Supreme Leader: Tehran hits little in its attack on Israel

JERUSALEM — Iran’s supreme leader on Sunday dismissed any discussion of whether Tehran’s unprecedented drone-and-missile attack on Israel hit anything there, a tacit acknowledgment that despite launching a major assault, few projectiles actually made it through to their targets.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s comments before senior military leaders didn’t touch on the apparent Israeli retaliatory strike on Friday on the central city of Isfahan, even though air defenses opened fire and Iran grounded commercial flights across much of the country.

Analysts believe both Iran and Israel, regional archrivals locked in a shadow war for years, are trying to dial back tensions following a series of escalatory attacks between them as the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip rages on and inflames the wider region.

Khamenei, 85, made the comments in a meeting attended by the top ranks of Iran’s regular military, police and paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, a powerful force within its Shiite theocracy.

“Debates by the other party about how many missiles were fired, how many of them hit the target and how many didn’t, these are of secondary importance,” Khamenei said in remarks aired by state television.

“The main issue is the emergence of the Iranian nation and Iranian military’s will in an important international arena. This is what matters.”

Iran launched hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles that sought to overwhelm Israel’s air defenses in the April 13 attack — the first on Israel by a foreign power since Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein launched Scud missiles at Israel in the 1991 Gulf War.

However, Israeli air defenses and fighter jets, backed by the U.S., the United Kingdom and neighboring Jordan, shot down the vast majority of the incoming fire.

Iran’s attack came in response to a suspected Israeli strike on April 1 targeting a consular building next to the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, Syria, which killed two Guard generals and others. / AP

Related Stories

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.
www.sunstar.com.ph