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14 Apr, 2024 06:25

US worried about possible Israeli counterattack on Iran – NBC

Privately, President Joe Biden is concerned West Jerusalem is attempting to pull his country into a wider conflict
US worried about possible Israeli counterattack on Iran – NBC

Israel's response to Iran’s recent drone strikes could prove reckless and escalatory, officials in Washington have told NBC news on condition of anonymity, the outlet reported on Sunday.

Iran launched several waves of drone and missile attacks against Israel on Saturday and Sunday, in response to an airstrike that damaged Iran’s embassy in Damascus, Syria and killed seven military personnel – including two generals – earlier this month. While Israel has refrained from commenting on the bombing, Tehran has accused West Jerusalem of conducting an extraterritorial assassination and attacking their embassy.

Some US officials privately indicated exasperation with Israel’s decision to strike the Iranian consular building in Syria, NBC claimed, citing senior Pentagon officials as calling the strike potentially “catastrophically escalatory.”

Others in the White House have expressed concerns about Israel’s future response to the Iranian attack, given both West Jerusalem’s hardline approach in its conflict with Hamas and the airstrike on the embassy in Damascus, NBC News reports. President Joe Biden has privately expressed concern that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to pull the US into a broader conflict in the Middle East, three people familiar with the comments told the news channel.

Another senior administration official said that while the White House does not believe Israel is looking for a direct war with Iran, they cannot be certain of West Jerusalem’s motives. 

“I don’t think they had a strategy... the Israelis don’t always make the best strategic decisions,” an anonymous senior official told NBC.

Some media reports that followed the bombing of Tehran’s diplomatic compound in Damascus claimed that West Jerusalem was preparing to strike Iranian nuclear facilities in the event of a direct Iranian attack on Israel. 

According to a Western security official, the Israeli Air Force has been training for long range strikes into sensitive areas of Iran which may be linked to the country’s nuclear program, London-based Arabic outlet Elaph wrote on Tuesday.

Israel is prepared for any scenario, “both in defense and offense,” Netanyahu stated on Saturday. “Whoever hurts us, we will hurt them,” he said.