An anti-missile system operates after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel April 14, 2024. 

Amir Cohen | Reuters

Iran rained a deluge of drones and missiles on Israel on Saturday night in response to a suspected Israeli strike that killed top Iranian officials in Syria, in a deep escalation of Middle East tensions.

Israel said it identified 300 “threats of various types” and eliminated “99%” of those bound for Israeli soil, according to an update from an Israel Defense Forces spokesperson, Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari. He said a 10-year-old girl was “severely injured by shrapnel” but reported no additional casualties, adding that “several launches” were also made toward Israel from Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon.  

Last night marked the first instance of a direct attack on Israel from Iranian territory. Iran-backed factions – such as Palestinian militant group Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah, Yemeni Houthi and Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian administration – have engaged militarily with the Jewish state.  

Earlier on Saturday, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards had seized a cargo ship in the Strait of Hormuz, claiming a connection to Israel.

Demonstrators wave Iran’s flag and a Palestinian flag as they gather at Palestine Square in Tehran on April 14, 2024, after Iran launched a drone and missile attack on Israel. 

Atta Kenare | Afp | Getty Images

Iran’s chief of staff of the armed forces, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, said that Tehran’s operation had now concluded and would involve no further actions, in comments carried by Iran’s state-owned Islamic Republic News Agency.

“At this juncture, the Islamic Republic of Iran has no intention of continuing defensive operations, but if necessary, it will not hesitate to protect its legitimate interests against any new aggression,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said on social media on Sunday, according to a Google translation.

Israel and Iran have been on the cusp of direct conflict since the start of Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip, which came in response to Hamas’ terror attack of Oct. 7. Iran vowed revenge after a suspected Israeli strike on an Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, on April 1, which killed several top Iranian military commanders.

“We will not be able to comment on the claims regarding a strike in Damascus,” an Israeli foreign ministry spokesperson told CNBC by email, adding, “Iran’s attack on Israel on the night of April 14th is a direct attack on a sovereign nation, its use of proxies for the last decades and the destabilizing effect of the Ayatollah regime in the region and beyond must end.”

The Israel’s war cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd L), meeting is held to discuss the drone attack launched by Iran in Tel Aviv, Israel on April 14, 2024. 

Israeli Ministry of Defense | Anadolu | Getty Images

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.N., Gilad Erdan, has also called an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council and “demanded that they condemn Iran’s attack on Israel and designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terror organization.”

The European Union has blasted Tehran’s offensive: “The EU strongly condemns the unacceptable Iranian attack against Israel,” EU High Representative Josep Borrell said late Saturday on social media. “This is an unprecedented escalation and a grave threat to regional security.”

‘Brazen attack’

A Marine stands outside the West Wing of the White House as U.S. President Joe Biden meets with members of his national security team after Iran said it launched dozens of attack drones at Israel earlier this afternoon, in Washington, U.S., April 13, 2024. 

Bonnie Cash | Reuters

“While we have not seen attacks on our forces or facilities today, we will remain vigilant to all threats and will not hesitate to take all necessary action to protect our people,” he added.

Relations between stalwart allies Washington and Israel had appeared to slightly chill in recent weeks, with Biden warning further support would hinge on Israel taking steps to protect civilians and humanitarian aid workers in the Gaza enclave.

But the U.S. – alongside the U.K. and France, according to Israeli military – intervened to mitigate last night’s Iranian attack and the assault could reignite urgency to pass a key $95 billion bill including funding for Israel and Ukraine, which has passed the Senate but stagnated on Republican opposition in the U.S. House of Representatives.

“In light of Iran’s unjustified attack on Israel, the House will move from its previously announced legislative schedule next week to instead consider legislation that supports our ally Israel and holds Iran and its terrorist proxies accountable,” said House leader Steve Scalise on social media.

“Congress must also do its part. The national security supplemental that has waited months for action will provide critical resources to Israel and our own military forces in the region,” Mitch McConnell, Senate Republican leader, said in a statement. “We cannot hope to deter conflict without demonstrating resolve and investing seriously in American strength.”


Oil futures prices are in focus after intermittently swelling in recent months on trade disruptions and delays caused by Red Sea maritime attacks from Yemen’s Houthi, who claim solidarity with the Palestinian people.

People walk past graffiti depicting a Houthi fighter stopping an Israeli ship off the coast of Yemen, painted on a wall of the Saudi embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, on Feb. 15, 2024.

Khaled Abdullah | Reuters

Iran is also home to vast oil resources, which it has been largely routing toward China since the U.S. reimposed sanctions during Donald Trump’s administration.

The Iranian currency fell to a record low of 705,000 rials / USD on the unofficial market around 10:30 a.m. local time on Sunday, according to data from foreign exchange monitoring site Bonbast.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange’s flagship index, the TA-35, was down 0.38% at 10:23 a.m. London time.

In aviation, several airlines grounded or diverted service through the Middle East, following the Iranian attack. Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon have reopened their airspaces after brief closures on Saturday in the wake of the offensive, Reuters reports.

CNBC’s Emma Graham contributed to this report


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