Pentagon Chief Trolls Iran On Effectiveness Of Weapons After Israel Attack

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday weighed in on the April 13 Iranian attack on Israel, which was the Islamic Republic’s first-ever direct attack on the Jewish state.

It included some 300 drones and missiles launched at Israel – the vast majority of which were intercepted by Israeli anti-air defenses, but also with US and Western help, and the deployment of warplanes which shot inbound drones out of the sky. Austin in a press briefing appeared to mock the Iranian attack as weak and ineffective. This comes following Tehran officials deriding Israel’s apparent ‘limited’ retaliation which came on April 19.

“They should be questioning the effectiveness of their weapons systems and their planning,” Austin told reporters in reference to the Iranians and their military.

“Hopefully they don’t walk away from this over-confident that they can do this at will, because I think Israel has demonstrated that it has a significant ability to defend itself,” Austin added.

While it’s clear that some of Iran’s ballistic missiles did hit a couple of Israeli airbases in the central and south of the country, many more were intercepted or fell harmlessly in the desert.

A fresh report in Jerusalem Post notes that people are still randomly finding nearly intact missiles in the Negev desert:

…the missiles launched towards Nevatim and other targets in the Negev fell in the South but far from the targets they were aimed at. When they are lying in the Negev devoid of the warheads, they are just metal scraps, which the IDF slowly collects for research and analysis of the enemy’s capabilities.

Travelers who were walking in the Arad area of the Judean desert, enjoying the starry night, were surprised to find themselves standing next to a ballistic missile, a remnant of the major attack that Tehran launched against Israel, which included more than 300 suicide drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles.

This is not the first missile discovered in the south since the attack. Similar missiles were discovered nearby in the Dead Sea area immediately after.

A man stands next to the apparent remains of a ballistic missile, as it lies in the desert near the Dead Sea, following a massive missile and drone attack by Iran on Israel, in southern Israel April 21, 2024

Despite Austin’s criticisms and mockery aimed at Tehran, the Biden administration is breathing a sigh of relief that the whole thing ended in a one-off tit-for-tat which subsided after each side got its strikes in, and not runaway escalation leading to major war. Both sides telegraphed their responses and limited them, in order to ensure the likelihood of avoiding a bigger regional war.


Zero Hedges

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