats and will not hesitate to take all necessary action to protect our people,” he added.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council has decided to convene an emergency meeting over Iran’s drone and missile attack on Israel on the request of the latter, who in a letter to the council’s president, Vanessa Frazier, said that the attacks “pose a grave threat to international peace and security”.

Reacting to the attack, India said that it is seriously concerned at the escalation of hostilities between Israel and Iran that threatens the peace and security in the West Asia region. “We call for immediate de-escalation, exercise of restraint, stepping back from violence and return to the path of diplomacy. We are closely monitoring the evolving situation. Our Embassies in the region are in close touch with Indian community. It is vital that security and stability are maintained in the region,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in its statement.

OB Bureau

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