Netanyahu convenes Israeli war cabinet as Iran attacks

World

Israel is preparing to defend its airspace after Iran said it had launched dozens of missiles and drones towards its enemy.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRG) said it was responding to an “attack on the consular section of the Iranian embassy in Damascus” on 1 April.

Two generals and seven members of the IRG were killed in the strike. Tehran blamed it on Israel, which has not publicly commented.

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An Iranian attack had begun, the Israel Defence Forces said on Saturday evening, as did the White House.

More than 100 explosive drones were launched by Tehran and more waves may be following, the IDF added.

It declined to confirm media reports that cruise missiles were included, too.

US officials predicted that Iran would launch more than 100 drones, dozens of cruise missiles, and dozens of ballistic missiles.

Dozens of drones were seen flying from Iran, through Iraqi airspace and in the direction of Israel, two Iraqi security sources told Reuters.

The drones are carrying 20kg of explosives each, Amos Yadlin, a retired general in the Israeli air force, told Channel 12 TV.

Israeli aviation authorities said the country’s airspace was being closed to all flights.

Wing of Zion – Israel’s version of Air Force One – is airborne because of “operational considerations”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has convened his war cabinet, his office announced.

US President Joe Biden is meeting national security officials and members of the Cabinet at the White House, which said it would “support” Israel’s defence.

Earlier, Israel called off school trips and other youth activities planned for the coming days.

Jordan said it was temporarily closing its airspace, state media reported.

Rishi Sunak, the prime minister, said he condemned “in the strongest terms the Iranian regime’s reckless attack against Israel”.

He added: “Iran has once again demonstrated that it is intent on sowing chaos in its own backyard.

“The UK will continue to stand up for Israel’s security and that of all our regional partners, including Jordan and Iraq.”

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