Iran launches drones towards Israel weeks after deadly Syria consulate strike

Iran launched drones from its own territory toward Israel late Saturday, days after its Supreme Leader warned it would hit back in response to an airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Syria that left several generals dead. 

Earlier Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had for weeks “been preparing for the possibility of a direct attack from Iran.” 

The Prime Minister said Israel’s “air defenses are deployed, we are ready for any scenario, both in attack and in defense.” 

“I established a clear principle — whoever hurts us, we hurt him. We will protect ourselves from any threat and we will do so with coolness and determination,” he said.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack on Iran’s consulate in Damascus. 

“Iran has begun an airborne attack against Israel,” said National White House National Security Council Spokesperson. 

“President Biden is being regularly updated on the situation by his national security team and will meet with them this afternoon at the White House. His team is in constant communication with Israeli officials as well as other partners and allies,” she said. “This attack is likely to unfold over a number of hours. President Biden has been clear: our support for Israel’s security is ironclad. The United States will stand with the people of Israel and support their defense against these threats from Iran.” 

Former IDF spokesman Jonathan Conricus, who is now with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), told Fox News Digital there are various ways that Israel has shot down drones in the past. 

“The Houthis have been firing long range drones which are very similar to what the Iranians have just fired. They can either be taken down by the Iron Dome or by David Sling, or by helicopters or by fighter jets or a combination of them,” Conricus said. “So, a lot of ways to get them down and the fact that we are tracking them and seeing them in-coming, that’s quite reassuring. But maybe the Iranians have something more interesting up their sleeve, we’ll see.”

ISRAELI PM, MILITARY LEADERS HOLD EMERGENCY MEETING OVER IRAN ATTACK CONCERNS

Saturday night’s attack came just hours after President Biden cut short a weekend trip to his Delaware beach house and returned to the White House to monitor the unfolding crisis. 

Earlier this week, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had promised to retaliate against Israel, saying “it will be punished” for the April 1 strike in Damascus that he described as a “wrongdoing” and akin to an attack on Iran itself. 

Prior to the attack, the U.S. State Department announced it was restricting travel for government employees and their family members outside of major cities in Israel as concerns remained high that Iran could strike. 

Senior Israeli leaders also held a meeting Friday on the matter. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, U.S. CENTCOM Commander, General Michael Erik Kurilla and the Israeli security echelon at the Hatzor Israeli Air Force base. 

US RESTRICTS STAFF IN ISRAEL FROM TRAVELING OUTSIDE CITIES

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

The airstrike in Syria left 12 people dead, including seven Iranian Revolutionary Guard members. Israel has not acknowledged any involvement in the airstrike. 

One of those killed has been identified as Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps. 

Airstrike in Damascus, Syria

The aftermath of the airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, on April 1. (Reuters/Firas Makdesi/TPX Images of the Day)

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In 2010, the U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned Zahedi, describing him as playing a key role in Iran’s support of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. 

Fox News’ Lawrence Richard and Yonat Friling contributed to this report. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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