US Intercepted 80 Iranian UAVs, 6 Ballistic Missiles Aimed at Israel: CENTCOM

US Intercepted 80 Iranian UAVs, 6 Ballistic Missiles Aimed at Israel: CENTCOM
Objects in the sky above Jerusalem after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, in Jerusalem, on April 14, 2024. (Ronen Zvulun/Reuters)

The Pentagon revealed on April 14 that U.S. forces had destroyed more than 80 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and at least six ballistic missiles intended to strike Israel from Iran and Yemen.

In a statement on X, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said among these interceptions were a ballistic missile on its launcher vehicle, as well as seven UAVs that were destroyed on the ground in Iranian-backed Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen before they were launched.

CENTCOM said U.S. European Command destroyers supported them in taking down the threat on April 13 and the morning of April 14.

“Iran’s continued unprecedented, malign, and reckless behavior endangers regional stability and the safety of U.S. and coalition forces,” said CENTCOM, which is part of the Department of Defense and is responsible for U.S. military operations in 20 nations in the Middle East.

“CENTCOM remains postured to support Israel’s defense against these dangerous actions by Iran,” it added. “We will continue to work with all our regional partners to increase regional security.”

Iran fired hundreds of missiles and one-way attack UAVs at Israel late on April 13 and early on April 14 in what has been described as its first direct attack on Israeli territory.

The attack, mostly launched from inside the Islamic regime, was in retaliation for an Israeli strike on a Syrian compound in early April that left seven members of its Revolutionary Guard Corps dead, Iran has said.

Little Damage

Some 99 percent of the incoming barrage was shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system and with help from the United States, Britain, France, and Jordan.

One missile caused minor damage to an air base, and another injured a 7-year-old girl, Daniel Hagari, an Israeli army spokesman, told The Associated Press.

In a statement on April 13, President Joe Biden said the U.S. military supported Israel in taking down nearly all of the UAVs and missiles launched by the Islamic regime.

President Biden also revealed that the United States had already moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region before the unprecedented attack.

“Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles,” he said.

Retaliatory Action

While the United States has said it will not take part in a counter-offensive against Iran, Israel has warned Tehran that it will “exact the price” from the Islamic regime in retaliation to the barrage of missile strikes it launched on the Jewish state.

“We will build a regional coalition and exact the price from Iran in the fashion and timing that is right for us,” centrist minister Benny Gantz said ahead of a war cabinet meeting on April 14, noting Israel’s retaliatory campaign “is not over.”

The country’s war cabinet is due to meet again on Monday to debate options on how to respond to Iran’s unprecedented attack.

On April 14, Iran warned Israel and the United States that it would carry out a larger attack if either country retaliated against Tehran’s missile and drone attack, saying that U.S. military bases could be in its crosshairs.

“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, saying that Iran warned the United States that any support of an Israeli counterattack against Iran would lead to American bases being targeted.

Since threats of open warfare erupted between the arch Middle East foes, the United Nations (U.N.) has called for an “immediate cessation of these hostilities.”

“I am deeply alarmed about the very real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation. I urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East,” U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said in a statement issued late on April 13, calling for an end to the hostilities.

Mr. Guterres added that his office has “repeatedly stressed that neither the region nor the world can afford another war.”

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