Israeli army confirms Iranian drone attack; precautionary measures taken amid rising tensions

Israeli army confirms Iranian drone attack; precautionary measures taken amid rising tensions

Shafaq News / The Israeli Army spokesperson Daniel Higari confirmed, on Saturday evening, the beginning of an Iranian drone attack towards Israel, stating that its arrival time might take hours.

Higari stated, "We will try to prevent drones from entering Israeli territory. If we fail, air raid sirens will be activated."

Axios cited American and Israeli sources reporting that Iran had started its "retaliatory" attack against Israel.

According to the sources, it is expected to take several hours for the drones to cover the distance from Iran to Israel.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following the discussion about the start of the Iranian attack, stated, "Our defense systems are deployed, and we are prepared for any scenario, defensively and offensively."

He added, "Israel is strong, my army is strong, and my people are strong, and with God's help, we will overcome."

Iraq, Jordan, France, Austria, India, Poland, and Russia issued travel warnings or closed their embassies amid Israeli anticipation of a potential Iranian retaliation for the killing of military officers, including Brig-Gen Zahedi, a leader in the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), along with his deputy and 11 others in a strike on the Iranian annex in Syria's capital.

Meanwhile, Israeli Army Chief General Herzi Halevi conducted a comprehensive assessment of the Israeli army's readiness in anticipation of a possible Iranian retaliation following the targeting of the Iranian consulate in Damascus.

Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, declared that Israel "must be punished and shall be" for an operation he deemed tantamount to an attack on Iranian soil.

On Friday, both Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and Army Chief General Herzi Halevi held meetings with the visiting head of US Central Command General Michael Kurilla to coordinate a potential response.

While Iranian sources and US diplomats signal Tehran's preference to avoid escalation, the risk of unintended consequences remains.

Raz Zimmt, a senior researcher at Israel's Institute for National Security Studies, asserted that "since Iran perceives the embassy attack as equivalent to an assault on its own territory, a direct Iranian attack on Israeli soil, rather than via proxies like Hezbollah in Lebanon, is a distinct possibility."

Iran possesses missiles capable of striking Israel directly, prompting Israel to bolster its air defenses in recent weeks.

Concurrently, Israel has recalled reservists and reinforced its northern border in anticipation of potential escalation, where it frequently exchanges fire with Hezbollah. Late on Friday, approximately 40 rocket launches were identified crossing into Israel from Lebanon, most of which were intercepted, while the rest landed in open areas without causing casualties.

Furthermore, the Israeli military has withdrawn most troops and armored vehicles from Gaza, a move possibly preceding a long-anticipated assault on the city of Rafah, believed to harbor thousands of Hamas fighters alongside over a million displaced Palestinians.

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