What We Know About Iran’s Attack on Israel

Iran launched a large aerial attack on Israel and the territory it controls starting late on Saturday, firing at least 300 drones and missiles. It is the first such direct attack launched from Iranian territory after decades of shadow warfare between the two countries. The assault was in response to a recent strike on a building in the Iranian Embassy complex in Syria that killed several of Iran’s top commanders.

Here’s a look at what we know about the Iranian attack this weekend and its implications:

What happened during the attack?

Air raid sirens sounded in Israel and the West Bank overnight, signaling the start of an attack that had been anticipated for days. In the event, almost all of the missiles and drones were intercepted, the Israeli military said on Sunday.

Israel had used two primary defensive weapons systems, the Iron Dome and the Arrow 3, to thwart the attack. The United States participated in the defensive actions, and Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said that U.S. forces had intercepted missiles and attack drones launched from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Britain also said its planes had shot down drones. In addition, Jordan, which neighbors Israel, said that its military shot down aircraft and missiles that entered its airspace.

What damage did the attack cause?

The attack caused no deaths, but 12 people were brought in to the Soroka Medical Center in southern Israel overnight. Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the chief spokesman for Israel’s military, said the Nevatim air force base in the Negev desert in southern Israel suffered light damage from the attack and was functioning.

What was the immediate cause of the attack?

Iran and Israel have for decades engaged in clandestine warfare, in which they have attacked each other’s interests on land, sea, air and in cyberspace. Iran provides support for proxy forces including Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza and the Houthis in Yemen. Israel has launched a series of attacks including killing Iran’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in 2021, and assassinating a Revolutionary Guards commander, Col. Sayad Khodayee, in 2022.

Back to top button