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regular-article-logo Monday, 20 May 2024

United States intercepts drones, missiles aimed at Israel as allies pledge support

'Our commitment to Israel’s security against threats from Iran and its proxies is ironclad,' President Joe Biden said in a statement on social media

Gaya Gupta Published 14.04.24, 09:24 AM
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Videograb X / @macymacyland

The United States military said it had shot down some of the drones and missiles that Iran fired at Israel on Saturday, as other allies affirmed support for Israel or pledged to help defend it.

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, Israel’s chief military spokesperson, said that Israel had intercepted most of the 200 drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles launched by Iran with “some assistance” from its allies.

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A Pentagon official confirmed that the United States, Israel’s biggest military benefactor, had helped shoot down some of the drones and missiles launched by Iran. The United States did not provide further details on its role in intercepting the attacks.

“Our commitment to Israel’s security against threats from Iran and its proxies is ironclad,” President Joe Biden said in a statement on social media.

While Biden has increasingly criticized how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel is handling the campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, he has consistently affirmed Israel’s right to defend itself. In the past six months of war between Israel and Hamas, the U.S. has countered attacks from Iran’s proxies in the region, including those from the Iran-backed Houthi militia in the Red Sea.

Britain’s defence secretary, Grant Shapps, said in a statement Saturday that its jets were prepared to intercept airborne attacks within range of its existing missions in the Middle East, adding that additional British jets and air refuelling tankers have been deployed to bolster its operations in Iraq and Syria.

France’s foreign minister, Stéphane Séjourné, also condemned Iran’s attack and affirmed support for Israel. Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany called the attacks “unjustifiable and highly irresponsible.”

“Germany stands by Israel and we will discuss the situation with our allies,” he said in a statement on social media.

The New York Times News Service

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