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Iran attacks Israel: Tehran deploys Shahed drones to retaliate

The drones that Iran used primarily included Shahed models with suicide variants which have also been sold to Russia. Iranian drones have surveillance capabilities, but Israel is confident in its Iron Dome defence system.

Iran attacks Israel: Tehran deploys Shahed drones to retaliate
First Published Apr 14, 2024, 8:16 AM IST

Iran launched a retaliatory strike against Israel on Saturday evening, deploying dozens of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones. The assault came in response to an attack on an Iranian consulate in Damascus. The attack, confirmed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), marked the beginning of an "anti-Zionist operation," with Iran targeting sites in the Palestinian territories. 

Also Read: Iran retaliates! Over 200 drones, missiles launched at Israel over consulate strike in Syria (WATCH)

White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson confirmed President Biden's active involvement, stating that he was regularly briefed on the situation by his national security team and was scheduled to meet with them later in the day.

The drones used in the attack are primarily of the Shahed model, a type frequently associated with the Iranian regime. These drones, including suicide variants, have been previously sold to Russia for its military operations. Iran's extensive investment in drone technology has resulted in the development of various models, including combat drones capable of striking ground, sea, and air targets from considerable distances. 

Some of these drones, such as the Shahed-149, possess long-range capabilities of up to 1,200 miles and can carry significant payloads of munitions or electronic equipment.

The Iranian drone arsenal includes surveillance drones equipped with photo and video capabilities, aiding in the identification and targeting of potential bombing sites. Notably, several Iranian drone models are said to be inspired by captured US and Israeli drones, although specifics regarding the hardware remain unclear.

Despite the potential threat posed by the Iranian drone attack, Israeli experts express confidence in the effectiveness of the country's Iron Dome defence system, renowned for its ability to intercept incoming threats. 

However, concerns persist over the possibility of Iran deploying cruise missiles, which constitute a significant portion of its arsenal. According to reports from the Washington-based watchdog Iran Watch, Tehran possesses a diverse range of cruise missiles, with the Paveh model being the latest addition, boasting a range of over 1,000 miles.

Former US Central Command (CENTCOM) Gen Kenneth McKenzie highlighted Iran's substantial advancements in missile technology, emphasizing the increased precision and accuracy of its missiles over the past decade. With over 3,000 ballistic missiles in addition to cruise missiles, Iran's military capabilities present a formidable conventional threat in the region. 

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