Israel fires missiles in retaliatory strike against Iran, says US official

World Friday 19/April/2024 07:42 AM
Israel fires missiles in retaliatory strike against Iran, says US official

Washington: Israel launched missile strikes against Tehran during early hours on Friday morning, ABC News reported citing a senior US official.

However, the official could not confirm whether Syria and Iraq sites were hit as well. The report came shortly after local sources reported blasts in Isfahan region in Central Iran.

Iran's air defence systems were activated in several locations after multiple explosions were heard close to the airport and an army base in the Iranian city of Isfahan, state media reported early Friday morning.

The missile launches come after Iran launched an offensive on targets around Israel on Saturday last week, according to Israeli military authorities, in which the nation fired a barrage of over 300 unmanned drones and missiles.

Meanwhile, as per Syrian media reports on Friday morning, the Syrian Army's locations in the southern Syrian governorates of As-Suwayda and Daraa were also the target of attacks.

The attacks targeted Syrian military radar sites between Qarda and Izraa in Daraa, southern Syria, according to the local news outlet As-Suwayda24.

Residents of Mosul and Erbil in Iraq reported hearing the sounds of fighter jets as well on Friday during early morning hours, the Jerusalem Post reported.

According to officials, Israel and its allies, which include the US, intercepted all but a small number of them. Iran launched its attack over six months after terrorists from Hamas attacked Israel on October 7 and the Israeli military started bombarding the Gaza Strip.

Since the assaults on Iran, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the nation's war cabinet have convened multiple times; as ABC News has reported, at least three of those meetings resulted in the cancellation of operations.

Iran's Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian warned Israel against taking any military actions targeting Iranian interests. He stated Iran has concluded its "defense and counteroffensive measures" and urged the international community to stop Israel from carrying out any military operations against Iran.

During discussions on the Middle East situation at the UNSC in New York on Thursday, Amir-Abdollahian said, "Iran's legitimate defense and countermeasures have been concluded. Therefore, the Israeli regime must be compelled to stop any further military adventurism against our centres, assets and interests. Certainly, in case of any illegal use of force by the Israeli regime and violating our sovereignty, the Islamic Republic of Iran will not hesitate a bit to assert its inherent right to give a decisive and proper response to it to make the regime regret its actions."

He accused Israel of carrying out a missile attack on Iranian diplomatic premises in Damascus on April 1. He said that Israel's action was a "clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations international law and the Vienna Convention."

He criticised the US, UK, and France for not issuing a statement over the attack on the Iranian diplomatic premises in Damascus. He even expressed regret that the UNSC did not take action on Iran's repeated requests to prevent further attacks by Israel on Iran's interests. He accused the White House of giving a green signal to Israel's action.

He said, "Regrettably, the Security Council, had not taken any action during the past months to our official and repeated requests to prevent further attacks by the Israeli regime on Iran's interests, centres and official military advisors who were there to fight terrorism and due to the unfortunate and completely irresponsible behaviour of the United States, the UK and France, in response to this illegal attack, failed even to issue a mere statement containing a simple condemnation."

On Saturday, Iran launched several drones and missiles towards Israel in retaliation for an alleged Israeli air strike on its consulate in Syria, resulting in the killing of three top Iranian generals.

And, on Sunday morning, Israel Defence Forces (IDF) spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said that about 99 per cent of the 300 or so projectiles fired by Iran at Israel overnight were intercepted by air defences, as reported by The Times of Israel.

"The Iranian threat met the aerial and technological superiority of the IDF, combined with a strong fighting coalition, which together intercepted the vast majority of the threats," Hagari had said.

On April 17, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed at a cabinet meeting that Israel will make its own decisions and do whatever is necessary to protect itself, even if it contradicts the advice given by its allies, as reported by The Times of Israel.