April 14, 2024 | Flash Brief

Iran Attacks Israel With Drone and Missile Barrage

April 14, 2024 | Flash Brief

Iran Attacks Israel With Drone and Missile Barrage

Latest Developments

Iran launched an unprecedented direct attack against Israel overnight between April 13 and 14, firing an estimated 300 drones and missiles at the Jewish state. The attack came from Iranian territory, as well as from Iranian proxies in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, according to a statement by President Joe Biden. Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said that “more than 99 percent” of the drones and missiles had been intercepted. The United States, United Kingdom, Jordan, and possibly other regional partners helped defend Israel against the Iranian attack.  

Israel’s medical emergency system reported that a Bedouin girl sustained injuries from shrapnel from an interception. The IDF also identified a small number of strikes in southern Israel that caused minor damage to infrastructure, including at a military base, but no injuries were immediately reported.

Expert Analysis

“If those missiles and drones had penetrated Israeli air defenses, they would have killed hundreds perhaps thousands of Israelis. Israel must respond as if they had. Imagine if those Iranian missiles were armed with nuclear warheads. Imagine if those Iranian drones were armed with chemical weapons. The UN must snap back the embargoes on Iranian drones and missiles that expired in 2020 and 2023 because of the JCPOA. Any one of the United States, France, UK, or Germany can snap these back over opposition by China or Russia.” Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“When asked Friday about his message to Iran regarding a potential attack on Israel, Biden responded with a one-word warning: ‘don’t.’ Clearly unimpressed, Iran proceeded to launch an unprecedented, complex, and direct attack against Israel. A major Rubicon has been crossed by Iran. The nature and scale of Iran’s attack is a stark demonstration that American and Israeli deterrence is severely eroded. That is unacceptable and dangerous — and must be addressed. Americans should consider how’d they feel if our homeland had just been attacked by 300 drones and missiles and then an ally was pressuring us to do nothing. I think I know how the average American would respond to such pressure.” Bradley Bowman, Senior Director of FDD’s Center on Military and Political Power

“Iran’s ballistic missile barrage and drone salvo from its own territory against Israel is a game-changer. Never before did the clerical regime move from the shadows to fire at a target like the Jewish state that is so well defended. As Jerusalem weighs how best to respond militarily, a diplomatic option to rally the world against the Islamic Republic and support the Iranian people must be part of the equation.” Behnam Ben Taleblu, FDD Senior Fellow

Biden and Netanyahu Speak by Phone

Israel’s security cabinet scheduled an emergency meeting for Sunday and authorized Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Minister Benny Gantz to decide on the Israeli response. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a 25-minute call after the attacks. In an official statement, Biden said, “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 service members, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles.” Biden told Netanyahu that “Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks — sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel.” Israel’s Mission to the United Nations (UN) called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the attack. The council scheduled the meeting for 4 p.m. on April 14.

Key IRGC Commanders Killed in Damascus

An airstrike in Damascus killed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi along with six other IRGC members on April 1. The Biden administration denied involvement in the attack and claimed that Israel did not notify Washington in advance of the strike. Iran vowed to retaliate against Israel for the attack. Zahedi was the commander of the Quds Force — the arm of the IRGC that coordinates international terror operations. He led the IRGC’s operations in Lebanon and Syria as the point person in helping Iran arm and train the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist group. More than 3,100 rockets have been launched into Israel form Lebanon since October 7. Hezbollah is believed to have a rocket arsenal of between 150,000 and 200,000, mortars, rockets, and missiles, several hundred of which are precision-guided munitions.

Iran Seizes Israel-Linked Ship,” FDD Flash Brief

The Thickening Fog of War,” FDD Podcast by Clifford D. May, Bradley Bowman, and Jacob Nagel

CENTCOM Commander Lands in Israel Amid Iran Threats,” FDD Flash Brief

Israel to Iran: Any Direct Attack Will Be Answered in Kind,” FDD Flash Brief


Iran Iran Global Threat Network Iran Missiles Iran-backed Terrorism Israel Israel at War