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Iran attack foiled as RAF jets help shoot down 330 drones and missiles fired at Israel – live

Israel Defense Forces releases statement amidst Iranian attack

The RAF helped shoot down over 300 missiles and drones fired by Iran at Israel last night as fears of wider regional war grow.

Sirens wailed and heavy thuds and bangs were heard from what local media called aerial interceptions of explosive drones on Saturday night. Several ballistic missiles reached Israeli territory, causing minor damage to an air base.

Reports in Israel suggested RAF and US warplanes had shot down some Israel-bound Iranian drones over the Iraq-Syria border area.

The UK’s Ministry of Defence said aircraft in Iraq and Syria had been deployed to intercept “any airborne attacks within range of our existing missions”.

The Israeli military said on Sunday that Iran’s attack had been “foiled”, with 99 percent of the drones and missiles being intercepted overnight.

The attack came amid rising tensions following an attack on the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus.

Tehran had vowed retaliation for the strike earlier this month which killed several of its senior military leaders even as the US and its allies made intense diplomatic efforts to try and contain the fallout.

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UK ‘very consistent’ in support for Israel, says Health Secretary

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins said the UK has been “very consistent” in supporting Israel, but said that the UK has “joined with international partners and saying, actually the best thing for Israel, and for the region is for there to be an immediate humanitarian pause, so that we can get hostages out…get humanitarian aid into Gaza as quickly as possible”.

When asked why Israel attacked Damascus, Ms Atkins said we was “very cautious about daring to speculate what other international leaders may have been considering” and added that there will have been “many, many conversations ongoing…between our allies and international partners”.

Athena Stavrou14 April 2024 09:01

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Victoria Atkins urges British nationals in the Middle East to look at the Foreign Office website

The health secretary Victoria Atkins has urged “anyone who in the region” to look at the Foreign Office website.

Talking to Trevor Phillips on Sky, she said there are “different pieces of advice for different parts of the region”, but urged any travellers to look at the FCDO website.

She added: “We’ve been quite clear for a while now as to which areas it is not safe to travel to, and so I really urge people to look at a website for the most up to date information.”

Athena Stavrou14 April 2024 08:55

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Ed Davey says Iran attack is ‘dangerous escalation’

The leader of the Liberal Democrats has said the UK must work “stand up for Israel’s security” and called for an end to the “horrifying cycle of violence”.

In a statement released by the Lib Dems, Mr Davey said: “We utterly condemn Iran’s attack on Israel. This is a dangerous escalation in a conflict that has already caused far too much death and suffering.“

The UK must work with the international community to stand up for Israel’s security and the security of our other partners in the region.

“We must prevent further escalation and remain focused on finally achieving a lasting peace, so that Israeli and Palestinian children – both – can grow up free of the horrifying cycle of violence that has endured for so long.”

Athena Stavrou14 April 2024 08:52

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RAF jets shoot down Iranian drones

RAF jets have been used to shoot down Iranian drones after Tehran announced it had launched an attack on Israel in what threatens to become a major regional escalation.

Aircraft in Iraq and Syria have been deployed to intercept “any airborne attacks within range of our existing missions,” the Ministry of Defence said.

In a late-night statement on Saturday, the MoD said: “In response to increased Iranian threats and the growing risk of escalation in the Middle East, the UK Government has been working with partners across the region to encourage de-escalation and prevent further attacks.

“We have moved several additional Royal Air Force jets and air refuelling tankers to the region. These will bolster Operation Shader, which is the UK’s existing counter-Daesh operation in Iraq and Syria.

“In addition, these UK jets will intercept any airborne attacks within range of our existing missions, as required.”

Athena Stavrou14 April 2024 08:23

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Statement from Defense Minister Yoav Gallant

The Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant issued a statement on Sunday morning upon completing an operational situation assessment following Iran’s overnight attack.

He said: “Overnight, the whole world saw the true face of Iran – a terrorist state that attacked the State of Israel from a distance of 1,500 km and in doing so also attempted to employ all of its proxies.

“On the other hand, the world also saw the power of a coalition, and how Israel, together with the United States and additional partners, stood together and thwarted this attack in a way that is unparalleled.”

This morning (Sunday, 14 April 2024) Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant completed an operational situation assessment together with senior officials in Israel’s defense establishment.

Minister Gallant: “I have recently completed an operational situation assessment with senior members of Israel’s defense establishment. The State of Israel was attacked [by Iran] with hundreds of missiles and UAVs, and the IDF thwarted this attack in an impressive manner.”

“Together with the United States and additional partners, we managed to defend the territory of the State of Israel. Very little damage was caused – this is the result of the IDF’s impressive operations.”

“The campaign is not over yet – we must remain alert and attentive to the instructions published by the IDF and Homefront Command. We must be prepared for every scenario. Having said this, we have thwarted the most significant wave [of the attack], and we did so successfully.”

Athena Stavrou14 April 2024 07:56

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Iran warns Israel and US against retaliation

Iran warned Israel of a larger attack on its territory should it retaliate against Tehran’s overnight drone and missile attack on Sunday, adding that Washington has been warned not to back Israeli military action.

“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 TV.

He added that Tehran warned Washington that any backing of Israeli retaliation would result in US bases being targeted.

The commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hossein Salami, also warned Tehran would retaliate against any Israeli attack on its interests, officials or citizens.

Athena Stavrou14 April 2024 07:47

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Live: Middle East flight track after Iran launches drone and missile strike on Israel

Iran launched explosive drones and fired ballistic and cruise missiles at Israel late Saturday night in its first direct attack on Israeli territory, a retaliatory strike that raised fears of a wider regional war.

The attack came amid rising tensions following an attack on the Iranian consulate in the Syrian capital Damascus.

Athena Stavrou14 April 2024 07:42

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Iran warns of larger attack if Israel retaliates

Iran’s armed forces chief of staff has warned that if Israel retaliates, Iran’s response will be larger than last night’s attack, Iranian news agency Tasnim reported.

Athena Stavrou14 April 2024 07:38

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Israeli military says France helped in defence against Iranian attack

Israel’s chief military spokesperson said on Sunday that France was among the countries involved in defending against Iran’s overnight attack on Israel.

“France has very good technology, jets, radar – and I know they were contributing in patrolling airspace,” he said, adding that he did not have exact details on whether French jets had shot down any of the missiles launched by Iran.

Athena Stavrou14 April 2024 07:23

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US helps Israel ‘take down nearly all’ drones and missiles

Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken to Joe Biden, who said he had “reaffirmed America’s ironclad commitment to the security of Israel”.

Mr Biden said the US had helped Israel to “take down nearly all” of the drones and missiles.

He said: “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.”

“While we have not seen attacks on our forces or facilities today, we will remain vigilant to all threats and will not hesitate to take all necessary action to protect our people.”

Namita Singh14 April 2024 06:58


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