Israel and Its Allies Defend Against Iranian Strikes

The Israelis demonstrated their military might with help from anti-Iranian partners.

What’s happening: Iran launched over 300 drones, ballistic missiles, and cruise missiles at Israel on Saturday in retaliation to the killing of a top Iranian general in Syria.

  • Key takeaways: Israel’s air defense systems proved remarkably capable, and much of the Middle East is united against wanton Iranian aggression.

Air defense: A top national security think tank noted Iran’s attack on Israel was modeled after successful Russian drone and missile strikes on Ukraine. However, Iran miscalculated that Israel would have only a slightly higher interception rate than Ukraine.

  • Israel intercepted more than 99 percent of all drones and missiles — much higher than Ukraine’s average of 46 percent.

  • More: Iran’s attack was much larger than any similar attack in recent years, yet caused no significant damage. Israel neutralized it with very light damage on a military base.

United against Iran: Israel did not successfully defend against Iran’s attack alone. The United States, the U.K., and France all assisted, and notably, so did Arab countries in the region such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

  • Jordan shot down dozens of drones over their country and allowed Israeli and U.S. planes to use its airspace during its defensive mission.

  • Saudi Arabia also assisted in the mission and has committed to shoot down any “suspicious object” in its airspace.

  • Important: After the attack, an official from the Saudi royal family accused Iran of “engineer[ing] a war in Gaza” to disrupt Saudi Arabia’s normalization with Israel.

What’s next: War cabinet Minister Benny Gantz reportedly wants to strike back at Iran now, while Prime Minister Netanyahu is considering the next move. After Israel’s successful defense, President Biden told Netanyahu to take the “win,” urging Israel not to retaliate.

Join the conversation

or to participate.