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Iran says attack on Israel 'achieved all its objectives', warns of larger operation if provoked (WATCH)

The Iranian army said Sunday its drone and missile attack on Israel, in retaliation for a deadly strike on Iran's Damascus consulate, has "achieved all its objectives".

BREAKING Iran Army says attack on Israel 'achieved all its objectives'; adds don't wish to continue snt
First Published Apr 14, 2024, 12:53 PM IST

The Iranian army said on Sunday its drone and missile attack on Israel, in retaliation for a deadly strike on Iran's Damascus consulate, has "achieved all its objectives". 

"Operation Honest Promise... was completed successfully from last night to this morning and achieved all its objectives", Mohammad Bagheri, the Iranian armed forces' chief of staff, told state TV.

Also read: Explained: How Israel succeeded in blocking Iran's unprecedented attack with its arrow defence system

He further stated, "The reason for launching this operation was that the Zionist regime crossed Iran's red lines. We see this operation as completed and there is no intention to continue, but if the Zionist regime responds, our next operation will be much larger."

Iran retaliated with an attack following a strike, largely attributed to Israel, on an Iranian consular building in Syria earlier this month, resulting in the deaths of two Iranian generals. Israel reported that Iran launched 170 drones, over 30 cruise missiles, and more than 120 ballistic missiles early Sunday.

Following the attack, Israel hailed its successful air defences adding that the country and its allies thwarted 99% of the more than 300 drones and missiles launched toward its territory.

For years, the two adversaries have been locked in a clandestine conflict, punctuated by events such as the Damascus strike. However, Sunday's attack, which triggered air raid sirens throughout Israel, represented the first direct military assault by Iran, despite decades of animosity stemming from the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Israel has meticulously developed a multilayered air-defence network, often in collaboration with the United States. This network comprises systems capable of thwarting various threats, including long-range missiles, cruise missiles, drones, and short-range rockets.

This technology, in conjunction with cooperation from the United States and other troops, prevented what could have been a considerably more destructive attack during a period when Israel is already deeply involved in the conflict with Hamas in Gaza and is fighting the Hezbollah group in Lebanon on its northern border. Iran supports both Hezbollah and Hamas.

“Iran launched more than 300 threats and 99% were intercepted,” said Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, the Israeli military spokesman. “That is a success.” Asked if Israel would respond, Hagari said the country would do what was needed to protect its citizens.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu posted a short message on X, formerly Twitter, “We intercepted. We blocked. Together, we will win.”

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant expressed appreciation for the outcomes and extended thanks to the US and other nations for their assistance. However, he cautioned that the situation was still evolving.

“This campaign is not over yet. We need to remain vigilant … and to prepare for any scenario,” he said in a video statement. “At the same time, we blocked the first wave (of attacks), and we did it with great success.”

Also read: Iron defences of Israel thwarted Iran's retaliatory attacks (WATCH)

Given the stark contrast between the defence's accomplishments and the setbacks it suffered during Hamas' October 7 strike, Israel could feel especially proud of this one. The strongest and best-equipped army in the Middle East suffered an embarrassing defeat when its border defences crumbled in the face of a far weaker foe in Hamas. It took days for the military to drive out the invading terrorists.

Israel's reputation could be improved by stopping the Iranian onslaught, but what it does next will be widely monitored in the region and in Western capitals.

In Washington, President Joe Biden stated that US forces assisted Israel in intercepting "nearly all" of the drones and missiles. He pledged to gather allies to formulate a unified response.

Biden, who interrupted a weekend retreat at his Delaware beach house to confer with his national security team at the White House on Saturday afternoon, later spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu.

“I told him that Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks – sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel,” Biden said.

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