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Iran’s strikes on Israel: How it played out, reactions from India and across the world

Iran had vowed retaliation for what it called an Israeli strike on its Damascus consulate on April 1 that killed seven Guards officers including two senior commanders and said its strike was a punishment for 'Israeli crimes'.
Last Updated : 14 April 2024, 06:37 IST
Last Updated : 14 April 2024, 06:37 IST
Last Updated : 14 April 2024, 06:37 IST
Last Updated : 14 April 2024, 06:37 IST

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Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said it launched dozens of drones and missiles at Israel late on Saturday, an attack that triggered a major escalation between the regional archenemies, with the US backing Israel.

Iran's state news agency cited a source saying its military had also launched a first wave of ballistic missiles against Israel.

Iran had vowed retaliation for what it called an Israeli strike on its Damascus consulate on April 1 that killed seven Guards officers including two senior commanders and said its strike was a punishment for "Israeli crimes". Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the consulate attack.

US President Joe Biden, who on Friday had warned Iran against attacking Israel after saying such a scenario appeared imminent, has pledged to stand with Israel against Iran.

US and British warplanes were involved in shooting down some Israel-bound drones over the Iraq-Syria border area, Channel 12 reported.

What did Iran say?

Iran is watching Jordan for any moves in support of Israel during Tehran's retaliatory attacks, warning the country may become the "next target", a military source told the semi-official news agency Fars on Sunday.

"A military informed source said (we) are closely monitoring Jordan's movements during the punitive attacks ... and if they participate in any possible action (to back Israel), they will be the next target," Fars reported.

What did Israel say?

Israel requested that the United Nations Security Council hold an emergency meeting to condemn Iran's attack on Israel and designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose official jet took off shortly after the attack began, convened the war cabinet at a military headquarters in Tel Aviv, his office said.

"We intercepted, we repelled, together we shall win," he said in a brief post on X.

Israel and Lebanon said they were closing their airspace on Saturday night. Jordan, which lies between Iran and Israel, had readied air defences to intercept any drone or missile that violated its territory, two regional security sources said.

India's reaction

India's Ministry of External Affairs issued it's reaction to the attacks.

"We are seriously concerned at the escalation of hostilities between Israel and Iran which threatens the peace and security in the region," a statement from the ministry said.

"We call for immediate de-escalation, exercise of restraint, stepping back from violence and return to the path of diplomacy. We are closely monitoring the evolving situation. Our Embassies in the region are in close touch with Indian community. It is vital that security and stability are maintained in the region," the statement added.

Reactions from around the world

The United Nations, European Union, US, Britain, France, Mexico, Czechia, Denmark, Canada, Japan, and the Netherlands all condemned Iran's attack.

US President Joe Biden reaffirming America’s "ironclad commitment" to the Jewish nation vowed to convene a meeting of the G-7 leaders on Sunday to develop a coordinated response to the brazen assault.

His comments came as American forces joined efforts to down drones and missiles launched by Tehran.

"Earlier today, Iran—and its proxies operating out of Yemen, Syria and Iraq—launched an unprecedented air attack against military facilities in Israel. I condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms," Biden said after his call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday.

Biden said at his direction, to support the defence of Israel, the US military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defence destroyers to the region over the course of the past week.

“Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles,” he said.

“I’ve just spoken with Prime Minister Netanyahu to reaffirm America’s ironclad commitment to the security of Israel," he said.

China is "deeply concerned" about escalating tensions in the Middle East after Iran launched drones and missiles in a retaliatory strike against Israel, a foreign ministry spokesperson said on Sunday.

"China calls on relevant parties to remain calm and exercise restraint to avoid further escalation of tensions," the spokesperson said in a statement in the form of a response to a question from unidentified reporters about the Iranian attacks. The statement was posted on the ministry's website.

"China calls on the international community, especially influential countries, to play a constructive role in maintaining regional peace and stability," the spokesperson, who was also not identified, said in the statement.

How the UN reacted to the attacks

In New York, UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres in a statement condemned the serious escalation represented by the large-scale attack launched on Israel by Iran. “I call for an immediate cessation of these hostilities,” he said.

“I am deeply alarmed about the very real danger of a devastating region-wide escalation. I urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East,” he said.

UN General Assembly Dennis Francis expressed deep concerns about the unfolding situation in the Middle East, involving the launch by Iran of drones and missiles against Israel.

“The Iranians have explained their action in the context of article 51 of the UN Charter, following the recent Israeli attack on the Iranian Embassy in Damascus. The Iranian response compounds the already tense and delicate peace and security situation in the Middle East,” he said and called upon all parties to exercise the utmost restraint to avoid further escalation of tension in the region.

This is a moment that calls for wise and prudent judgement, in which the risks and extended risks are very carefully considered, he said.

“I expect that the Iranian authorities will honour their word that by their action today, the matter can be deemed concluded. A vicious cycle of attack and counter-attack will lead to nowhere, but inevitably, to more death, suffering and misery. Dialogue and diplomacy are the only way to resolve any differences through peaceful means,” Francis said.

With DH Web Desk inputs

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Published 14 April 2024, 06:37 IST

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