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G7 leaders to meet over Iran attack on Israel

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G7 leaders will hold a videoconference Sunday afternoon to coordinate a united response to Iran’s attack on Israel, which threatens to spark an escalation in the fighting in the Middle East.

Italy, current holder of the G7 presidency, will convene the meeting in the early afternoon, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni said in a statement on X.

Meloni, along with other international leaders, condemned the Iranian attack on Israel late Saturday. Tehran launched a barrage of ballistic missiles and drones against targets in Israel, in a move that increased fears of a broader conflict in the region. Iran had threatened to retaliate against a deadly Israeli strike on its consulate in Syria.

U.S. President Joe Biden called it “an unprecedented air attack against military facilities in Israel.” He added that G7 leaders will “coordinate a united diplomatic response to Iran’s brazen attack.” U.S. officials “will stay in close touch with Israel’s leaders,” he added. 

Iran launched more than 300 missiles and drones against Israel, but 99 percent of them were intercepted, the Israeli military said. Biden said American forces helped Israel down “nearly all” the drones and missiles.

The region had been on high alert for a possible retaliatory attack from Iran after an Israeli strike killed a senior Iranian officer at an embassy in Syria. Biden noted that “the U.S. military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defense destroyers to the region over the course of the past week” in anticipation of an attack.

The Israeli government has called for an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

Hannah Roberts contributed reporting.

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