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How and why is Israel trying to downplay havoc wreaked by Iranian missiles

By Ivan Kesic

In the early hours of April 14, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) carried out the retaliatory ‘Operation True Promise’, which targeted military sites in the occupied territories with drones and missiles, the success of which the Zionist regime has sought to downplay.

The multi-pronged and hugely successful operation was carried out in retaliation for an attack by Israel on Iran's diplomatic premises in the Syrian capital of Damascus on April 1.

The Israeli missile attack on Iran’s diplomatic facilities in Syria resulted in the martyrdom of Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a commander of the IRGC’s Quds Force, his deputy, General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, and five other IRGC officers.

The attack, which was in breach of international law and the Vienna Conventions, drew categorical condemnation from senior Iranian political and military leaders, who vowed "definitive revenge."

The unprecedented operation ended Iran's strategic patience and half a century of inviolability of the Israeli regime, as Tehran sent a message that it would respond directly to any hostile move.

Commentators from different sides of the political spectrum are unanimous in their assessment that through the operation Iran achieved strategic deterrence over the Tel Aviv regime and its backers.

But the Israeli regime officials and their media have been desperate to downplay the efficacy of Iranian ballistic missiles and the havoc they wreaked in the occupied territories.

What did Israeli regime and media claim?

Israeli regime's military sources, through their media outlets, have claimed that between 300 and 350 drones and missiles were launched by Iran and its allies, including approximately 170 drones, 30 cruise missiles and 120 ballistic missiles, of which only a few went through.

They published footage with the accompanying description "This is what a 99 percent interception rate looks like" in which the jets used air-to-air missiles to destroy a maximum of four Shahed-136 drones and two cruise missiles of an unknown model.

In another published footage, an F-35I Adir fighter jet returns to the Nevatim Air Base after allegedly successfully defending the regime's airspace, thus suggesting a successful interception operation and little or no damage on the air base.

They also tried to support the claims with photographs of extremely questionable credibility that show alleged craters from the impact of Iranian ballistic missiles.

Later that day, it was revealed that the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Jordan and some other countries were assisting the Israeli regime in intercepting Iranian missiles.

Speaking to ABC News, a senior US official said at least nine Iranian missiles bypassed Israeli air defenses and hit two of their air bases, five at Nevatim and four at Ramona, damaging a runway, buildings and a C-130 transport aircraft.

Israeli officials later denied that a C-130 aircraft was damaged and claimed that the damage in the two air bases was minor, that there were no human casualties and that only one girl was injured.

The day after the attack, three unnamed US officials claimed that roughly 50 percent of the ballistic missiles that Iran fired at Israel either failed to launch or crashed.

The Western mainstream media unanimously accepted the Israeli interpretation of the event, as well as the ludicrous claim about "99 percent interception," without any critique.

What does the available evidence suggest?

The Iranian military operation, which came two weeks after the consulate attack, was not shrouded in secrecy. It was announced days before by political and military officials, and the United States was reportedly also informed about the day of the attack through diplomatic channels, 72 hours earlier.

Besides, all leading Iranian media outlets, including Press TV, reported that Iran launched a barrage of drones at the occupied territories hours before they reached their intended target.

Iranian military sources at first did not announce the precise types and quantity of weapons launched, mostly stating that they were "dozens" of drones and missiles.

One local news agency published information about 500 drones launched during the attack, although not referring to domestic military sources but to a foreign news network.

This claim was pleasurable at the time and served the purpose of causing panic as it sent millions of Israeli settlers and regime officials into underground shelters and safe houses.

Later, the IRGC released three pieces of footage showing the launch of at least 20 ballistic missiles, 20 cruise missiles and a dozen drones.

Private footage recorded in Iraq showed only a single drone and a cruise missile, so there was no independent visual evidence of initially reported huge ballistic volleys or drone swarms.

Despite Israeli attempts at censorship, leaked footage from the occupied territories showed numerous powerful explosions of heavy warheads, apparently caused by Iranian quasi-ballistic or hypersonic missiles.

Only in the case of one air base in the Negev, either Nevatim or Ramon, at least four films from different angles showed that at least five Iranian missiles smashed the intended target within 11 seconds.

Satellite images of two large air bases established that the missiles were not fired randomly, but buildings and infrastructure were hit with pinpoint accuracy.

