Horst D. Deckert

Iran Begins Attack On Israel By Launching Dozens Of Suicide Drones

“Whoever hurts us, we will hurt them. We will defend ourselves from any threat and we will do so calmly and with determination,” PM Benjamin Netanyahu warned.

Update(1554ET): Axios correspondent Barak Ravid has cited several US and Israeli officials who say Iran’s attack against Israel has started. It is currently almost 11pm in Israel.

Iran launches attack against Israel using dozens of drones, four U.S. and Israeli officials told me,” Ravid writes. Airspace across Iran, Jordan, and Israel has reportedly been shut in the last hours.

Prime Minister Benjamin issued the following nighttime speech just ahead of the reported attack:

“Citizens of Israel, in recent years, and even more so in recent weeks, Israel has been preparing for the possibility of a direct attack from Iran,” the premier says in a video 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,” Netanyahu says.

Schools in Israel and public gatherings have been closed for the coming days.

Iran has launched dozens of drones towards Israel. It will take around 9 hours before they reach Israel and can be intercepted by various air defense systems and fighter jets (American/Israeli). Israeli F-35s have already downed drones, but this is likely only the beginning

— Anna Ahronheim (@AAhronheim) April 13, 2024

Crypto is crashing on the news…

President Joe Biden has reportedly cut short a beach vacation to head back to the White House where he’s meeting with his national security team, monitoring the attacks, as well as Israel’s defense. It’s as yet unclear if Iran has launched ballistic missiles, following the initial drone salvo. Fox News is reporting that the head of US Central Command, Michael Kurilla, has safely departed Israel.

Israel’s Home Front command has issued the following emergency notification restricting gatherings across the country in anticipation of inbound Iranian projectiles. There are also “work from home” orders being issued, especially for non-essential government personnel.

* * *

The past days have seen American diplomats in a global push to get countries to hold back Iran from launching a retaliatory attack on Israel for its April 1st embassy attack in Damascus.

Washington is especially leaning on China, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia in hopes that a united diplomatic front could deescalate the situation, at a moment Israel is bracing for an assault.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with several officials over the past week, including Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. “We have also engaged with European allies and partners over the past few days and urged them as well to send a clear message to Iran: that escalation is not in Iran’s interest, it’s not in the region’s interest and it’s not in the world’s interest,” a statement from the State Department indicated.

Blinken “has been making clear to every country that has any semblance of a relationship with Iran that it is in their interest to use that relationship to send a message to Iran that they should not escalate this conflict. But I will let those countries speak for themselves about what action they may or may not take,” the statement from spokesman Matthew Miller said.

Miller added that US has also “engaged with European allies and partners over the past few days” to deliver a message urging restraint to Iran. British Foreign Secretary David Cameron and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock have also been engaging the Iranian foreign minister in recent days.

Blinken’s message to Turkey and Saudi Arabia was that they should “urge Iran not to escalate.” Going into this weekend, it’s being widely reported that a major Iranian attack, possibly including ballistic missiles and drones, remains ‘imminent’. US officials have told media sources that Iran has been observed moving major military assets including missile systems.

Though Iranian operatives on Saturday morning have seized an Israeli-linked tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, it seems the ‘big attack’ is still on hold for now.

The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, suggests there may be a diplomatic way out that avoids full Iranian military retaliation. Iran is “proposing the following: If a ceasefire is reached in Gaza and Israel does not attack the city of Rafah, it is ready, in order to reduce escalation and tension, not to take any action against Israel at the present time,” the newspaper stated.

⚡Two sources told CNN: “Washington noted that Iran is moving military assets, including aircraft and cruise missiles”

— War Monitor (@WarMonitors) April 13, 2024

But it’s anything but clear that a leader like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be willing to alter his plans to eradicate Hamas based on dictates from Tehran. Currently, the atmosphere seems one of the calm before the storm.

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