Iran's aerial attack on Israel: 5 major developments as over 200 drones shot down by IDF, US forces

IDF said the “vast majority” of missiles launched by Iran were intercepted

 Iron Dome defense missile system, deployed to intercept rocket A battery of Israel's Iron Dome defense missile system, deployed to intercept rockets, sits in Ashkelon, southern Israe | AP

Iran launched a swarm of explosive drones and fired missiles at Israel late on Saturday in its first-ever direct attack on Israeli territory, risking a major escalation as the United States pledged "ironclad" backing for Israel. For days, Israel had braced for an attack — claimed by Iran as retaliation for a suspected Israeli strike this month on an Iranian consular building in Syria that killed 12 people, including two senior Iranian generals in the Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force.

As tensions escalate in the Middle East, here are the latest five developments that you need to know about Tehran's direct conflict with Tel Aviv:

1. Israel's military says the “vast majority” of missiles launched from Iran were intercepted outside of Israel’s borders. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement early Sunday that dozens of surface-to-surface missile launches from Iran were identified approaching Israeli territory and that “the IDF Aerial Defense Array successfully intercepted the majority of the launches using the ‘Arrow’ Aerial Defense System, together with Israel’s strategic allies, before the launches crossed into Israeli territory."

Dozens of Israeli Air Force fighter jets are currently operating to intercept approaching threats.

2. US forces shot down some Iran-launched attack drones flying toward Israel, according to the Associated Press. A source in the Pentagon told the news agency that effort to intercept the attack was continuing. 

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, cut short a weekend stay at his Delaware beach house to meet with his national security team at the White House on Saturday afternoon, returning to Washington minutes before Israeli officials confirmed that they had detected drones being launched toward their territory from Iran.

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3. The United Nations Security Council aims to hold a meeting on Sunday, a diplomat said, after Israel requested the council condemn Iran's attack on Israel and designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization. Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, requested the council hold an emergency meeting in a letter on Saturday to the council's president. "The Iranian attack is a serious threat to global peace and security and I expect the Council to use every means to take concrete action against Iran," Erdan wrote in a post on X.

4. However, not all Iranian launches were intercepted, Tel Aviv added. “A small number of hits were identified, including at an IDF base in southern Israel, where minor damage was caused to infrastructure,” the Israeli statement added.

5. Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency says Tehran has fired ballistic missiles at targets inside of Israel. The announcement came shortly after Iran said it fired dozens of bomb-carrying drones. Meanwhile, Germany, France and Canada joined the world powers to condemn the Iranian offensive.

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