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U.S. Intercepts Dozens of Iranian Drones and Missiles Aimed at Israel

The United States military said it had shot down dozens of the drones and missiles that Iran fired at Israel on Saturday, as other allies affirmed support for Israel or pledged to help defend it.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, Israel’s chief military spokesman, said that Israel had intercepted most of the 200 drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles launched by Iran with “some assistance” from its allies.

Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said late Saturday that U.S. forces had intercepted dozens of missiles and attack drones launched at Israel from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. The United States did not provide further details on its role in intercepting the attacks.

While President Biden has increasingly criticized how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is handling the campaign against Hamas in Gaza, he has consistently affirmed Israel’s right to defend itself. In the past six months of war between Israel and Hamas, the United States has countered attacks from Iran’s proxies in the region, including those from the Iran-backed Houthi militia in the Red Sea.

Britain’s defense secretary, Grant Shapps, said in a statement on Saturday that its jets were prepared to intercept airborne attacks within range of its existing missions in the Middle East, adding that additional British jets and air refueling tankers have been deployed to bolster its operations in Iraq and Syria.

France’s foreign minister, Stéphane Séjourné, also condemned Iran’s attack and affirmed support for Israel. Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany called the attacks “unjustifiable and highly irresponsible.”

“Germany stands by Israel and we will discuss the situation with our allies,” he said in a statement on social media.

Eric Schmitt, Patrick Kingsley and Farnaz Fassihi contributed reporting.

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