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Italy’s minister estimates Israeli capability to defend from Iranian attack at one billion

Guido Crosetto didn’t specify whether the currency he meant was dollars or euros

ROME, April 16. / TASS/. Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto said the Israeli capability to defend itself from the recent Iranian attack costs one billion.

He didn’t specify whether the currency he meant was dollars or euros.

"The defense against Iranian drones and missiles cost Tel Aviv almost a billion," the minister said at a joint meeting of foreign affairs and defense committees from both houses of the parliament. "It shows, first of all, how important it is to have a reliable air defense, and that it can only be developed in alliances and requires significant investment."

He also highlighted that NATO was not involved in Israel's defense, and assistance to Israel was provided by some countries on a bilateral basis.

"They were such countries that have bases in the region, including France, which scrambled its planes from a base in Jordan, to protect it, among other things, because the targets were not immediately clear," Crosetto said.

French President Emmanuel Macron earlier said the French military helped intercept Iranian missiles at Jordan's request.

On the evening of April 13, Iran launched dozens of drones and missiles toward Israel in response to what it called "repeated crimes" by Tel Aviv, including the attack on the consular office of the Iranian Embassy in Damascus, for which it blamed Israel. Iranian government-owned news media reported that the strikes on Israel targeted military sites. The Israel Defense Forces said it intercepted 99% of the nearly 300 projectiles that were launched toward the country. Israel did not report any fatalities or serious injuries, saying only that minor damage had been caused to Nevatim Air Base.