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Iran launched a drone and missile attack against Israel on Saturday, the first time Iran has ever launched a full-scale military assault on Israel. We covered it live, here’s what happened

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Objects are intercepted in the sky after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel, April 14, 2024.Amir Cohen/Reuters

The latest on Iran's drone attack against Israel

  • Iran launched its first full-scale military attack against Israel on Saturday, sending drones toward Israel. Iran’s state-run media reported that dozens of drones had been fired
  • The attack late Saturday marked the first time Iran had ever launched a full-scale military assault on Israel, despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution
  • Iran says it has launched ballistic missiles as part of its attack targeting Israel

Find live updates below.

11 p.m.

Biden says U.S. shot down ‘nearly all’ incoming drones, plans G7 co-ordination

U.S. President Joe Biden said late Saturday that American fighter jets and ships helped Israel shoot down “nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles” fired by Iran and its proxies in Yemen, Syria and Iraq. Mr. Biden said the Iranian attacks were aimed at Israeli military targets and did not attempt to hit U.S. forces in the region.

The President said he will convene G7 leaders on Sunday to has out “a united diplomatic response” to Iran’s attack.

Mr. Biden also spoke Saturday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“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,” Mr. Biden said in a statement.

– Adrian Morrow

9:30 p.m.

UN Security Council to meet Sunday on Iran attack after Israel request, diplomat says

The United Nations Security Council is set to meet on Sunday after Israel requested the council condemn Iran’s attack on Israel and designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.

The tentative meeting time was 4 p.m. ET (2000 GMT), the diplomat said on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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.

– Reuters

9:15 p.m.

Israel’s military says the “vast majority” of missiles launched from Iran were intercepted outside of Israel’s borders.

The Israeli Defense Forces 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.”

“A small number of hits were identified, including at an IDF base in southern Israel, where minor damage was caused to infrastructure,” the statement added.

It said “many dozens of hostile aircraft, as well as dozens of cruise missiles, from Iran were identified approaching Israeli territory and intercepted.”

Dozens of Israeli Air Force fighter jets are currently operating to intercept aerial threats approaching Israeli territory, it added.

– The Associated Press

9 p.m.

Israel requests emergency UN Security Council meeting on Iran

Israel on Saturday requested that the United Nations Security Council hold an emergency meeting to condemn Iran’s attack on Israel and designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization.

“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,” Gilad Erdan, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, wrote in a post on X.

– Reuters

8:30 p.m.

Iran has launched more than 200 drones and missiles at Israel so far, IDF says

Iran has launched more than 200 drones and missiles at Israel since Saturday, the Israeli military said, describing many of the incoming threats as having been intercepted away from Israel’s borders but adding that the salvo was ongoing.

A small number of the dozens of ground-to-ground Iranian missiles struck Israel, wounding a girl and causing light damage to a military installation in the south, armed forces spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said early on Sunday.

– Reuters

8:20 p.m.

UN condemns Iran attack on Israel

UN Secretary-General António Guterres condemned Iran’s attack on Israel on Saturday and called for restraint and an immediate cessation of hostilities.

”I am deeply alarmed about the very real danger of a devastating regionwide escalation. I urge all parties to exercise maximum restraint to avoid any action that could lead to major military confrontations on multiple fronts in the Middle East,” Guterres said in a statement.

– Reuters

7:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemns Iran’s attacks on Israel

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau delivers remarks on recent developments in Israel ahead of the annual Press Gallery Dinner in Ottawa, on April 13, 2024.Spencer Colby/The Canadian Press

Canada “unequivocally condemns” Iran’s attacks on Israel, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday evening as tensions boiled over between the two countries and pushed the Middle East closer to a region-wide war.

Trudeau’s statement came after Iran’s state-run media announced Tehran had fired ballistic missiles at targets inside Israel on Saturday in what was Iran’s first direct military attack on the country.

“These attacks demonstrate yet again the Iranian regime’s disregard for peace and stability in the region. We support Israel’s right to defend itself and its people from these attacks,” Trudeau said at a Parliamentary press gallery dinner.

He said he’s getting regular updates from the national security and intelligence adviser, the chief of the defence staff and the chief of the Privy Council.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly said Friday that Canadians should avoid all travel to Israel in light of the elevated risk. She said Canadians who remain in Israel should leave “by commercial means.”

– The Canadian Press

7:15 p.m.

U.S. and Jordanian forces begin shooting down Iran-launched attack drones

U.S. forces have downed some Iran-launched attack drones flying toward Israel, according to a U.S. defence official and two U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter. The defence official said the effort to intercept the attack was continuing.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence said British Royal Air Force jets in the Middle East “will intercept any airborne attacks within range of our existing missions, as required” after Iran targeted Israel with drones and missiles.

