Iran Launches First Direct Attack Against  Israel

Iran Launches First Direct Attack Against Israel

by Kiril Krastanoff


On the night between April 13-14, 2024, the Islamic Republic of Iran launched a massive multiplatform drone and missile attack against Israel. According to initial reports, over 300 suicide drones, cruise, and ballistic missiles were fired from inside Iran against civilian and military targets across the Jewish state. 

Earlier that day, the Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command warned the country’s citizens that emergency precautions were warranted in expectation of an Iranian strike. Hours later,  millions of Israelis rushed to safe rooms and fallout shelters as air raid sirens and deafening explosions erupted across the night skies. Throughout the night, American, British, Jordanian, and Israeli aircraft headed east to intercept the incoming Iranian ordnance. Israeli air defense systems took out a remarkable 99% of what Iran launched. 

Missile interceptions over Israel (Image courtesy of Edi Israel/Flash90)

The missile blitzkrieg marked the first time that Iran attacked Israel directly from its territory instead of using proxy armies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Shiite militias in Syria and Iraq, and the Houthis in Yemen. 

A direct conflict between Israel and Iran, during a full-scale war in Gaza, is the mother of all nightmare scenarios for the Biden administration and the West and risked escalating into a dangerous regional conflict. 

The dangerous development comes amidst a complex regional military and political situation caused by the October 7 Hamas attack against southern Israel and the war in Gaza that followed. 

Here is what is  known so far about the Iranian attack: 

  • Reports indicate that Iran launched over 300 long-range missiles and drones against Israel.  
  • The Biden administration has condemned the attack and has admitted that American military assets intercepted some of the incoming missiles.
  • Iran claims this attack was a retaliation for the April 1 bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, in what appears to be a targeted assassination of senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force commanders who played a pivotal role in Hezbollah, Hamas, and militia operations against Israel. 
  • The international community has responded swiftly with calls for calm. Most Western leaders have pledged their support for Israel but hope that the cool heads will prevail and that the crisis will de-escalate. 
  • Israel has vowed to punish Iran for the missile blitz, sparking fears that heavy-handed punitive action will bring the region into a full-scale war. 

The Iranian attack took place late at night, and people in Iraq, Jordan, and Israel could see the incoming missiles being intercepted in the darkened Middle Eastern skies. 

According to Israeli military officials, the advanced Iron Dome and Davids Sling air defense systems intercepted the vast majority of drones and missiles fired by Iran, minimizing damage and casualties. 

The coming days and weeks will be crucial in determining the long-term consequences of this ominous escalation. 

Our mission at MIRA Safety is to help you stay informed about global events and to review how these current events should be factored into any emergency preparedness plans in these times of uncertainty.


Table of Contents

  • 01

    Details of the Iranian Attack

  • 02

    The Trigger - What Sparked the Attack?

  • 03

    Israel’s Response - Defence and Potential Retaliation

  • 04

    International Reaction - Calls for De-escalation

  • 05

    The Future - Uncertain Trajectory

  • 06

    Can the US Get Dragged in Large-Scale War with Iran?

  • 07

    Israel's Recent Pullback from Gaza - Anticipation for Multiple Fronts

  • 08

    How Can You Prepare for the Possibility of World War Three?

Details of the Missile and Drone Attack

Israel's anti-missile system intercepting rockets launched from Gaza (Image courtesy of REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

On the evening of April 13th, 2024, Iran launched a large-scale missile and drone attack against Israel.

IDF Spokesperson Rear-Admiral Daniel Hagari confirmed that Iran launched a barrage of over 300 drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles at Israel from various locations within Iran, as well as Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

Types of Weapons Used During the Attack

Iran launched a swarm attack of various long-range weapons in an attempt to overwhelm Israeli air defenses. The drones preceded the launch of heavier offensive systems and were to deplete the Israeli anti-air missile defenses before the ballistic and cruise missiles could reach their targets.


The Iranian-manufactured Shahed-136 suicide drone with a deadly payload (Image courtesy of Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images) 

Iran reportedly employed a significant number of small, low-cost, indigenously-produced drones, likely carrying explosive payloads of around 50kg (110 lbs). These unmanned aerial systems were launched first because they took the most time to cross the skies, and en masse so that their numbers were intended to overwhelm Israel's air defense systems.

Cruise and Ballistic Missiles

An Iranian-produced Zolfaghar ballistic missile, seen here during a military parade in Tehran. (Image courtesy of Anadolu Agency)

Cruise Missiles: These mid-range missiles typically fly at lower altitudes than ballistic missiles, potentially aimed at bypassing Israel's high-altitude defenses. 

Ballistic Missiles: The most powerful weapons launched were ballistic missiles, which can travel long distances and reach high altitudes. These presented the most significant threat to Israeli defenses as they carried the highest explosive payload. The Zolfaghar missile carries a warhead of over 500 kilograms.

What Did Iran Target?

The Iranian attack was not a pinpoint strike, but rather an attempt to hit a wide array of targets with whatever would make it through the Israeli and coalition air defenses. 

