The U.S. military shot down dozens of missiles and drones Saturday that were fired at Israel from Iran and its proxy forces in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Iran launched its first-ever direct assault on Israel Saturday, less than two weeks after a suspected Israeli strike in Syria killed two Iranian generals in an Iranian consular building.

An Israeli military spokesman said Sunday that Iran and its proxies had fired more than 300 ballistic missiles, drones and cruise missiles at Israel, but that 99 percent of them were intercepted.

“At my direction, to support the defense of Israel, the U.S. military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week,” President Joe Biden said in a statement late Saturday. “Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles.”

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in a statement said the U.S. took out dozens of the attacks but did not provide details on ships or aircraft involved in the operation that commanders had been preparing for over the past two weeks.

“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,” Austin said. “We do not seek conflict with Iran, but we will not hesitate to act to protect our forces and support the defense of Israel.”

With regional tensions at their highest since the Israel-Hamas war began six months ago, Biden pledged on Saturday that American support for Israel’s defense against attacks by Iran and its proxies is “ironclad.” The attack marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel, risking a wider regional conflict.

Biden made clear in a call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the U.S. would not participate in any offensive action against Iran, according to a senior administration official who was not authorized to publicly discuss the private conversation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Geoff is the editor of Navy Times, but he still loves writing stories. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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