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US forces helped thwart Iranian assault on Israel by shooting down 80 drones, 6 missiles

Iran’s strike package was designed to succeed by overwhelming air defenses

A US Air Force B-1B Lancer flies over the Persian Gulf on a presence patrol above the U.S. Central Command’s area of responsibility. Oct. 30, 2021 (Photo credit: USAF/ / via Reuters).

U.S. forces shot down some 80 drones and at least six ballistic missiles to assist Israel in thwarting the Iranian attack early on Sunday morning, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) announced.

“This includes a ballistic missile on its launcher vehicle and seven UAVs destroyed on the ground in Iranian-backed Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen prior to their launch,” the statement read.

“Iran's continued unprecedented, malign, and reckless behavior endangers regional stability and the safety of U.S. and coalition forces. CENTCOM remains postured to support Israel’s defense against these dangerous actions by Iran. We will continue to work with all our regional partners to increase regional security.”

Along with U.S. forces, British and Jordanian fighter jets helped the Israeli Air Force (IAF) shoot down around 99% of the roughly 350 Iranian projectiles before they even entered Israeli airspace.

The Iranian attack was among the largest in history and was modeled after some of the recent Russian air assaults against Ukraine, which also used Iranian Shahed drones in combination with cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.

On the first day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022, it launched an estimated 160-200 missiles, according to the Wall Street Journal. Another Russian barrage later that year targeted Ukrainian infrastructure with 84 missiles and 24 drones.

According to a recent report by the Institute for the Study of War, the Iranian attack was intended to distract and overwhelm Israeli air defense systems with slow-moving drones and cruise missiles, opening a window for the ballistic missiles to slip through and hit their targets.

The report suggested that the Iranian military likely didn’t expect most of the cruise missiles and drones to hit their targets but were disappointed that almost none of the ballistic missiles penetrated the air defenses.

Although the Islamic regime anticipated that Israel would achieve a higher interception rate than Ukraine, which averaged around 46% during recent larger strikes, it likely did not foresee an interception rate as high as 99%.

The only projectiles that hit their targets were five ballistic missiles that damaged the main runway, a C-130 transport aircraft, and several storage facilities at Israel's Nevatim Airbase, a U.S. source told ABC News.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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