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Iran’s attack on Israel is underway

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Iran launched its announced attack on Israel on Saturday night. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has assembled his war cabinet. Photo: Leo Correa / Pool via AP / NTB

Of NTB | 14.04.2024 00:02:59

War and conflicts: – A short time ago, Iran sent unmanned aerial vehicles from its territory towards Israel, said IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari shortly after 10 pm Norwegian time on Saturday.

He further said that it would take several hours before the drones reach Israel, and that the country’s defense systems are prepared for the drones. Furthermore, he asked the audience to listen to and follow the instructions of the Israeli authorities.

– We are keeping a close eye on the Iranian killer drones that are on their way to Israel from Iran. This is a serious and dangerous escalation, Hagari said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has assembled the war cabinet in Tel Aviv on Sunday evening, his office said.

The attack comes as a “response to the recent crimes of the Zionist regime”, says a statement reproduced by the German news agency DPA.

In a statement late Saturday evening Norwegian time, the IDF says that more than 100 drones with explosives have been sent since Saturday evening.

Iran has vowed to retaliate for what it believes was an Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1, in which seven members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard were killed.

“The United States stands with the Israeli people and supports their defense against these Iranian attacks,” it said in a statement.

US President Joe Biden cut short a trip to his hometown of Delaware as fears of an attack grew, and news that it was underway came while he was in a helicopter on his way to Washington. There, on Saturday evening, he assembled his national security council for a crisis meeting with, among others, Defense Minister Lloyd Austin, Foreign Minister Antony Blinken and CIA chief Bill Burns.

Hagari says that Israel and the US are working together to ward off the drones.

– WE work closely with the US and our partners in the region to handle the launches and intercept them, says Hagari.

Biden is regularly updated and US authorities are in “constant communication” with Israel and other allies, according to spokesperson Adrienne Watson for the US National Security Council.

The country has, among other things, closed all schools and canceled children’s and youth activities, as well as introduced restrictions, which mean that only 1,000 people are allowed to gather outdoors, with an even lower number in the border areas.

Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon, all of which lie between Israel and Iran, have chosen to close their airspace to all air traffic.

Several Iraqi security sources told the Reuters news agency on Saturday evening that drones could be seen flying over Iraq’s Sulaymaniya province. Egypt has put its air defense on maximum alert.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard confirms to state media that it has fired a dozen drones and missiles at “specific targets” in Israel.

The White House reports that the Iranian attack “is likely to unfold over several hours”, and promises full support.

Earlier in the evening, Israel introduced a series of security measures.

(© NTB)

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