Iran launched over 300 missiles and explosive drones toward Israel from Saturday evening to the following morning in a retaliatory strike following a recent deadly attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria.

It marks the first time Iran has directly launched an attack on Israeli territory. An Israeli military spokesman said 170 drones, 30 cruise missiles and 120 ballistic missiles were launched from Iran and that 99 percent of them were intercepted.

Light damage was caused to a military base in southern Israel, according to the spokesman, while a girl suffered an injury.

Addressing his country's citizens, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a post on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, "Together we will overcome all of our enemies," while Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said, "The campaign is not yet over."

Israel's Iron Dome defense system launches interceptor missiles from central Israel on April 14, 2024, to destroy missiles fired by Iran. (AP/Kyodo)

A senior Israeli government official said the country will retaliate, according to a local television report.

Since Hamas carried out a surprise attack in southern Israel on Oct. 7 last year, the security situation in the Middle East has sharply deteriorated, triggering the ongoing Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip that local health officials say has left more than 33,000 people dead.

The latest escalation comes after Iran vowed to retaliate against Israel for its bombing of the Iranian embassy complex's consular section in Damascus on April 1. The strike killed seven Iranian officers, including a top commander of the Revolutionary Guards.

The attack has triggered strong opposition from world leaders. U.S. President Joe Biden blamed Iran and "its proxies operating out of Yemen, Syria and Iraq," saying in a statement, "I condemn these attacks in the strongest possible terms."

U.S. forces helped Israel "take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles," he said, adding he has talked with Netanyahu over the phone "to reaffirm America's ironclad commitment to the security of Israel."

Israel's war cabinet holds a meeting in Tel Aviv on April 14, 2024. (Israeli Government Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty/Kyodo)

Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri reportedly said that Iran has no intention of continuing its attack on Israel.

Biden told Netanyahu that Washington will oppose any Israeli counterattack against Iran, U.S. news website Axios reported, citing a senior White House official.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said in a statement that the attack has "taught a lesson" to Israel. He warned Israel and the United States to refrain from retaliation, saying that if Israel or its supporters "show perverse behavior, they will receive a decisive and far more violent response."

Italy, which holds the presidency of the Group of Seven advanced economies this year, said that Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni will host a virtual meeting with the leaders of the framework's member states on Sunday to discuss their response to the attack.

In Tokyo, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told reporters that Japan "strongly condemns" Iran's attack on Israel and considers the move an escalation that will further destabilize the Middle East.

U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on X, "I call for an immediate cessation of these hostilities. Neither the region nor the world can afford another war."

The U.N. Security Council will also hold an emergency meeting on Sunday to discuss the issue.

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