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Wave of Iran air attacks thwarted, says Israeli defense minister

Interceptors missiles are launched into the sky early Sunday, in Jerusalem. Associated Press/Photo by Sam Mednick

Wave of Iran air attacks thwarted, says Israeli defense minister

Officials on Sunday morning acknowledged a pause in Iranian drone and missile attacks on Israel that began Saturday. Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant said defense forces had thwarted a wave of hundreds of missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles. As a result of the defense, very little damage was caused by the strikes, he said. The campaign is not over yet, and Israel must remain alert and attentive, Gallant added. Iran on Sunday morning had no intention of continuing its operations, according to a translated statement of Iran’s Foreign Affairs Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. But he said his country would not hesitate to protect its interests or respond to new hostilities.

Why did Iran say it attacked? Abdollahian on Sunday characterized its air strikes as a legitimate defensive move. Iran has cast the attacks as a response to an April 1 strike on on a building owned by and adjacent to its embassy in Damascus, Syria. Iran has blamed Israel for the attack, which killed two of its senior military commanders. Israel has not directly acknowledged involvement in the attack.

How has the United States been involved? U.S. President Joe Biden said Saturday night that American forces in the region helped Israel shoot down the missiles and drones. U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with Gallant at least twice on Saturday. Austin repeated on Saturday night that the United States will continue to fully support the defense of Israel against any future attacks by Iran and its regional proxy forces, according to an official summary of the second call.

Read our earlier coverage:

  • Explosions and sirens are heard over Jerusalem as Iran launches an attack.

  • The American Embassy in Israel restricts travel for U.S. government employees.

Stephen Kloosterman

Stephen Kloosterman is the breaking news editor for WORLD. He is a graduate of Dordt University and the World Journalism Institute.


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