Israel: ‘We intercepted 99% of the threats’

April 14, 2024 by Pesach Benson
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Providing the first statistics from Iran’s overnight attack, the Israel Defense Forces said on Sunday morning that of the more 320 drones and missiles launched by Iran, 99% were intercepted.

A test launch of Israel’s Arrow-3 missile defence system. Photo by Israel Ministry of Defense Spokesperson’s Office

“This is a very significant strategic achievement,” said IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.

Breaking down the numbers, Hagari said that none of the roughly 170 unmanned aerial vehicles or 30 cruise missiles entered Israeli airspace.

Most of the UAVs were shot down by American and Jordanian forces. Hagari said that French planes also helped Israel defend itself, but did not have immediate information on whether they had intercepted any drones or missiles.

However, “Out of more than 120 ballistic missiles – only a few fell on Israeli territory. They fell at the Air Force base in Nevatim. The base is functioning and continues to perform its tasks.” The military released footage of planes taking off and landing at the base near Beer-Sheva.

Israel’s multi-layered air defenses include the Arrow-3 system, which is capable of intercepting missiles in space. It made its first interception when it shot down a Houthi ballistic missile in October. It may have been the first time a missile was shot down outside Earth’s atmosphere, but Israel has not confirmed that.

Germany is in the process of purchasing the Arrow-3, the system’s first sale to another country.

Sirens sounded in Jerusalem, northern Israel and the Negev, sending Israelis to shelter in safe rooms. Because ballistic missiles are intercepted at higher altitudes, shrapnel can fall over a wider area, the IDF said, explaining the widespread sirens.

Iran has vowed to avenge an airstrike on its embassy compound in Damascus on April 1. Killed in the strike was Quds Force commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and seven other IRGC officers.

The attack was widely attributed to Israel, though Jerusalem never confirmed this.

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