May 22, 2024
U.S. Central Command confirmed Sunday that U.S. military forces took out at least 80 Iranian drones and six ballistic missiles launched at Israel on Saturday.

U.S. military forces destroyed over 80 Iranian drones and at least six ballistic missiles launched at Israel from Yemen and Iran on Saturday. 

U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement that U.S. European Command destroyers supported U.S. forces while they engaged and destroyed more than 80 one-way attack uncrewed aerial vehicles (OWA UAV) and at least six ballistic missiles.

“This includes a ballistic missile on its launcher vehicle and seven UAVs destroyed on the ground in Iranian-backed Houthi controlled areas of Yemen prior to their launch,” the statement read. “Iran’s continued unprecedented, malign, and reckless behavior endangers regional stability and the safety of U.S. and coalition forces.

“CENTCOM remains postured to support Israel’s defense against these dangerous actions by Iran. We will continue to work with all our regional partners to increase regional security,” CENTCOM added.

IRAN CLAIMS TO FOLLOW DRONE LAUNCH AT ISRAEL WITH BALLISTIC MISSILE BARRAGE

Missiles flying toward Israel

An anti-missile system operates after Iran launched drones and missiles towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel April 14, 2024. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

On Saturday, Iran launched over 300 missiles and drones at Israel from its own territory. 

Israel claims the attack was largely thwarted by its sophisticated defense system and with the help of allies in the region.

On Sunday, President Biden commended members of the 494th and 335th fighter squadrons while speaking with them over the phone.

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“Hey, you guys are the best in the whole damn world, man. The whole world,” Biden told the squadrons. “That’s not hyperbole, man. Both these squadrons. You’re incredible. Absolutely incredible. You made an enormous difference, potentially saving a lot of lives.”

Lieutenant Colonel Curtis Culver, commander of the 494th Fighter squadron, thanked the president for his words, adding he and the other members of the squadron were “mighty proud” to have contributed to the efforts.

“You’re just incredible,” Biden said. “I just, I apologize for my enthusiasm. I’m supposed to be much more reserved.”
“Not at all, sir,” Lt. Culver said. “Proud to be an American.”

Biden then told Lt. Culver and other members of the fighter squadrons they make him proud to be an American.

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“I’m not just saying it,” Biden said. “I swear to God. You’re incredible.”