Israel Announces It Will Respond to Iran Missile Attack as Airlines Cancel Flights to Region

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
April 15, 2024Middle East
Israel Announces It Will Respond to Iran Missile Attack as Airlines Cancel Flights to Region
An Israeli Air Force F-15 Eagle at an air base, reportedly following an interception mission against an Iranian drone and missile attack on Israel, in this handout image released on April 14, 2024. (Israel Defense Forces/Handout via Reuters)

Israel’s military chief said Monday that Israel will respond to Iran’s missile and drone attack, but it’s not clear how or when.

Herzi Halevi, the head of the Israeli Defense Forces, told reporters that Iran’s strikes “will be met with a response,” without elaborating. He spoke during a visit to the Nevatim air base, which Israel says suffered light damage in the Iranian attack.

“Iran wanted to harm the strategic capabilities of the State of Israel—that is something that had not happened before. We were prepared for the ‘Iron Shield’ operation—preparation that brought Iran to also meet air superiority,” he said. “Last Monday, we saw what was being organized, and we think that the State of Israel is very strong and knows how to deal with it alone, but with a threat so numerous and so far away, we are always happy to have [the United States] with us,” he added.

Israel is now “looking ahead, we are considering our steps, and this launch of so many missiles, cruise missiles, and UAVs into the territory of the State of Israel will be met with a response,” he added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been huddling with top officials to discuss a possible response to Iran’s attack involving hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles. World leaders have been urging Israel not to retaliate, while U.S. officials have suggested that Israel’s defense apparatus was overwhelmingly successful in dealing with Iran’s attack and intercepted 99 percent of their missiles and drones.

Iran’s attack on Saturday was the first time Tehran directly targeted Israel since the current regime took over in 1979. The country, however, has been engaged in proxy attacks against both Israel and the United States originating from a number of Middle Eastern countries.

Airlines Cancel Flights

On Monday, a number of airline companies canceled or delayed flights again after the Iranian missile and drone attack. United Airlines and Air Canada, notably, canceled some flights into Tel Aviv as well as flights into Jordan.

About a dozen more companies announced they would scrap flights to the country amid heightened tensions.

More Warnings

Iranian officials said the attack was carried out in response to an Israeli airstrike on April 1 on a Syrian compound that left two Iranian generals and other officials dead.

Over the weekend, Tehran issued more warnings to Israel not to respond, while adding that any U.S. intervention in the escalating conflict would be met with a response, too. All U.S. assets and bases in the region could be targeted, one official said.

“Our response will be much larger than tonight’s military action if Israel retaliates against Iran,” armed forces chief of staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri told state-run media in articles published on Sunday. He claimed that Iran warned the United States through Switzerland that any support of an Israeli counterattack against Iran would lead to American assets being targeted.

After the drones and missiles were launched, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard issued a direct warning to the United States through state-run IRNA that the “U.S. government is warned any support or participation in harming Iran’s interests will be followed by decisive and regretting response by Iran’s armed forces.”

U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Monday to say whether the United States had been or expects to be briefed on any Israeli response plans. “We will let the Israelis speak to that,” he told reporters Monday. “We are not involved in their decision-making process about a potential response,” he added.

NTD Photo
President Joe Biden meets with members of the National Security team regarding the unfolding missile attacks on Israel from Iran, in the White House Situation Room on April 13, 2024. (Adam Schultz/The White House via Getty Images)

The Iranian attack on Saturday marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. The attack happened less than two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria that killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building.

Israel’s military said its Arrow system, which shoots down ballistic missiles outside the atmosphere, handled most interceptions and noted that “strategic partners” were involved.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement that U.S. military forces “intercepted dozens of missiles and UAVs en route to Israel, launched from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen,” referring to a term used for unmanned aerial vehicles.

“At my direction, to support the defense of Israel, the U.S. military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week,” President Joe Biden also said in a separate statement over the past weekend. “Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our service members, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles.”

Israel and Iran have been on a collision course throughout Israel’s six-month war against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip after members of the group carried out a cross-border attack that left more than 1,200 civilians dead. More than 250 people were kidnapped during the Oct. 7 incident, too, officials have said. Israel’s government is still negotiating with Hamas for the release of the remaining hostages.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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