In Jordan, jets have also shot dozens of Iranian drones flying across the northern and central parts of the country heading to Israel, two regional security sources said.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Magen David Adom ambulance service said early on Sunday that it had received no word of any casualties from Iranian drones launched at the country, many of which local media described as having been intercepted.

– Reuters

7:10 p.m.

Biden hunkers down with security officials to decide how to respond to Iran’s attack

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U.S. President Joe Biden meets with members of his national security team as seen in this White House handout image taken in the Situation Room at the White House, in Washington, U.S., April 13, 2024.THE WHITE HOUSE/Reuters

U.S. President Joe Biden rushed back to the White House from his Delaware beach house Saturday afternoon and huddled with national security officials in the situation room as they decided how to respond to Iran’s attack on Israel.

The White House said Mr. Biden was hunkered down with Defence Secretary Lloyd Austen, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, General Charles Brown, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and several intelligence officials. Mr. Sullivan briefed the President earlier in the day.

Adrienne Watson, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, said that the White House expected Iran’s attack “to unfold over a number of hours.”

“Our support for Israel’s security is ironclad. The United States will stand with the people of Israel and support their defence against these threats from Iran,” she said in a statement.

The attack renders even more difficult Mr. Biden’s balancing act in the Middle East. Since the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, he has backed the country while trying not to escalate the conflict into a regional war.

Mr. Biden has also grown increasingly frustrated with Israel’s bombing and starving civilians in Gaza while taking flak from within his own Democratic Party for continuing to supply weapons to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.

– Adrian Morrow

7 p.m.

Sirens, explosions heard throughout Israel; TV shows interceptions

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An anti-missile system operates after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel, April 14, 2024.Amir Cohen/Reuters

Israel’s military said it was sounding sirens in locations throughout the country early on Sunday and a Reuters witness in Jerusalem heard explosions from what local TV showed were aerial interceptions of drones launched by Iran.

– Reuters

6:55 p.m.

Iran warns Jordan over any moves to support Israel, Iran’s Fars news agency says

Iran is watching Jordan for any moves in support of Israel during Tehran’s retaliatory attacks, warning the country may become the “next target,” a military source told the semi-official news agency Fars on Sunday.

“A military informed source said (we) are closely monitoring Jordan’s movements during the punitive attacks … and if they participate in any possible action (to back Israel), they will be the next target,” Fars reported.

– Reuters

6:50 p.m.

U.S. House to consider pro-Israel bill next week, lawmaker says after Iran attack

The U.S. House of Representatives will make a change in its schedule to consider legislation that supports Israel and holds Iran accountable, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise said in a statement on Saturday.

“The House of Representatives stands strongly with Israel, and there must be consequences for this unprovoked attack,” he said in a statement. More details will follow, he said.

Scalise’s office did not immediately respond to an inquiry seeking clarification of what legislation would be considered.

It was unclear whether Scalise was referring to a stand-alone bill to aid Israel, or the $95 billion supplemental spending bill that includes $14 billion for Israel, in addition to $60 billion for Ukraine, support for Taiwan and billions of dollars in humanitarian assistance.

That package passed the Senate with 70% support in February but has been blocked in the House, whose Republican leaders will not call it up for a vote, largely because of their objection to further funding for Ukraine.

– Reuters

6:46 p.m.

Air Canada cancels Saturday flight to Tel Aviv

Air Canada announced that it had cancelled its Saturday flight to Tel Aviv. The airline operates four non-stop return flights per week from Toronto to Tel Aviv. The next one is scheduled for Monday.

“We have also put in place a flexible rebooking policy for customers and will continue to monitor the situation in the region and adjust our schedule accordingly,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

– The Canadian Press

6:46 p.m.

Jordan’s air defence ready to shoot down any Iranian aircraft that violate its airspace

Jordan’s air defences were ready to intercept and shoot down any Iranian drones or aircraft that violate its airspace, two regional security sources said.

They said the army was also in a state of high alert and radar systems were monitoring any drone activity coming from the direction of Iraq and Syria.

Residents in several cities in the northern part of the country near Syria and central and southern areas heard heavy aerial activity. A security source said the country’s air force was intensifying reconnaissance flights.

Jordan had earlier said it closed its airspace starting on Saturday night to all incoming, departing and transiting aircraft in what officials told Reuters were precautionary measures in the event of an Iranian strike across its border.

– Reuters

6:45 p.m.

Iran’s mission to the UN warns U.S. to stay out of its conflict with Israel

The United States must stay away from the conflict between Iran and Israel, Iran’s mission to the United Nations said on social media platform X on Sunday, warning Tehran’s response would be more severe if Israel retaliates.

" … Iran’s military action was in response to the Zionist regime’s aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus. The matter can be deemed concluded,” the mission said on X.

“However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe. It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the U.S. MUST STAY AWAY!.”

– Reuters

6:17 p.m.

