Iran launched a drone attack against Israel on the evening of Saturday, April 13, “from its territory,” declared the spokesperson for the Israeli army, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, in a televised address. In Tehran, state media have confirmed a drone attack as well as a missile attack in progress against the Jewish state, Iran’s sworn enemy.

This operation, called “Honest Promise,” was “launched with the approval of the Supreme National Security Council and under the supervision of the General Staff of the Armed Forces,” Iranian state television said.

The Islamic Republic of Iran recently promised to “punish” the Jewish state after a deadly strike on April 1 on its consulate in Damascus (Syria), which it blames on it, raising fears of an explosion in the Middle East.

“We are monitoring the threat in the airspace. This is a threat that will take several hours to reach the territory of the State of Israel,” Mr. Hagari said. “We are working closely with the United States and our partners in the region to counter and intercept [drone] launches,” he added.

In the process, Israel closed its airspace.

Just before this announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu assured that his country had prepared for “the possibility of a direct attack by Iran” and was “ready to face any scenario , both in defense and attack”. “We appreciate the presence of the United States alongside Israel, as well as the support of Great Britain, France and many other countries,” he assured.

Israel’s neighbor Jordan announced the temporary closure of its airspace, citing “a dangerous situation in the Middle East.” Iraq, which borders Iran, has also closed its airspace. Several countries, including France, reiterated their calls on their nationals not to travel to Iran, Israel and Lebanon.

The United States reaffirms its “unwavering” support for Israel

The threat of an Iranian operation targeting Israel was considered particularly imminent, as Tehran reported, at midday on Saturday, the seizure of the MSC Aries, a container ship “linked” to the Jewish state in the Gulf.

As a concrete sign of this state of alert, the Israeli army announced, early Saturday evening, the closure of schools “in view of security conditions.” The measure is valid at this stage for two days, Sunday and Monday. In addition, as Passover, the Jewish Passover, approaches, outdoor gatherings will be limited to 1,000 people with even more restricted numbers in the country’s border regions.

In a statement, the White House called on Iran to “immediately” release the MSC Aries and its crew. She “strongly” condemned “an act of piracy”. The United States also reaffirmed its “unwavering commitment” to Israel, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan wrote on X. In this context of heightened tensions between the Jewish state and the Islamic Republic, American President Joe Biden “returned to the White House [Saturday]” for urgent consultations with his national security team, cutting short a weekend at his family home.