Iran launches unprecedented strikes on Israel, opening wider conflict

Iran launched an unprecedented drone and missile attack on Israel, the Israeli army announced, in a major escalation of the long-running covert war between the regional foes.
Iran’s proxies and allies also carried out attacks on Israeli positions as sirens sounded in many places and blasts were heard in the skies above Jerusalem early Sunday.
Iran had repeatedly threatened to strike Israel in retaliation for a t the reprisals were imminent.
“Iran launched UAVs from its territory towards the territory of the state of Israel,” military spokesman Daniel Hagari said in a televised statement.
“We are working in close cooperation with the United States and our partners in the region in order to act against the launches and intercept them,” Rear Admiral Hagari said.

People in Jerusalem sought cover, as residents also stockpiled water.

“As you can see it’s empty, everybody is running home,” said Eliyahu Barakat, a 49-year-old grocery shop owner in Jerusalem’s Mamilla neighbourhood.
US President Joe Biden vowed Washington’s “ironclad” support for Israel after an urgent meeting with his top security officials on the spiralling crisis.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards confirmed a retaliatory drone and missile attack was under way against Israel in retaliation for the Damascus strike which killed seven Guards, two of them generals.

The Guards said its ballistic missiles were fired almost an hour after the slower moving drones.
Hundreds of Iranians gathered in Tehran’s Palestine Square waving Iranian and Palestinian flags to celebrate the unprecedented military action against Israel.

An Israeli army official said Iran had launched more than 200 attack drones and ballistic missiles at Israel.

Iran’s allies in the region joined the attack with Yemen’s Huthi rebels also launching drones at Israel, according to security agency Ambrey, and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement announcing rocket fire at Israeli positions in the annexed Golan Heights.

The official IRNA news agency said the attack had dealt “heavy blows” to an air base in the Negev desert, but the Israeli army said there had only been minor damage.

Australia condemns attack

Australia condemned Iran’s actions and urged its citizens in the Middle East to take shelter after Tehran launched the attack.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the development was incredibly concerning as violence threatens to spill into the broader region.

“We’ve seen enough bloodshed in the Middle East already,” he told ABC’s Insiders.

“We don’t want to see any more lives lost in that part of the world and it would be much better if the Iranians use their influence in the region to try and calm tensions rather than inflame them.
“We don’t want conflict in the Middle East to be broader and deeper than it already is.”
Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy said the escalation was not in anyone’s interest.
“Regional escalation of the current Middle East conflict is something that, quite frankly, the whole world has feared since the beginning of the conflict,” he told Sky News.

“Iran has been a malign actor in the region for a long, long time and we condemn the attacks.”

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