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14 Apr, 2024 09:54

Biden told Netanyahu he won’t support retaliation against Iran – Axios

Washington is reportedly worried about a major escalation fraught with “catastrophic consequences”
Biden told Netanyahu he won’t support retaliation against Iran – Axios

US President Joe Biden has told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Washington would not support retaliatory strikes against Iran after the latter launched a barrage of missiles and drones against the Jewish state over the weekend, Axios reported on Sunday. 

According to an unnamed senior White House official cited by the outlet, Biden delivered the warning during a phone call on Saturday between the two leaders. Other US officials also noted that Biden and his administration are “highly concerned” that any tit-for-tat action could trigger a regional war with “catastrophic consequences.”

Given those apprehensions, Biden reportedly told Netanyahu that Israel had essentially prevailed in this clash with Iran and advised him to “take the win.” The Israeli prime minister, meanwhile, said that he understood that any retaliatory action would not be supported by the US, Axios said.

Meanwhile, an unnamed Israeli official told the Times of Israel that the country’s leadership had not yet made a decision about a potential response and that the issue would be discussed at a war cabinet meeting on Sunday afternoon.

Iran launched a powerful attack on Israel over the weekend that involved more than 300 missiles and kamikaze drones, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The strikes came in retaliation for what Iran claims was an Israeli strike on Tehran’s consulate in Damascus, Syria, early this month that left several senior Iranian military officers dead.

The IDF claimed to have shot down 99% of the Iranian drones and missiles, a defensive operation that Israeli officials hailed as a major success.

Tehran, however, struck a different tone, with its officials insisting that the barrage had “more success than expected” and claiming that two Israeli bases had been destroyed. Israel has acknowledged only minor damage to one military facility.

The chief of staff of Iran’s Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, has signaled that his country had no intention of continuing the operation, and that it was intended as a “punishment” for Israel. He warned West Jerusalem of a “much more extensive” response if it decided to launch a counterattack.

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