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Iran has launched a wave of strikes toward Israel in retaliation for last week’s deadly Israeli strike on an Iranian embassy complex in Syria, in an unprecedented move by Tehran that could further widen the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

Several dozen drones were launched from within Iran on Saturday, a senior US administration official told CNN, while an Israeli military officer put the number at “more than 100.” Iran state media confirmed that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had “launched extensive drone strikes against targets in occupied territories,” referring to Israel.

Iran has also launched missiles against Israel, according to Israeli and Iranian media.

In response, tens of Israeli fighter jets are now airborne on a “defense mission in Israeli airspace,” according to an Israeli military official, who said Israeli forces aim to intercept the drones before they reached Israeli skies.

It is reported that in Jerusalem explosions and sirens as apparent intercepts took place early today morning local time.

Public shelters have been opened in the northern Israeli city of Haifa, and Israel has closed its airspace, as have nearby Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. Israel’s Home Front Command meanwhile announced that gatherings of more than 1,000 people would be prohibited.

US President Joe Biden met Saturday night in a lengthy meeting with his national security team to assess the attack, according to a US official.

Biden is “in constant communication with Israeli officials as well as other partners and allies,” the US National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said Saturday, emphasizing that the administration’s “support for Israel’s security is ironclad.”

US Navy forces in the Red Sea have previously intercepted long-range missiles launched from the Houthis in Yemen towards Israel. US forces in Iraq and Syria could also potentially intercept drones and rockets targeting northern Israel.

Iran’s mission to the UN confirmed early on Sunday local time that the drone attacks were its response to the strike on its consulate in Damascus, adding that the matter was now “deemed concluded.”

“However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe. It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the US MUST STAY AWAY!” Iran’s Permanent Mission added in its statement on X.

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