Watch CBS News

What Iran launched at Israel in its unprecedented attack, and what made it through the air defenses

Israel will respond to Iran attack, officials say
Israel will respond to attack from Iran, officials say 02:22

Iran launched an unprecedented retaliatory attack on Israel over the weekend that included hundreds of missiles and drones launched primarily from its own soil, but also by Iran-backed groups in several other countries. Virtually everything fired at Israel was intercepted before entering the country's territory, according to the Israel Defense Forces, which reported "very little damage" from the attack.

A 7-year-old girl who was severely injured by shrapnel was the only known casualty in the attack. The child, from a Bedouin village in Israel's southern Negev desert, was still fighting for her life on Monday.

Iran's assault was designed to saturate Israeli and U.S. air defenses with drones and cruise missiles and clear the way for Iran's ballistic missiles, two U.S. officials told CBS News national security correspondent David Martin. It took several hours for the drones and missiles to travel toward Israel, and alerts began to sound across the country at about 2 a.m. local time on Sunday (7p.m. Eastern on Saturday).

The IDF said 170 drones were fired at Israel from Iran, and Israeli Air Force jets shot down dozens of them. U.S. aircraft operating from bases in Saudi Arabia and Jordan shot down between 70 and 80 of the drones, Martin reported.

Shahed 131/136 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) are purportedly shown in this image shared by Iranian state news agency, IRNA. IRNA

Iran's state news agency, IRNA, said its domestically built Shahed 131 and 136 drones were used in the attack, the larger of which have a range of around 1,200 miles.

Kheibar Shekan ballistic missiles and Emad ballistic missiles were also used in the attack, according to IRNA. Kheibar Shekan missiles, unveiled in 2022, are one of Iran's most modern ballistic missiles, IRNA said, and the Emad missiles can carry a payload of 1,600 pounds. The state news agency said the cruise missiles used in the attack were Paveh missiles, which it said were capable of attacking targets from multiple directions by taking varied paths.

The IDF said none of the 170 drones launched by Iran crossed into Israeli territory, nor did any of the more than 30 cruise missiles fired by the Islamic republic.

Of 120 ballistic missiles fired at Israel from Iran, the U.S. officials told CBS News only five got through Israeli and U.S. air defenses and hit Israeli territory. One U.S. official told CBS News that roughly half of the ballistic missiles failed on launch or crashed in flight.

Iran missile and drone attack on Israel
Israeli air defenses launch to intercept missiles fired from Iran, in central Israel, April 14, 2024. Tomer Neuberg/AP

Four missiles did hit Israel's Nevatim Air Base, where Israeli F-35s are based, the U.S. officials said, adding that the base was likely Iran's primary target, as it is believed to have been an Israeli F-35 that carried out a deadly strike on an Iranian consulate in Syria's capital on April 1. Iran's weekend attack was its promised retaliation for that Israeli strike in Damascus, which killed seven officers from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including two generals.

One of the missiles hit near the base's runway, while two landed in open areas and "one more hit near a building, causing minor damage," IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said on Monday, adding that the building was still under construction. 

"All this damage will be repaired in the coming days," Hagari said. "This base is operating around the clock, it functioned during Operation 'Iron Shield' and today as well, from this base, aircraft took off to protect the skies of the State of Israel."

Another ballistic missile appeared to have been aimed at a radar site in northern Israel, but it missed its target, the U.S. officials told Martin.

The IDF said several other launches were made from Yemen and Iraq, but none of those weapons  crossed into Israeli territory. Dozens of rockets were also fired from Lebanon toward northern Israel early Sunday morning, and Israel carried out airstrikes against Hezbollah targets across Lebanon.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.