Last weekend, Iran and its proxy groups launched more than 300 airborne weapons at targets in Israel, but the U.S., Israeli and partner forces destroyed a significant portion of them before they reached their targets.

Among the weapons launched from locations in Iran, Syria and Yemen were over 110 medium-range ballistic missiles, more then 30 land-attack cruise missiles, and over 150 uncrewed aerial vehicles. The attack began in Israel late Saturday evening and ended early in the morning on April 14. 

U.S. Central Command forces, supported by the U.S. Navy destroyers USS Arleigh Burke and USS Carney, destroyed more than 80 one-way attack UAVs and at least six of the ballistic missiles, said Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder during a briefing yesterday. 

“As our actions demonstrated, the U.S. support for the defense of Israel is robust,” Ryder said. “It also demonstrates the long-standing security cooperation relationship that the United States has — not only with Israel, but with countries throughout the region — when it comes to addressing regional threats. Those kinds of things don’t happen overnight. Those kinds of relationships and the ability to work together, to interoperate together all played out and saved many lives.” 

The general said that since the attack ended, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III has discussed the situation with international partners, allies, Air Force Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. CQ Brown, Jr., senior Defense Department leaders and U.S. European Command and Centcom commanders. 

The defense secretary has also been in contact with his counterpart, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Ryder said. 

“During their most recent call … [Sunday], the two leaders reviewed the successful combined operation by the United States, Israel and their partners to defend Israel from these unprecedented attacks by Iran and its proxies,” Ryder said. 

In a statement released following the attacks, Austin commended the efforts of U.S. forces and allies, condemned the attacks, and reiterated both the U.S. right to defend its forces in the Middle East and the U.S. commitment to Israel. 

“I am grateful for the professionalism and the skill of the brave U.S. troops who took part in today’s actions and who continue to stand guard to prevent further conflict or escalation,” Austin said. “We condemn these reckless and unprecedented attacks by Iran and its proxies, and we call on Iran to immediately halt any further attacks — including from its proxy forces — and to deescalate tensions. We do not seek conflict with Iran, but we will not hesitate to act to protect our forces and support the defense of Israel.” 

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