How US destroyed 80 drones, six missiles launched from Iran and Yemen (2024)

American forces destroyedmore than 80 one-way attack drones and at least six ballistic missiles aimed atIsrael from Iranand Yemen, it has emerged.

Iran launched an attack by more than 300 missiles and drones on Israeli territory on Saturday in retaliation for a suspected Israeli strike on its embassy compound in Syria on April 1 that killed top Revolutionary Guards commanders.

The attack, mostly launched from inside Iran, caused only modest damage as most were shot down by Israel's Iron Dome defense system and with help from the United States, Britain, France and Jordan.

US forces, supported by US European Command destroyers, on Saturday and Sunday destroyeddestroyed more than 80 Iranian drones, USCentral Command (CENTCOM) said on Monday.

The US is in touch with Iran as well, sending 'a series of direct communications through the Swiss channel,' a senior administration official said.

Secretary of State Antony Blinkenand Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also spoke to counterparts including in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan, stressing the need to avoid escalation, the importance of a coordinated diplomatic response, and emphasizing the US will continue to support Israel's defense.

Meanwhile, PresidentJoe Biden is said to be privatelyfearing a 'catastrophic escalation'as Israel draws up plans to retaliate against Iran's unprecedented 350-missile strike.

United States President Joe Biden (right) meets with members of the National Security Council, includingSecretary of State Antony Blinken (left) regarding the unfolding missile attacks on Israel in the Situation Room of the White House on Saturday

Iran launched an attack by more than 300 missiles and drones on Israeli territory on Saturday in retaliation for a suspected Israeli strike on its embassy compound in Syria. One of the missiles launched on Saturday is pictured

A view of a crater on a damaged road, after Iran's mass drone and missile attack, at a location given as Hermon area, Israel on Sunday

A view of a damaged area, after Iran's mass drone and missile attack, at a location given as Nevatim Airbase, Israel on Sunday

General Erik Kurilla, the head of the US military command responsible for the region, was dispatched to the region and provided real-time updates,CENTCOM revealed on Monday. Kurilla is alsocoordinating with the Israelis and other partners.

Washington has deployed additional military assets to the region 'to bolster regional deterrence efforts and increase force protection for US forces,' a US defense official said last week.

This includes a ballistic missile on its launcher vehicle and seven UAVs destroyed on the ground prior to their launch in areas controlled by Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen.

READ MORE:How Israel could respond to Iran attack - from covert ops behind enemy lines to blitz on Tehran's proxies or devastating missile and 'bunker bomb' strikes on nuke sites... amid fears escalation could trigger WW3

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'At my direction, to support the defense of Israel, the US military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week,' Biden said in a statement.

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

Administration officials said the call demonstrated that despite differences over the war in Gaza, the US commitment to Israel's defense was 'ironclad' and that America would mount a similar effort again if needed.

The officials rejected the notion that Iran intentionally gave Israel and the US time to prepare for an attack, but said they took advantage of the time Iran needed before it was ready to launch the assault to prepare their response.

The officials said Iran passed word to the USwhile the attack was unfolding late Saturday that what was seen was the totality of their response. The message was sent through the Swiss government since the two countries don't have direct diplomatic ties.

'CENTCOM remains postured to support Israel's defense against these dangerous actions by Iran. We will continue to work with all our regional partners to increase regional security,' the US military added on Monday.

Blinken spoke Sunday with foreign ministers from Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to underscore the 'importance of avoiding escalation and coordinating on a diplomatic response,' a department spokesman said.

Ahead of the attack, US officials including Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Secretary of StateBlinkenwere in 'constant, ongoing, continuous contact' with the Israelis, as well as with other countries in the Middle East.

The US goal since the start of the latest round of conflict between Israel and Hamas six months ago has been to prevent it from spiraling into a broader regional conflict, and Washington is keen to lower the temperature in the region.

'We would not be a part of any response they do,' the senior administration official said of possible Israeli action after the attack. 'We would not envision ourselves participating in such an act.'