It appears that Israel’s major population centers–the Tel Aviv and Haifa metropolitan areas–were not targeted but that Iranian drones and missiles were aimed at Israeli air bases in southern Israel. Most troubling, perhaps, was that missiles and drones were aimed at Jerusalem, the Israeli capital. 

Images of Iranian missiles and drones being intercepted over the skies of Jerusalem and the al-Aqsa mosque were designed to be highly symbolic and inflammatory.  

The exact flight paths of the projectiles remain classified. However, considering the potential launch locations, the missiles violated Iraqi, Jordanian, and Saudi airspace before reaching Israel. Depending on the type of weapon system, flight times could have varied from minutes to potentially hours for the launched drones and ballistic missiles.

The Israel Airports Authority shut down the country’s airspace before the large-scale Iran missile attack. All air traffic in and out of Ben-Gurion International Airport was suspended; flights to and from Jordan were also halted. 

Israel’s Combined Defence - How They Absorbed and Defeated  the Attack

Part of the Iron Dome Israel interceptor missile system ( Image courtesy of Ilia Yefimovich)

Israel's Iron Dome and Davids Sling air defense systems played a crucial role in intercepting the majority of incoming Iranian drones and missiles. These systems utilize complex multi-band radar technology to detect and launch interceptor missiles that collide with incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells.

Israeli combat aircraft and airborne early warning platforms were also on high alert and off the ground, and they helped track and intercept the incoming threats.

Additionally, Israel employed additional air defense systems like the Arrow antiballistic missile for higher-altitude threats such as the Iranian ballistic missiles.  

The United States and other allies, such as Jordan, reportedly also contributed to the defense effort by intercepting some missiles before they reached Israeli airspace.

Note: It's important to note that the details of the attack, including specific launch locations, flight paths, and precise numbers of intercepted projectiles, are still emerging and may be subject to change as more information becomes available.

The Extent of the Damage - Unclear How Many Missiles Got Through

Due to the fog of war and ongoing Iranian and anti-Israel misinformation campaigns, it is difficult to ascertain exactly how many missiles and drones got through the gauntlet of Israeli and coalition defenses. Reports indicate that 99% of the Iranian missiles were intercepted and destroyed in midair. 

The Trigger - What Sparked the Attack?

Israel aircraft on a runway (Image courtesy of the IDF)

On April 1st, 2024, an airstrike widely attributed to Israel destroyed the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force compound adjacent to the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria.  This brazen attack, reportedly carried out by Israel Air Force Adir F-35I fighter jets with precision-guided missiles, significantly escalated tensions in an already volatile region.

The strike resulted in significant casualties.  Among the dead was Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior IRGC Quds Force commander.  General Zahedi was a pivotal commander running Iranian intelligence and terror operations in Lebanon and Syria.  

At least ten other Iranian military advisors were also confirmed dead, with the possibility of additional casualties among Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shiite Party of God and Iran’s primary terrorist proxy.

Following the attack, Iranian officials vowed for retaliation, raising concerns about a wider regional conflict.  

Violation of International Law?

According to Iranian officials, the targeting of a diplomatic mission was a point of no return (odd, since Iranian proxies have blown up foreign embassies in Lebanon and Argentina) for Tehran.  Shortly after the alleged Israeli operation, the response from around the world was a mix of both condemnation and praise.

International law protects embassies and consulates from harm. The targeted facility was an annex near the consular building and its status cannot be officially established. Israel neither confirmed nor denied its involvement in the consulate strike.

Israel’s Response - Defence and Potential Retaliation

IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi (center, red beret) chairs an emergency briefing of military officials (Image courtesy of the IDF)

Heightened Alert and Defence Boost 

Israel heightened its national security measures in the wake of the Damascus bombing. Increased air defense patrols, troop deployments along the Lebanese and Syrian borders, and heightened security protocols for sensitive infrastructures were all undertaken.  

The possibility of additional Iranian attacks, either directly or through proxies, necessitates a strong defensive posture.

Deterrence Through Strength

The strike on the IRGC commanders in Damascus presented Israel with a strategic opportunity to address the ongoing low-intensity conflict that Iran and Hezbollah were waging in Lebanon. The Damascus attack possibly exposed vulnerabilities in Iran's ability to operate clandestinely along Israel’s northern border.

International Reaction - Calls for De-escalation

Image courtesy of Envato

Israel understands the dangers of escalation and backdoor diplomatic channels may be utilized to de-escalate tensions, establish clear red lines, and prevent a wider conflict.  Israel would likely welcome international pressure on Iran to curb its regional activities and the reimposition of harsh economic sanctions to curb Tehran’s nuclear ambitions.

Any hope for de-escalation will depend on Israel's response and the Iranian reaction. If Jerusalem chooses to regain its deterrence with a limited response, it could end the back-and-forth of missiles and threats of a wider conflict.

If both sides attack and retaliate as a course of escalation, the military action could ignite a wider conflict.  The international community will undoubtedly play a vital role in urging restraint and facilitating dialogue between the two adversaries.

The Future - Uncertain Trajectory

Official statements from Iranian diplomatic channels indicated that their military action against Israel was over. However, Tehran warned that further retaliation would be met with much greater force. The day after the Iranian strikes, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected U.S. President Biden's call for restraint, though no plans to respond to Iran have been made public.

