Avatar photo

By Faizel Patel

Senior Digital Journalist


Iran warns it will strike with greater force if Israel or US retaliate

Iran has warned that it will strike again with greater force if Israel or the US retaliate for the Iranian...


Iran has warned that it will strike again with greater force if Israel or the US retaliate for the Iranian strike on Israel by more 300 drones and missiles.

Iran launched more than 300 drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles from Iran, Iraq and Yemen on Saturday night, with Israel claiming that the vast majority of them have been intercepted.

Tehran said it carried out the attack in response to an Israeli raid on the Iranian consulate in Syria on April 1 and said the matter can now “be deemed concluded,” Al Jazeera reported.

Warning to Israel

“Our response will be much larger than tonight’s military action if Israel retaliates against Iran,” the Iranian armed forces’ chief of staff, Maj Gen Mohammad Bagheri, told state TV, adding that Tehran warned Washington that any backing of Israeli retaliation would result in US bases being targeted.

Israel, with the help of  its western allies including the US, UK and Jordan, claimed to have intercepted 99% of the launches during the mass strike, but added that some ballistic missiles had reached Israel, damaging the Nevatim airbase in southern Israel.

ALSO READ: ICJ agrees with SA and orders Israel to ensure more aid reaches Gaza

Punishing Israel

Over the last two weeks, the Iranian authorities had repeatedly vowed to “punish” Israel after the death of seven Guards including two generals of the Quds Force in the attack that levelled the Iranian consulate in Damascus

In the days after the strike, Iran’s Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Israel will be “slapped for that action,” and it seems Tehran waited until the end of Ramadan before unleashing its attack on Israel.

Reactions

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry expressed the Kingdom’s “deep concern over the military escalation developments in the region and its serious repercussions.”

The kingdom urged all parties to exercise “maximum restraint and to protect the region and its people from the dangers of war.”

“We condemn Iran’s overnight escalation, call for restraint, and are monitoring developments closely. It is vital that the conflict in the Middle East does not spiral out of control,” NATO’s spokesperson Farah Dakhlallah said.

Pope Francis made an “urgent appeal” against a “spiral of violence” that risks “dragging the Middle East into an even greater conflict.”

Gaza

Meanwhile, in Gaza, at least 19 Palestinians were killed and more than 200 wounded in six major Israeli attacks, while in the occupied West Bank, Israeli settlers continued attacks on Palestinians and their homes, wounding at least 19 people.

At least 33,729 Palestinians have been killed and 76,371 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since October 7, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

The death toll in Israel from Hamas’s October 7 attacks stands at 1,139, with dozens of people still held captive.

ALSO READ: WATCH: ‘ICC should’ve issued warrant of arrest for Netanyahu’ − Pandor

Read more on these topics

Gaza Iran Israel Pope Francis Saudi Arabia