Foiled Iranian strikes would have leveled two key IDF bases, officials estimate

Israel shot down some 350 drones and missiles with a combined payload of over 60 tons with 99% success rate—a major win for its air defenses and allies

In a remarkable feat, Israel's air defense array, in alliance with the United States military and an international coalition, successfully intercepted 99% of the missiles and drones targeted at its territory from Iran early Sunday.
The Islamic Republic had fired 150 missiles carrying a cumulative load of 46 tons of explosives, in addition to 200 drones loaded with a total of four tons of explosives. Based on assessments, the impact of explosives weighing 60 tons could have totally obliterated two military bases along with their contents. IDF Spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari shared video footage on Sunday evening demonstrating the interceptions executed by Israeli Air Force fighter jets.
Remarkably, not a single one of the 185 Shahed 238 drones — an enhanced version of the Shahed 136 model Russia deploys almost daily against Ukraine — launched by Iran and its allies managed to breach the country's airspace, and neither did any of the 36 cruise missiles that were fired. Out of the 110 ballistic missiles, known as the "neighborly obligation" type, a small fraction made it to Israeli territory with an even smaller number managing to detonate.
The Nevatim Airbase suffered minor damage to infrastructure, however, according to a Sunday morning statement from the IDF spokesperson, the base remains fully operational.
U.S. forces intercepted 70 drones, and British fighter jets arriving from Cyprus also shot down several incoming threats. These interceptions were carried out in various locations, including Iraq and Syria. Jordan also confirmed its participation in the operation. The remaining drones were intercepted outside the country's borders by Air Force fighter jets.
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תיעוד מיירוטי הכטב״מים וטילי השיוט מאיראן
תיעוד מיירוטי הכטב״מים וטילי השיוט מאיראן
A missile being intercepted
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
Meanwhile, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told ABC's Meet the Press on Sunday that U.S. President Joe Biden does not foresee the missile crisis escalating into a large-scale conflict. This comes after Biden reportedly told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. would not back an Israeli counterstrike against Iran.
Kirby further highlighted Israel's impressive self-defense capabilities, praising its military superiority. He noted the minimal penetration of the country's defenses and the exceptionally light damage incurred and reiterated President Biden's stance against escalation, adding that the next few hours and days would be telling.
The Foreign Ministry has urged the global community to impose sanctions on Tehran, underscoring it had launched an extensive and unprecedented attack against Israel involving hundreds of drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles. Mainly originating from Iranian territory, the assault was supplemented by Iraqi militias, Yemen's Houthis and Hezbollah from Lebanon, all targeting Israel.
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בנימין נתניהו, ג'ו ביידן
בנימין נתניהו, ג'ו ביידן
US President Joe Biden Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photo: AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Prime Minister's Office)
The statement reiterated Israel's long-standing assertion that Iran is the driving force behind regional terror attacks and poses the greatest threat to regional stability and global order. It emphasized Tehran's history of aggression, including attacks on Israel and Gulf states, threats against Jordan and the U.S., instigation of conflict against Ukraine and endangerment of global peace. The statement concluded with a stern warning against allowing Iran to possess nuclear weapons.
The Foreign Ministry put out a statement acknowledging the international community's unequivocal condemnation of Iran and calling for Iran's Revolutionary Guard to be officially labeled a terrorist organization. It further said Israel would spare no expense in its continued efforts to maintain its sovereignty and security.
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