The United States stated it would defend Israel, but would not participate in a retaliatory response if Iran staged an attack

iran vs israel

On Sunday, one day after Iran launched a historic missile and drone strike on Israel, the U.S. made it clear that it is committed to defending its longtime ally − but it would not be part of any retaliatory action Benjamin Netanyahu’s government could take.

According to White House national security spokesman John Kirby, the U.S. is not looking for escalation, and it does not seek a war with Iran.

A U.S. official who spoke to reporters stressed that the U.S. “was not involved in the first Israeli strike that killed two Iranian commanders in Syria earlier this month, which led to the Iranian attack on Saturday.” The official mentioned that US President Joe Biden was trying to cool things down in a call with Netanyahu on Sunday evening.

At the same time, the leading Israeli officials, who held a meeting on Sunday, are considering the response but they do not agree on the way and time, as said by Reuters. Netanyahu’s war cabinet of five members was due to reconvene in order to consider how to respond to the attack, which has raised worldwide fears of an expanded warfare.

War Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz pledged that Iran would pay. “We will form a regional coalition and make Iran pay the price when and how we see fit,” Gantz said.

The so-called shadow war between Israel and Iran has been going on for a long time, and Iran is using its proxies – militant groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the Houthi rebels in Yemen among others, while Israel engages in targeted assassinations in Iran.

However, the assault represented the initial instance in which Iran directly fired at Israel from its own land. The assault highlights that Israel-Hamas war in Gaza that started with the attacks of the militants on Israeli border communities on October 7, threatens to spread into wider regional conflict.

Amir Saeid Iravani, the U.N. ambassador of Iran, claimed on Sunday that the actions of the country were mandatory and proportional. He further noted that Iran does not want an escalation or a war in the region but reiterated its right to self-defense.

“If the U.S. starts military actions against Iran, its people, or its security and interests, Iran will respond using its inalienable right,” he stated.

Iran attacked Israel and Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres urged maximum restraint and reminded the members of the Security Council that acts of reprisal involving force are illegal in the eyes of international law. He further spoke against the attack and gave warning about taking the matter further.

During a Security Council meeting, Guterres informed member states that according to the U.N. charter force cannot be used against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.

The Middle East is on the edge, and people of the region are facing a real threat of an awful large-scale war. It is time to de-escalate and defuse, Guterres stated.

Schumer declared that Iran’s attack on Saturday reinforced the United States’ ironclad commitment to Israel’s security.

Iran had sent hundreds of drones and missiles in the direction of Israel, but Schumer, who spoke during a Sunday news conference after a call with Biden and congressional leaders, pointed out that Israel and a U.S.-led coalition were able to take out approximately 99% of the munitions.

In a briefing on Sunday, a spokesman of the Israel Defense Forces, Daniel Hagari stated that out of more than 120 ballistic missiles launched by Iran, a handful did cross the Israel border. The remaining ones were gunned. He added that an Israeli air force base in Southern Israel suffered a few “minor damage to infrastructure.”

Israel’s reaction to the monumental Iran strike was strengthened by a U.S.-led coalition of warplanes and naval assets which arrived to successfully intercept 300 drones, ballistic, and cruise missiles, claimed a U.S. official.

U.S. fighter aircraft and guided-missile destroyers shot down drones and some of the incoming missiles, said the official who was briefed on the operation but was not authorized to speak publicly. Most of threat to Israel, however, was eliminated by Arrow, David’s Sling and Iron Dome.

Kirby said Sunday that the U.S. is not interested in a battle with Iran.

“The president’s been very clear: We don’t seek a war with Iran, we’re not looking for escalation here, we will continue to help Israel defend itself,” Kirby said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

When asked about potential threats to U.S. troops in the region, Kirby said the Pentagon is staying vigilant. “We have not seen any attacks on U.S. troops or personnel in the region or our facilities and nothing to report to this morning. But we’re obviously going to watch that very, very closely.”

A group of countries among which some are the world’s leading economies said on Sunday that they are absolutely committed to the security of Israel.

All Group of Seven nations in a unanimous statement agreed that the attack by Iran on Israel will lead to the possibility of “provoking an uncontrollable regional escalation.”

The White House said that Biden met the group on Sunday.

“This is not acceptable,” said the leaders of G7. “We will maintain our efforts to stabilize the situation and avoid further escalation. In the same vein, we call on Iran and its proxies to stop the attacks, and we are prepared to take more measures now and in response to further destabilizing moves.”

The group further declared that it will cooperate in order to stop “the crisis in Gaza” and reiterated its efforts in achieving a lasting cease-fire in the Israeli-Hamas peace and hostilities war, release of all militant taken hostages and facilitate more humanitarian aid to the people of Palestine.

Speaking on Iran’s state TV on Sunday, Iran’s armed forces chief, Major General Mohammad Bagheri said that in case Israel also retaliates Iran will respond with a much larger retaliation than the drone and missile assault that took place overnight.

Bagheri also cautioned that if the U.S. side with an Israeli response it would see the targeting of U.S. military bases.

In a separate statement, the President of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi, noted that “any new Israeli adventure will be responded to heavily and regretfully.”

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