The US has announced "ironclad" support for Israel as Iran launched scores of drones and cruise missiles against Israel in retaliation for the the bombing of one of its diplomatic facilities in Damascus earlier this month.

US President Joe Biden cut short his weekend retreat at his beachfront home in Delaware to head back to the White House as Iranian drones were on their way. He had an hour-long meeting with his national security team that included Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, CIA Director William Burns and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.

"Iran has begun an airborne attack against Israel. President Biden is being regularly updated on the situation by his national security team and will meet with them this afternoon at the White House," said National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson on Saturday.

"His team is in constant communication with Israeli officials as well as other partners and allies. This attack is likely to unfold over a number of hours. President Biden has been clear: our support for Israel's security is ironclad. The US will stand with the people of Israel and support their defence against these threats from Iran."

The Iranian attack, said to be coming in waves of drones, is in retaliation for the Israeli bombing of a building in Damascus that housed senior officials of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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