Emergency supplies pour into Israeli supermarkets

Within minutes of the announcement that Iran had dispatched waves of drones and missiles for Israel, orders for emergency supplies began to pour in to supermarkets across the country.

At one, workers lined an aisle with toilet paper and bottles of water. ”It’s crazy,” said an employee, as delivery drivers in motorcycle helmets sought to locate their orders.

Thirteen days after Israel’s April 1 strike on an Iranian diplomatic building in Syria, killing seven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps – two of them generals – Tehran began a retaliatory strike late Saturday night.

Israel’s military said it had detected the launch 100 to 150 drones from Iran, with the first expected to reach Israel by 2 a.m. Iran said it had launched a series of missiles, as well.

– Nathan VanderKlippe, in Tel Aviv, Israel

6 p.m.

Iran confirms it has launched ballistic missiles as part of its attack

Iran says it has launched ballistic missiles as part of its attack targeting Israel.

The state-run IRNA news agency quoted an anonymous official saying ballistic missiles were part of the attack.

Already, slow-moving Shahed-136 bomb-carrying drones have been seen in the skies over Iran. However, those are more easily shot down.

A ballistic missile moves on an arch trajectory, heading up into space before gravity brings the weapon down at a speed several times faster than the speed of sound.

Israel has missile defence systems capable of targeting ballistic missiles. However, in a massive attack involving multiple drones and missiles like the campaign launched late Saturday by Iran, the likelihood of a strike making it through is higher.

– The Associated Press

5:45 p.m.

Israel says Iran has launched more than 100 drones toward it and says it’s ready to respond

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Israeli Iron Dome air defense system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran, in central Israel, April 14, 2024.Tomer Neuberg/The Associated Press

Iran launched dozens of drones toward Israel late Saturday, Israeli and Iranian officials confirmed, on an unprecedented revenge mission that pushed the Middle East ever closer to a regionwide war.

Israel’s military said over 100 drones had been fired but that its air defences were prepared for the attack and it was ready to respond. The U.S., with its large troop presence in the region, said it would provide unspecified support to Israel.

“We are monitoring the threat,” the Israeli military’s spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, announced in a nationwide television address, saying it would take several hours for the drones to reach Israel. The Israeli military said it could not confirm if it had intercepted any drones or what their targets were.

– The Associated Press

5:45 p.m.

U.S. pledges unwavering support for Israel amid Iranian attack

National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said Saturday that the United States “will stand with the people of Israel and support their defence against these threats from Iran.”

The Pentagon reported that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin had spoken with his Israeli counterpart “and made clear that Israel could count on full U.S. support to defend Israel against any attacks by Iran and its regional proxies.”

National security adviser Jake Sullivan also spoke with his counterpart to reinforce Washington’s “ironclad commitment” to Israel’s security.

– The Associated Press

5:30 p.m.

Israel closes its airspace to all flights in anticipation of drone attack

Israel says it has closed its airspace after Iran launched dozens of drones against it late Saturday.

Israeli aviation authorities said they were closing the country’s airspace to all flights as of 12:30 a.m. local time (5:30 p.m. EDT).

– The Associated Press

5:18 p.m.

Iran confirms drone and missile attacks

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps said it launched dozens of drones and missiles at Israel on Saturday, an attack that may trigger a major escalation between the regional arch-enemies, with the U.S. pledging to back Israel.

Israel’s military said the drones, which Iraqi security sources said were seen flying over the country from Iran, would take hours to reach their targets.

Israeli Channel 12 said missiles Iran had launched would likely strike sooner but that some missiles and drones had been shot down over Syria or Jordan.

– Reuters

5:15 p.m.

Joe Biden returns to Washington to monitor situation

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President Joe Biden arrives back at the White House in Washington, ending his weekend in Delaware a day earlier than planned, on April 13, 2024.HAIYUN JIANG/The New York Times News Service

President Joe Biden cut short a weekend stay at his Delaware beach house to meet with his national security team and monitor the situation in the Middle East as Iran launched an attack against Israel.

– The Associated Press

5 p.m.

Israel’s military says Iran has launched a number of drone attacks that may take hours to arrive

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Israel's Primr Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) during a War Cabinet meeting at the Kirya in Tel Aviv, April 14, 2024.-/Getty Images

Iran launched its first full-scale military attack against Israel on Saturday, sending drones toward Israel. Iran’s state-run media reported that dozens of drones had been fired.

The Israeli army’s spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said it would take several hours for the attack aircraft to arrive and that the country was prepared.

Iran had been threatening to attack Israel after an air strike earlier this week widely blamed on Israel destroyed Iran’s consulate in Syria, killing 12 people, including two elite Iranian generals.

Israel has made missile defence a priority, with a variety of air-defence systems available to shoot down incoming missile and drone fire.

– The Associated Press

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