Several countries come to Israel’s aid to stop Iran barrage

France, Jordan and the United Kingdom assisted in the defense of Israel

Israel fended off a furious attack on Saturday with the help of powerful allies in the region and around the world.

Multiple countries came together to help fend off over 300 drones and missiles launched at Israel from Iran, with the Israeli Defense Forces claiming that roughly 99% of the attack had been thwarted by their forces and allies.

"At my direction, to support the defense of Israel, the U.S. military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week.  Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles," President Biden said in a statement condemning the Iranian attack.

But the U.S. was not the only country to step up in the defense of Israel, with France, Jordan and the United Kingdom also playing roles in intercepting the attack.


Israeli tank inside Israel

An Israeli tank moves near the Gaza Strip border in southern Israel, on Thursday, April 11.  (AP/Tsafrir Abayov)

Senior French officials told Fox News Sunday that several of the Iranian projectiles had been intercepted by French forces over Iraq and Jordan.

"France has ground-air defense elements in the region to protect its forces. They were used to neutralize what flew over our rights," confirmed a source familiar with the matter.

The U.K.’s Royal Air Force also participated in the defense, according to a Times of Israel report, with RAF fighters intercepting an unknown number of drones in the region bound for Israel and vowing that its jets in the Middle East "will intercept any airborne attacks within range of our existing missions, as required."

Iran Hamas IDF

Thick smoke billows from an explosion on the Israel-Gaza border, as seen from Sderot.  (Ilia Yefimovich/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, a Jordanian security source confirmed to Reuters that its forces intercepted and shot down dozens of Iranian drones that had violated the country’s airspace en route to Israel. The country also indicated that it was stepping up reconnaissance flights in the area and had briefly closed its airspace Saturday as a precautionary measure.


"The relevant authorities took the decision to close the airspace for precautionary reasons as a result of the surrounding security situation," Jordan's government spokesperson Muhannad Mubaideen told Reuters.

Israel itself has sophisticated air defenses it used to fend off the Iranian attack, including the country’s famed Iron Dome and David’s Sling.

Benjamin Netanyahu

FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convenes the weekly cabinet meeting at the Defence Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, January 7, 2024. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/Pool/File Photo (REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/Pool/File Photo)

"Israel has a multilayered air defense system consisting of the Iron Dome, David’s Sling and the Arrow as well as other undisclosed assets. It will likely also get ballistic missile support defense from the United States, as the two militaries have been training on for years," said Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, according to a Times of Israel report.

The Arrow Missile Defense System, which is made up of Arrow 2 and Arrow 3, is capable of intercepting missiles fired from close to 1,500 miles away, including above earth’s atmosphere, while David’s Sling is designed to intercept planes, drones, tactical ballistic missiles and medium- to long-range rockets and cruise missiles fired from ranges of 25 to 190 miles.


Iran U.S. Military

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Gen. Michael Kurilla met with Israeli Minister of Defense Yoav Gallant amid rising tensions with Tehran. (Ariel Hermoni/IMoD)

Before Saturday’s attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his country’s forces had for weeks "been preparing for the possibility of a direct attack from Iran."

"Air defenses are deployed, we are ready for any scenario, both in attack and in defense," the Prime Minister said.

On Sunday, the Israeli military carried out a series of airstrikes on Hezbollah targets in Lebanon in response to the attacks, though it remained unclear what kind of response the country might launch against Iran directly.

The Biden administration, meanwhile, has reportedly advised Israel against a strike against Iran while affirming U.S. support for the longtime ally.

"Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attack, sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel," Biden said after the attack.

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