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'Don't': Biden warns Iran as world on edge over expected attack on Israel

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the Syria attack on April 1, but Iran blames its arch-nemesis for killing seven Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps officers. A recent report said Iran is likely to unleash an attack on Israel within this week as the US is on high alert.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Washington Published on: April 13, 2024 12:52 IST
US, Joe Biden, Biden warns Iran, Israel
Image Source : REUTERS US President Joe Biden

Washington: US President Joe Biden on Friday warned Iran not to proceed over an expected attack on Israel in retaliation for a suspected Israeli strike on the Iranian embassy in Syria that killed seven Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) members. Biden simply said, "Don't," as he reiterated Washington's commitment to defend Israel.

"We are devoted to the defence of Israel. We will support Israel. We will help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed," he told reporters. Israel braced on Friday for an attack by Iran or its proxies as warnings grew of retaliation over the Damascus attack, alarming Middle Eastern and Western countries. Israel did not claim responsibility for the airstrike on April 1.

However, Iranian officials, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have blamed Israel for the attack that killed a senior commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps' overseas Quds Force and six other officers and have repeatedly called for retribution. Biden said he would not divulge secure information, but said his expectation was that an attack by Iran could come "sooner, rather than later."

Iran likely to attack in 48 hours, US on high alert

A report by the Wall Street Journal on Friday said that Iran is likely to unleash an attack on Israel within the next two days amid escalating tensions between the two countries, while Israel is currently embroiled in its war against Hamas in Gaza for six months with no end in sight. The strike plans are in front of the Supreme Leader, and he is still weighing the political risk,” an advisor to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said.

The US has been on high alert ever since the suspected attack in Damascus. Washington rushed warships into position to protect Israel and American forces in the region, hoping to head off a direct attack from Iran on Israel that could come as soon as Friday or Saturday, according to the WSJ. The attack has sparked global alarm as it can potentially lead to a wider war in the Middle East that can drag the US as well.

Countries including India, France, Poland and Russia have warned their citizens against travel to the region, already on edge over the war in Gaza, now in its seventh month. Germany on Friday called on its citizens to leave Iran. White House spokesperson John Kirby said the reportedly imminent attack by Iran on Israel was a real and viable threat and the US is watching the situation closely.

India issues travel advisory

Israel and Iran have long been embroiled in a shadow war - that has involved cyber operations, support to proxy forces, airstrikes and targeted killings, resulting in casualties on both sides. The Syria attack represents a dramatic flareup in the confrontation that is likely to expand the Israel-Hamas war in the Middle East. The US issued a travel advisory for Americans in Israel anticipating the risks of an attack on the Jewish country.

Meanwhile, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs has issued its own advisory and advised all Indians to not travel to Iran or Israel till further notice, while those currently residing in Iran or Israel have been asked to get in touch with the Indian embassies in the respective countries and register themselves.

"In view of the prevailing situation in the region, all Indians are advised not to travel to Iran or Israel till further notice. All those who are currently residing in Iran or Israel are requested to get in touch with the Indian Embassies there and register themselves. They are also requested to observe utmost precautions about their safety and restrict their movements to the minimum," read the statement.


AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi on Friday demanded that the Indian workers who are currently in Israel should be brought back immediately. He hit out at the NDA Government at the Centre alleging it is sending Indian workers to Israel even after an advisory by the same dispensation discouraging countrymen from going there citing safety.

(with inputs from agencies)

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