Israel has meanwhile 'made clear to us they're not looking for a significant escalation with Iran,' but 'a big question is not only whether, but what Israel might choose to do,' the official said.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) during a War Cabinet meeting at the Kirya in Tel Aviv on Sunday, April 14

Parts of a missile launched by Iran are found in Amman, Jordan, on Sunday, April 14

US officials said Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in an effort to contain tensions, that Washington would not participate in any offensive action against Iran, and the president made 'very clear' to Netanyahu 'that we do have to think carefully and strategically' about risks of escalation.

The push to encourage Israel to show restraint mirrored ongoing American efforts to curtail Israel's war against Hamas, which is now in its seventh month, and to do more to protect civilian lives in the territory.

While the US and its allies were preparing for days for such an attack, Iran's launches on Saturday were at the 'high end' of what was anticipated, according to the officials, who were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.

READ MORE:Israel threatens AIRSTRIKES on Iran as Biden is accused of 'sleepwalking the US into another catastrophic war'

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Biden, in a Saturday evening call with Netanyahu, urged that Israel claim victory for its defense prowess as the president aimed to persuade America's closest Middle East ally not to undertake a larger retaliatory strike against Iran, the officials said.

'I told him that Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks - sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel,' Biden said in his statement after the call.

Biden also had a call Sunday with Jordan's King Abdullah II in which the king said any 'escalatory measures' by Israel would lead to a broader conflict in the region, according to the Royal Court.

The White House said the situation in Gaza was discussed, and the leaders reaffirmed their cooperation 'to find a path to end the crisis as soon as possible.'

The president also spoke with some of the US forces involved in shooting down the Iranian drones.

Later Sunday, Biden spoke with the leaders of the House and Senate, emphasizing the urgent need for the House to pass additional wartime funding for Israel and Ukraine.

Drones or missiles vying for targets at undisclosed locations in northern Israel on April 14

A G7 meeting took place on Sunday afternoon as leaders condemned Iran's air attack on Israel 'in the strongest terms'

After Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, near Arad, this is the remains of a rocket booster on Sunday which reportedly injured a seven-year-old child

Iran's unprecedented attack on Israel with hundreds of drones and missiles marked the culmination of a tense two weeks in which Washington engaged in whirlwind efforts to prepare for the expected violence.

American aircraft and planes downed dozens of drones and missiles when Iran launched the attack on Saturday, after Tehran repeatedly threatened to hit back in response to an Israeli strike on its consulate in Damascus that killed two top officers at the beginning of the month.

Senior US officials detailed the role Washington played - both militarily and diplomatically - in countering the attack:

Iran launched a barrage of more than 100 medium-range ballistic missiles, more than 30 land-attack cruise missiles and more than 150 attack drones at Israel, a senior US military official said.

US forces 'successfully engaged and destroyed more than 80 one-way attack uncrewed aerial vehicles (OWA UAV) and at least six ballistic missiles intended to strike Israel from Iran and Yemen,' US Central Command said on Twitter Sunday.
President Joe Biden spent Saturday evening receiving real-time updates in the Situation Room at the White House as the attack unfolded.

'At one point, we knew there were over 100 ballistic missiles in the sky' and 'the results of the defenses of course were unclear until all was said and done,' a senior administration official said, describing the tense atmosphere.

Objects are seen in the sky above Jerusalem after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel

People gather around a destroyed building targeted by Israeli air strikes on the village of Nabi Sheet in the Baablbek district in Lebanon's eastern Bekaa Valley on April 14, 2024

Smoke billows over the area of an Israeli air strike on the southern Lebanese village of Kfar Kila near the border with Israel on April 14, 2024

People drive along a street in Jerusalem on Sunday after Iran's unprecedented attack on Israel

Israel carried out a strike on Iran's consulate in Damascus on April 1, killing seven Revolutionary Guards including two generals andprompting warnings from Tehran that it would respond.

Top US officials were pulled aside and informed of details about the strike during a visit by the Israeli ambassador and defense attaché at the White House, the senior administration official said.

'We were not a part of that strike' but 'we knew that that would have repercussions,' the official said.

A few days later, Biden instructed the government 'to defend Israel to the maximum extent possible' and to ensure that all necessary authorities and assets were in place to do so - a directive that sent officials into action.

How US destroyed 80 drones, six missiles launched from Iran and Yemen (2024)
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