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Biden expects Iran to retaliate ‘sooner than later’ against Israel

“We will support Israel and help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed,” the U.S. president said.

Iron Dome aerial interceptions of Hamas rockets in southern Israel. Credit: Oren Ravid/Shutterstock.
Iron Dome aerial interceptions of Hamas rockets in southern Israel. Credit: Oren Ravid/Shutterstock.

U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters on Friday afternoon that he believes Iran will retaliate after an April 7 airstrike in Damascus that killed Iranian Brig. Gen. Mohammad Zahedi. Many have attributed it to Israel.

“My expectation is sooner than later,” Biden said about the attack’s imminence.

The president said he could not get into classified details about a potential attack. He also had a one-word message to Iran as it considers a retaliatory strike: “Don’t.”

Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said at a press briefing on Friday that “the IDF has conducted a situational assessment and approved plans for a variety of scenarios following reports and statements about an Iranian attack.”

He added that the United States and Israel are conducting “a joint situational assessment” to increase coordination between the two militaries and said that in addition to defensive measures, Israel has also prepared offensive response options.

Hagari said that for now there are no changes in the Israeli Home Front Command’s instructions to Israelis about the threat of air raids, but that Israelis should be “alert and prepared” and that the public will be updated “immediately” if there are any changes.

“We are prepared to strike with a variety of capabilities and will know how to act to protect the citizens of the State of Israel,” he said.

The U.S. president’s comments come after administration officials have said in recent days that American support for Israel is “ironclad” in the face of a potential Iranian attack. Biden reiterated that message on Friday.

“We are devoted to the defense of Israel,” he said. “We will support Israel and help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed.”

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