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Israel to retaliate against Iran missile attack, prompting airlines to cancel flights to the region

Israel’s military chief stated that Israel will respond to Iran’s missile attack.

Herzi Halevi, the head of the Israeli Defense Forces, mentioned that Iran’s strikes will be met with a response, without providing details, during a visit to the Nevatim air base that suffered light damage in the Iranian attack.

Halevi emphasized, “Iran wanted to harm the strategic capabilities of the State of Israel—that is something that had not happened before. We were prepared for the ‘Iron Shield’ operation—preparation that brought Iran to also meet air superiority.” He added, “Last Monday, we saw what was being organized, and we think that the State of Israel is very strong and knows how to deal with it alone, but with a threat so numerous and so far away, we are always happy to have [the United States] with us.”

Regarding Israel’s actions, he stated, “Israel is now looking ahead, we are considering our steps, and this launch of so many missiles, cruise missiles, and UAVs into the territory of the State of Israel will be met with a response.”

The Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has been in discussions with top officials to plan a response to Iran’s attack involving hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles. Despite world leaders urging Israel not to retaliate, U.S. officials have noted that Israel’s defense system was highly successful in intercepting 99% of the incoming missiles and drones.

This attack by Iran over the weekend was the first direct targeting of Israel since the current regime took over in 1979, although Iran has previously been involved in proxy attacks against Israel and the United States in various Middle Eastern countries.

Airlines Cancel Flights

Following the Iranian missile and drone attack, several airlines decided to cancel or delay flights. United Airlines and Air Canada canceled some flights into Tel Aviv and Jordan.

Approximately a dozen more companies announced the cancellation of flights to the region amidst the heightened tensions.

More Warnings

Iranian officials stated that the attack was in response to an Israeli airstrike on April 1 that resulted in the death of two Iranian generals and other officials within a Syrian compound.

Over the weekend, Tehran issued more warnings to Israel, cautioning against a response, and warned of potential U.S. intervention escalating the conflict further. Major General Mohammad Bagheri, the armed forces chief of staff, emphasized that Iran’s response would be significant if Israel retaliates against Iran.

After the drones and missiles were launched, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard issued a direct warning to the United States through state-run IRNA regarding any support or participation in harming Iran’s interests.

U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby stated that the United States was not involved in Israel’s decision-making process regarding a potential response and would let the Israelis handle the situation.

The attack marked the first time Iran directly targeted Israel, despite longstanding enmity dating back to the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Israel’s military indicated that its Arrow system efficiently intercepted most threats, with the assistance of strategic partners.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin mentioned that U.S. military forces intercepted numerous missiles and UAVs launched from Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, supporting Israel’s defense against the attacks.

President Joe Biden also praised the U.S. military’s assistance in helping Israel intercept the incoming threats.

Israel and Iran have been at odds during Israel’s ongoing conflict with Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip. The two nations have faced escalating tensions following a cross-border attack by Hamas members that resulted in civilian casualties and kidnappings.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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