An informed source told Press TV that the occupied territories were targeted with hypersonic missiles and that none was intercepted, without specifying whether it was the newly unveiled Fattah missile.

Other Iranian media outlets reported that the weapon in question was actually the Kheibar Shekan, a maneuverable missile that has a hypersonic final stage.

Major General Mohammad Baqeri, the chief of staff of the Iranian armed forces, said Iran hit a large Israeli intelligence base and Nevatim Airbase in the occupied lands, adding that the strikes "reached its goals" as the regime's air defense failed to engage it properly.

What makes claim of Israeli regime and media ludicrous?

Israel's claims of extremely successful interception of drones and missiles are debunked by verified numbers, contradictory official reports, attempts of censorship, falsification of evidence, various other manipulations, and the regime's furious reactions.

First of all, the claims of 300-350 enemy targets and 99 percent downing, including all drones and cruise missiles, imply that three ballistic missiles hit the intended targets, which is untrue as at least nine such successful hits have been verified.

The true extent of the damage cannot be determined because the Israeli regime has made enormous efforts to censor private footage and photos, openly threatening settlers not to post them online.

Although they initially claimed that not a single hostile drone or cruise missile had reached the occupied territories, later the regime's media in Hebrew acknowledged the damage caused by drones in the vicinity of the Hermon Base.

There were also serious reports from neighboring countries that the sites on the Golan Heights were severely hit, presumably by low-flying drones and cruise missiles, since there were no ballistic traces in the sky.

The very purpose of the drones was not to cause significant damage, but to arrive at the target in coordination with salvos of cruise and ballistic missiles and then, together with hostile interceptor jets and missiles, overload the enemy radars.

There is nothing to support the Israeli figures of "hundreds" of enemy targets, as there are no Iranian statements or independent confirmations, only Iranian footage of 50 different launches and Israeli footage of a handful being shot down.

Israeli long-range anti-ballistic systems such as Arrow and David's Sling operate at a range of tens or hundreds of kilometers and very high altitudes. In other words, above Jordan, Syria and Iraq.

If Israel's claims of 120 ballistic missiles and 99 percent interceptions were true, there should have been more than a hundred widely visible intercept explosion traces over the skies of those three countries, but not a single one was recorded.

Considering also at least 20 verified launches and at least 9 successful hits, all the evidence supports Iran's official claims that the majority of missiles successfully completed their mission and that Israeli air defense systems completely failed.


Why didn’t Israel present evidence of interception?

In contrast to the meager evidence of shooting down drones and cruise missiles, Israeli military sources did not publish any technical evidence of intercepting ballistic missiles but instead tried to use at least three deceptions.

Some of their media tried to present the early stages of Iranian multi-stage missiles as "failures," even though they were visibly perfectly intact, which excludes the possibility of either a malfunction explosion or interception demolition.

They also published photos of a supposed impact crater in the Negev desert, suggesting that no important target was hit, although the shape and plants at the edges testify that there was no explosion and that it was a theatrically dug hole.

Iran's statements about "successful hits" were dramatically misinterpreted as the claims of "complete destruction" of the air base, and the morning footage of the F-35 landing at the Nevatim Air Base was supposed to refute their own distortion.

The panic-stricken moves of the Israeli regime and the settler population before the operation also showed that they did not have too much confidence in their air defense systems.

For two weeks, there was a mass panic, stores were empty of supplies, schools were closed and shelters were full, and three Western powers were called to help militarily.

Later, after the Iranian strike was carried out, the Israeli regime asked the world to impose international sanctions on Iran's "99 percent unsuccessful" missile program.

False data on effectiveness is currently providing the Israeli regime with an excuse not to respond against Iran, and for the same reasons, the data is frenetically accepted by the media of Western countries, not satisfied with the possible escalation in the region.

Last summer, Press TV published an analysis of the mythological "over 90 percent success rate" of Israel's air defense systems, arguing that it was done for planned lucrative exports and psychological calming of its own settler population.

The genocidal war against Gaza, from which thousands of missiles were fired in retaliatory attacks, as well as the recent humiliation of land-based and naval air defense systems by a drone attack on the Eilat Naval Base, prove that the effectiveness is actually low.

Today, after the proven vulnerability of short-range systems like Iron Dome, the successful Iranian missile attack on the theoretically best-guarded air bases embarrassed both Israeli and American long-range air defense systems.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

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