The US anticipates an Iranian attack against Israel, but does not expect involvement in the war

2024-04-12 18:09:56Kosova&Bota SHKRUAR NGA REDAKSIA VOX
The US anticipates an Iranian attack against Israel, but does not expect involvement in the war

The United States expects Iran to launch an attack against Israel, but not of a scale to draw Washington into war, a US official said late Thursday.

The White House said earlier that Washington did not want the conflict to spread to the Middle East and that the United States had told Iran it was not involved in an airstrike against a top Iranian military commander in Damascus. The White House said it had warned Iran not to use the Damascus attack as a reason to further escalate the situation in the region.

Israel is continuing the war in Gaza but is also preparing for scenarios in other areas, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday, amid concerns that Iran was preparing to strike Israel in response to the killing of top Iranian commanders.

"Whoever harms us, we will harm them. We are prepared to meet all the security needs of the State of Israel, both defensively and offensively," Mr Netanyahu said in comments released by his office after a visit to Tel Nof Air Force Base in south of Israel.

Fighter jets, suspected to be Israeli, bombed the Iranian embassy in Damascus on Monday. Iran has vowed to retaliate against the attack that killed a top general and six Iranian army officers. The attack has further increased tensions in the region troubled by the war in Gaza. Israel has not said it was responsible for the attack, but Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that Israel "must and will be punished" for the attack.

Iranian sources told the Reuters news agency that Tehran has signaled to Washington that it will retaliate against the Israeli attack on its embassy in Syria in a way that aims to avoid high-scale escalation and will not act hastily, as Tehran has put forward demands, including a cease-fire in Gaza.

Israeli military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said the civilian population had not been asked to make any special preparations, but added that Israel was "very prepared for a variety of scenarios."

The United States has been on high alert over the possibility of possible retaliatory strikes by Iran as Washington's envoys try to defuse tensions.

Palestinian Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking more than 200 hostages, according to Israeli data. Israel responded militarily to Hamas-ruled Gaza, where more than 33,000 Palestinians have been killed, according to the local health ministry. The fighting has displaced nearly all of Gaza's 2.3 million population, sparking a humanitarian crisis and accusations of genocide, which Israel denies.

Iranian-backed groups have declared support for the Palestinians, launching attacks from Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq. Tehran has avoided direct confrontation with Israel and the United States, while declaring support for its allies.