The ball is currently in Israel's court as they weigh how to respond to this attack on their soil. Should each side continue to respond, especially asymmetrically, this entire situation could spiral into a globalized disaster. 

If Israel strikes Iranian military, oil, or nuclear facilities, one possible Iranian response would be to close the Strait of Hormuz. This would lead to a steep and immediate increase in oil prices and uncertainty in the global financial markets.

Hope for the Best, but Prepare for the Worst

History teaches a cautious approach when hoping for Middle East peace. Past events suggest that optimism is a fool’s currency, and it is always prudent to be prepared for less favorable outcomes.

Addressing the events in Israel in a recent speech, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that restraint should be used and warned that Russia would not sit idly should Iran be attacked. While strategic alliances are not uncommon, seeing how different world powers align in this conflict is troubling nonetheless. 

A war between Israel and Iran would undoubtedly destabilize and polarize the entire Middle East. And with the presence of nuclear-capable and nuclear wannabe entities in the region, the stakes remain incredibly high that any action taken by either Israel or Iran could lead to a global conflict. 

Can the US Get Dragged in Large-Scale War with Iran?

U.S. aircraft carrier strike group on active patrol (Image courtesy of the U.S. Navy)

While the U.S. has stated that they will refrain from joining any offensive action against Iran, it remains unclear to what extent they might be involved in any Israeli retaliatory moves. 

The U.S. historically has opted to project its power as the primary means of deterrence, especially in the deployment of carrier strike groups. 

While the U.S. has responded with restraint in past incidents involving attacks on its assets in the region, such as the missile strike on Al-Asad Airbase in Iraq, there is no telling what could happen should its forces in the Middle East be attacked again. 

This could create a precedent where the U.S. and  Israel, sharing strategic and tactical interests, join forces. 

Israel's Recent Pullback from Gaza - Anticipation for Multiple Fronts

Since the beginning of the year, Israel has been pulling most of its forces from the Gaza Strip. This led to speculation that in light of Hezbollah attacks along Israel’s northern frontier and terror incidents in the West Bank, these units were being rotated to different areas in anticipation of the opening of multiple fronts.  

Suppose the current situation with Iran escalates into a full-scale war. In that case, Israel will have to fight on multiple fronts: the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, the Lebanese and Syrian borders, and missile campaigns against Iran and the Houthis in Yemen.

How Can You Prepare for the Possibility of World War Three

While hopes for peace can never be extinguished, it is never a bad idea to be prepared for the possibility of war. Emergency planning and stockpiling essential supplies can make a big difference when CNN Breaking News indicates that a major conflict has erupted.

The Gear to Include in a Wartime Survival Kit

Basic first aid kit (Image courtesy of Envato)

A basic survival kit should include non-perishable food, water purification tablets, filtration devices, first-aid supplies (including extra prescription medicine), a flashlight, self-defense equipment, and a battery-powered radio. 

If you are planning on making a kit for use in a bomb shelter, also include some blankets and covers to help you stay warm.

Do I Need a Gas Mask in My Emergency Kit?

Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) threats are a serious concern in wartime situations–especially when the combatants are believed to possess weapons of mass destruction. Large amounts of dust and other toxic chemicals fill the air, even during conventional artillery and missile strikes.

However, any use of nuclear weapons or dirty devices would release massive amounts of radiation and pose a long-term health risk.

Prepping for Dirty Bombs, Chemical Threats, and Radioactive Fallout

Even though chemical and biological weapons are strictly prohibited and thankfully not in use in many nations' arsenals, rogue actors such as terrorists might resort to dirty bombs, which disperse radioactive materials and are a potential threat. 

However, conventional weaponry wouldn't directly create widespread radioactive contamination.

Equipping yourself with a quality gas mask can provide critical protection for your respiratory system. Mira Safety offers a comprehensive Military Gas Mask & Nuclear Survival Kit.

  • The kit includes a full-face CM-6M Tactical Gas mask and NBC-77 SOF Filter for protection against CBRN threats.
  • Our kit also includes 20 FDA-approved potassium iodine tablets. In the event of a nuclear accident or attack, radioactive iodine can be released into the atmosphere. 
  • Potassium iodide pills help block the uptake of radioactive iodine by your thyroid gland, significantly reducing your risk of developing thyroid cancer.

While a gas mask is essential for any survival kit, especially during wartime, one should not assume that all filters are made equally. Only choose the ones rated for the widest array of threats, offering full CBRN protection to your respiratory system.


Many military observers have concluded that the current tension between Israel and Iran is in its early phase. While the prospect of hearing any news about the outbreak of a world war is a true nightmare scenario, taking proactive steps to prepare yourself and your family can provide peace of mind and greatly improve your resilience should a wartime scenario unfold. 

During a shooting war, even one several thousand away, supplies will be limited and rationed. Start preparing early, have a plan in mind, and stay up-to-date on the ongoing situation. 

We are not about fear but rather being prepared. Our mission remains to help people around the world defend against the worst threats imaginable.

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