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Biden convenes security meeting over Iranian attack

Washington has responded to the latest salvo in the Middle East by reiterating its “ironclad” support for Israel’s security

The administration of US President Joe Biden has reacted to an Iranian drone attack against Israel by vowing steadfast support for West Jerusalem. The president cut short a weekend visit to his Delaware beach home, returning to the White House for consultations with his national security advisers.

“President Biden has been clear: Our support for Israel’s security is ironclad,” US National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said on Saturday in a White House statement. “The United States will stand with the people of Israel and support their defense against these threats from Iran.”

The statement was issued shortly after Iran launched a swarm of suicide drones against Israel on Saturday night, in apparent retaliation for a missile strike that killed seven military officers at its consulate in Damascus earlier this month. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed the drone raid, saying it was launched from within Iranian territory.

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An Israeli soldier stands atop a tank in a army camp near Israel's border with Gaza, April 8, 2024
Iran attacks Israel: Live updates

Watson said the attack is “likely to unfold over a number of hours.” Biden is receiving regular updates on the situation from his national security advisers. “His team is in constant communication with Israeli officials, as well as other partners and allies,” the spokeswoman added.”

Hours before the drones were launched, Biden cut short a weekend visit to his Delaware beach home, returning to the White House for consultations with his advisers on fears of an “imminent” Iranian strike against Israel.

US defense chief Lloyd Austin spoke with his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Gallant, in a telephone call earlier on Saturday. Their conversation concerned “urgent regional threats” and “unwavering US support for Israel’s defense,” Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said. “Secretary Austin made clear that Israel could count on full US support to defend Israel against any attacks by Iran and its regional proxies.”

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FILE PHOTO.
Iran confirms ‘extensive’ strike against Israel

Iranian-backed militias have ramped up attacks against Israeli and US assets across the Middle East since the Israel-Hamas war began last October. Iranian forces seized an Israeli-operated container ship in the Persian Gulf around midday on Saturday.

Tehran has vowed to take revenge against Israel for the April 1 airstrike on its Syria consulate. Shortly after Saturday’s drone attack began, the X (formerly Twitter) account of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reposted a clip from the Iranian supreme leader’s speech on Wednesday denouncing the missile strike.

“When they attack our consulate, it is as if they have attacked our soil,” Khamenei said in the speech. “The malicious regime made a mistake on this matter, and it must be punished and will be punished.”

April 14, 2024 at 03:13AM
RT

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