US Sec. of Defense on Iran’s Strikes on Israel; Stopped Missiles, UAVs Launched from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen

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President Joe Biden meets with members of the National Security Council regarding the unfolding missile attacks on Israel, Saturday, April 13, 2024, in the White House Situation Room. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz)
President Joe Biden meets with members of the National Security Council regarding the unfolding missile attacks on Israel, Saturday, April 13, 2024, in the White House Situation Room. (Official White House Photo by Adam Schultz).

U.S. forces in the Middle East on April 13, 2024, at the direction of President Biden, intercepted dozens of missiles and UAVs en route to Israel, launched from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen. United States forces remain postured to protect U.S. troops and partners in the region, provide further support for Israel’s defense, and enhance regional stability, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

Israel praised the success of its defenses in the face of an unprecedented attack by Iran involving hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles while tensions ran high over a possible Israeli counter-strike (Britt Clennett/ABC News and South Florida affiliate WPLG). YouTube Tips ⓘ

Reports from Jerusalem on what residents experienced during the Iranian airstrikes Saturday night (Josh Einiger/WABC). YouTube Tips ⓘ

Reports that the U.S. military has shot down ‘dozens’ of ballistic and cruise missiles as well as attack drones (Chief National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin/FOX News). YouTube Tips ⓘ

Most of the 300+ Iranian drones and missiles were intercepted (170 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), 120+ ballistic missiles, and 30+ cruise missiles). The threats were intercepted by Israel’s Aerial Defense Array and Israeli Air Force fighter jets and United States assets.

Initially, a 10 year-old girl is reported as the only casualty, recovering with severe shrapnel wounds, as of Sunday morning.

The ballistic missiles that weren’t intercepted struck Nevatim Air Force Base in central Israel in the Negev desert. Damage was initially reported to be minor. Equipment stations at the three-runway Nevatim Air Force Base include stealth fighter jets (116 Squadron “Lions of the South), transport aircraft (C-130J Super Hercules Elephant Squadron and C-130H Knights of the Yellow Bird”), tanker aircraft (modified Boeing 707 Desert Giants Squadron) and machines for electronic reconnaissance/surveillance, and the “Wing of Zion” Israeli Air Force One, which was airborne in a “Doomsday” type scenario in anticipation of the Iranian attack.

We condemn these reckless and unprecedented attacks by Iran and its proxies, and we call on Iran to immediately halt any further attacks, including from its proxy forces, and to deescalate tensions. We do not seek conflict with Iran, but we will not hesitate to act to protect our forces and support the defense of Israel.

I am grateful for the professionalism and the skill of the brave U.S. troops who took part in today’s actions and who continue to stand guard to prevent further conflict or escalation. I will continue to monitor the situation closely and to consult with our allies and partners.

— Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant for a second time Saturday, April 13, 2024 to reiterate ironclad U.S. support for Israel’s defense in light of Iran’s unprecedented attack from Iranian territory. Secretary Austin and Minister Gallant praised the extraordinary defensive measures and strong cooperation undertaken to defeat this Iranian attack against Israel. Secretary Austin again stated clearly that Israel could count on full U.S. support to defend Israel against any future attacks by Iran and its regional proxies.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned that the Israeli confrontation with Iran is “not over yet.” The confrontation escalated on April 1, 2024 when Israeli struck the Iranian consulate annex building in Damascus, Syria, killing two of Tehran’s top commanders, along with a total of 16 Iranian people killed — most or all combatants.

The attack is in retaliation after an Iranian consulate in Syria was struck and Iran blamed Israel. Also, President Biden has cut short his weekend to address the looming threat (ABC News). YouTube Tips ⓘ

President Joe Biden immediately returned to the White House from his beach house in Delaware Saturday, and initially Biden stated the United States would not support Israeli relation following the Iranian attack of Israel Saturday. Israel is assessing the damage from the attack, and President Biden is calling for an emergency G7 meeting (Group of Seven nations: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, including European Union as a member)on Sunday, April 14, 2024.



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