The US anticipates that Iran will conduct strikes on multiple targets within Israel in the coming days and is prepared to assist in intercepting any weapons launched at its ally, according to sources briefed by CNN. The Biden administration is on heightened alert, anticipating a potentially volatile and unpredictable situation in the Middle East. President Biden recently warned that Iran’s attacks could happen sooner rather than later, reiterating a firm message to Tehran: “Don’t.” A state-on-state conflict between Iran and Israel would represent a significant escalation in the region, something the US has sought to avoid since the Israel-Hamas war began in October. Concerningly, US intelligence indicates that Iranian proxies may also be involved in these upcoming attacks, with targets expected both inside Israel and across the region. The US stands ready to cooperate closely with Israel in intercepting any threats. Recent observations of Iran’s military movements, including the positioning of drones and cruise missiles internally, suggest preparations for attacks on Israeli targets from within Iranian territory. However, it remains unclear whether Iran’s actions signify an imminent offensive or a strategic maneuver to deter potential counterattacks. President Biden has reaffirmed the US’s commitment to Israel’s security, emphasizing ongoing support and assistance in defense. Despite recent tensions and escalations, the White House underscores a real and credible threat of Iran launching strikes, particularly following Israel’s recent attack on an Iranian diplomatic compound in which caused the demise of three Iranian generals in Syria.Top of Form

This week, President Biden issued a warning about Iran’s perceived threat of a “significant attack” on Israel, prompting his continuous receipt of updates from his national security team. As tension mounts, the US, along with Britain and France, has issued new travel advisories for government employees in Israel due to the looming Iranian threat. John Kirby, the National Security Council spokesman, emphasized the close monitoring of the situation but refrained from disclosing the anticipated timing of the threat. Meanwhile, US Navy forces stationed in the Red Sea have intercepted long-range missiles targeting Israel launched by the Houthis in Yemen in the past. Furthermore, depending on where the drones or rockets are launched from, US forces in Syria and Iraq are prepared to intercept any missiles or drones headed towards northern Israel.. To fortify regional deterrence efforts and enhance force protection for US troops, the Defense Department is deploying additional assets to the Middle East, in anticipation of a potential Iranian attack. Specifically, efforts are underway to bolster air defenses for US troops stationed in Iraq and Syria, who have faced over 100 attacks by Iran-backed proxy forces between October and February. Although the US does not foresee direct attacks on its forces by Iran or its proxies, precautionary measures are being taken. John Kirby stressed the importance of assessing the US’s regional posture to ensure adequate preparedness. CNN reported last week that the US is on high alert and actively preparing for potential attacks by Iran targeting assets belonging to Israel or America in the region, with officials suggesting that such an attack could occur within the week.

Iran is reportedly cautious of a sharp escalation.

As per two individuals acquainted with US intelligence, Tehran is cautious of a significant escalation in conflict, aiming to avoid providing the US or its allies with grounds for a direct attack on Iran. While Iran and its proxy militia groups don’t seem ready to target US troops or assets in the region, the sources noted Iran’s imperfect command over all its proxies, leaving the possibility of such attacks open. These sources revealed to CNN that US intelligence indicates Iran has prompted several proxy militia groups to orchestrate a coordinated assault on Israel, employing drones and missiles, potentially within the week

Biden recently discussed with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the potential threat of an Iranian attack during a recent phone call. The Biden administration is deeply concerned about the possibility of a direct strike on Israel by Iran, fearing it could lead to a rapid escalation of tensions in the already volatile Middle East. Such an attack could escalate the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict into a broader regional confrontation, something Biden has been keen to prevent.”

Biden is being briefed multiple times a day on the ongoing situation,” Kirby stated. He emphasized that US officials maintain continuous communication with Israeli counterparts, taking steps to ensure Israel’s defense capabilities.

“We are highly attentive to a very credible threat posed by Iran regarding potential attacks on Israel,” Kirby reiterated. He highlighted the visit of US Central Command chief Gen. Erik Kurilla to Israel, aiming to directly engage with Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) counterparts.

Kurilla’s expedited trip to Israel was prompted by the anticipation of an Iranian reaction to Israel’s recent targeting of the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria.

Additionally, US officials have urged Israel to exercise restraint in responding to Iran, aiming to prevent further escalation. However, there has been frustration among US officials regarding the lack of prior information shared by Israel before carrying out the strike in Damascus last week. Israel only notified a US official when its planes were already en route to Syria

 We had no prior knowledge of Israel’s intent to conduct the airstrike,” the official stated. “Moments before the operation, when Israeli planes were already airborne, Israel contacted a US official to notify them of the ongoing strike in Syria. However, no specifics regarding the target or location were provided, and the strike was already in progress before the information could be relayed within the US government.

Diplomatic coercion

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller disclosed Thursday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken engaged in discussions with the foreign ministers of Turkey, China, and Saudi Arabia, urging them to exert pressure on Iran to prevent an escalation of conflict in the Middle East following Iran’s threats against Israel.

Miller further elaborated that the United States has been actively communicating with European allies and partners in recent days to convey a similar message regarding Iran. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and British Foreign Secretary David Cameron have both held discussions with the Iranian foreign minister.


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