Iran readies '100+ cruise missiles' for possible retaliation against Israel

A missile is launched during a military exercise in Isfahan, Iran, on October 28, 2023. (Photo/Reuters)

Amid escalating tensions with Israel, Iran has "readied more than a hundred cruise missiles for a possible strike," according to a report, nearly two weeks after a strike that US officials said was carried by Tel Aviv flattened Tehran's consulate in Damascus and killed seven Iranians.

Citing a US defence official on Friday, ABC News reported that Tehran has prepared more than a hundred cruise missiles to retaliate and the US has deployed additional military assets to the region, including ships and aircraft.

Two US Navy destroyers currently stationed in the eastern Mediterranean have been identified as part of the deployment, said the report.

The destroyers are equipped with the advanced Aegis combat system, capable of defending troops in the region from ballistic missile threats.

Israel is on high alert amid Iran's public vow to target Israel in retaliation for the April 1 air strike on its diplomatic facility in the Syrian capital Damascus.

Iran has accused Israel of carrying out the attack and vowed to respond. Israel, however, has not officially claimed responsibility for the attack, but it has for months carried out a number of strikes against Iranian targets across Syria.

Both Iran and Hezbollah, its main ally in Lebanon, have said that the attack will not go unpunished.

Iran aims to 'sidestep' any response from US

Meanwhile, two US officials told the Politico news website on condition of anonymity that Iran is planning a larger-than-usual aerial attack on Israel in the coming days, "one that will likely feature a mix of missiles and drone strikes."

Neither official expressed complete confidence that Iran would manage to strike Israel without provoking a military response from the US, as any attack raises the possibility of escalating tensions and conflict in the Middle East.

"The Biden administration expects Iran's response in the coming days — as early as this weekend," according to one official.

The escalation comes Israel continues its invasion of Gaza where it has since October last year killed more than 35,500 Palestinians — 70 percent of them babies, women and children — and wounded over 76,000 amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on Gaza, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, starving.

Palestine's Hamas resistance group says its October 7 blitz on Israel that surprised its arch-enemy was orchestrated in response to Israeli attacks on Al Aqsa Mosque, illegal settler violence in occupied West Bank and to put Palestine question "back on the table."

The hours-long raid and Israeli military's haphazard reaction resulted in the killing of more than 1,130 people, Israeli officials and local media say.

Palestinian fighters took more than 250 hostages and presently 130 remain in Gaza, including 34 who the Israeli army says are dead, some of them killed in indiscriminate Israeli strikes.

The Israeli war has meanwhile pushed 85 percent of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 percent of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to do more to prevent starvation crisis in Gaza. Francesca Albanese, the UN special rapporteur on the rights situation in the Palestinian territories, said recently there were reasonable grounds to believe Israel was committing genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.


Source: TRT