US will not take part in any Israeli retaliatory action against Iran

President Joe Biden told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the United States would not participate in a counteroffensive against Iran, an option supported by Netanyahu’s wartime cabinet following mass drone and missile attacks on Israeli territory, officials said. I warned you not to.

The threat of open war between the Middle East’s arch-enemies, dragging the United States into it, has put the region at risk and prompted calls for restraint from world powers and Arab states.

“The Middle East is on the brink. The peoples of the region face a real risk of catastrophic all-out conflict. Now is the time for calm and de-escalation,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres. He spoke at a Security Council meeting that convened on Sunday in the wake of the airstrike.

President Joe Biden and members of his national security team meet in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington on April 13, 2024, to receive an update on the ongoing airborne attack on Israel from Iran. AP

Robert Wood, the US deputy ambassador to the United Nations, called on the council to unequivocally condemn Iran’s attack.

“Let me be clear: if Iran or its proxies take any action against the United States or further action against Israel, Iran will be held responsible,” he said.

Still, Biden told Netanyahu that the United States would not join Israel in any pushback against Iran over the attack, a White House official said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin also met with officials from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and other countries, emphasizing the need to avoid escalation and the importance of a coordinated diplomatic response. He emphasized that Japan will continue to support Israel’s defense.

Very little serious damage

Iran attacked on April 1 for what appeared to be an Israeli attack on the Iranian embassy compound in Syria, following months of conflict between Israel and Iran’s regional allies sparked by the Gaza war. and killed the leaders of the Revolutionary Guards.

View from the southern part of the Gaza Strip. Drones and missiles are seen racing toward targets in southern Israel on April 14, 2024. ATEF SAFADI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

However, more than 300 missile and drone attacks caused only modest damage to Israel. Most were shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, with assistance from the United States, Britain, France, and Jordan.

The only serious injury reported in Israel was a 7-year-old child injured by shrapnel.

There were also very few reports of serious property damage. Officials said an Israeli air force base was attacked but continued to operate normally.

The Iranian-initiated attack killed a top Revolutionary Guards commander and continued months of conflict between Israel and Iran’s regional allies.

Oil prices fell on Monday, but risk sentiment took a hit, Asian stocks fell and gold prices rose.

“The attack was largely factored into the days leading up to it. Also, the fact that the damage was limited and there was no loss of life probably meant that Israel’s response would be more cautious. ,” said Warren Patterson, head of product strategy at ING.

“But clearly there is still a lot of uncertainty and it all depends on how Israel responds.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks by phone with US President Joe Biden on April 14, 2024. Xinhua/Shutterstock

Israeli officials said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s five-member war cabinet supported retaliation at a meeting on Sunday, but the committee was divided over the timing and scale of such a response.

Two senior Israeli ministers suggested that retaliation was not imminent and that Israel would not act alone.

“We will build a regional coalition and force a price from Iran in the right way and at the right time,” centrist Minister Benny Gantz said ahead of a wartime cabinet meeting.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant also said Israel has an opportunity to form a strategic alliance “against this grave threat posed by Iran.”

Israel remained on high alert, but authorities lifted emergency measures, including bans on some schools.

Large gathering activities and limits.

A rocket flies over the grounds of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on April 14, 2024. AFP (via Getty Images)

“If Israel retaliates against Iran, our response will be much larger than tonight’s military action,” Major General Mohammad Bagheri, Iran’s military chief of staff, said on television, calling for cooperation in Israel’s retaliation. told the U.S. government that its bases could also be attacked.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said his government had notified the United States that any attack on Israel would be limited and for self-defense purposes, and that neighboring countries were given 72 hours’ notice of planned attacks. He said that he had done so.

Turkish, Jordanian and Iraqi officials said Sunday that Iran had given widespread notification days before the attack, but U.S. officials said Iran did not warn the United States and was aiming to cause significant damage. Stated.

Military chief Lt. Gen. Helj Halevi (center) attends a situation assessment with members of the General Staff Forum at Kirya military base, home to the Ministry of Defense, in Tel Aviv, April 14, 2024. Israeli Army/AFP (via Getty Images)

The leaders of the Group of Seven condemned Iran’s attack and said they would work to stabilize the situation, warning in a statement that Iran was at risk of “uncontrollable regional escalation.”

The motive for the attack is discussed.

Analysts have questioned whether Iran’s attack was planned to cause real devastation to Israel, or to vow revenge and save face domestically while avoiding another major war. was discussed.

“I think the Iranians took into consideration the fact that Israel has a very powerful multi-layered anti-missile system, so there probably wouldn’t be too many casualties,” said Sima Shine, a former Mossad official. ” he said. At the National Security Institute in Tel Aviv.

Iran’s attack drew applause in the Gaza Strip as an extraordinary retaliation for an Israeli attack that killed at least 33,000 people.

“We have been being slaughtered for more than six months and no one has tried to do anything. Iran, whose consulate was attacked, is now striking back against Israel, and this brings joy to our hearts. Majid Abu Hamza of Gaza City said.

The war in Gaza, which Israel invaded following an October 7 attack by Iran-backed Hamas, has spread to fronts with Iranian-linked groups in Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Iraq.

In Israel, there was a sense of alarm over the first direct attack from another country in more than 30 years, but the mood contrasted with the trauma that followed the Hamas-led attack on October 7.

“I think we have permission now to respond. I mean, it was a major attack from Iran…Israel also reacted and it was over quickly and we could go back to normal life. I don’t think so,” said Jeremy Smith, 60.

In Iran, state television showed small rallies celebrating the attack in several cities, but privately some Iranians were concerned about Israel’s response.

“Iran has given Prime Minister Netanyahu a golden opportunity to attack our country. But we, the Iranian people, will bear the brunt of this conflict,” said Sima, a nurse from Tehran.