Iran Starts Bombing Raids On Israel

( – In a recent development that has heightened tensions in the Middle East, President Joe Biden has communicated to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the United States will not support a counter-offensive against Iran. This stance comes in the wake of a significant drone and missile assault on Israel, believed to be orchestrated by Iran as a response to a suspected Israeli strike on its embassy compound in Syria, which resulted in the deaths of top Revolutionary Guards commanders.

The severity of the attack, involving over 300 missiles and drones primarily launched from Iran, has sparked widespread concern over potential open warfare between Iran and Israel, which could potentially involve the United States. However, the damage within Israel was relatively contained due to the effectiveness of the Iron Dome defense system, aided by international partners including the US, Britain, France, and Jordan.

In a statement on ABC’s “This Week”, John Kirby, the White House’s national security spokesperson, emphasized that while the US remains committed to Israel’s right to defend itself, it is not seeking to escalate the situation into a full-scale war. Meanwhile, regional leaders, including Jordan’s King Abdullah, have expressed concerns about the potential for further escalation, which could destabilize the wider region.

Netanyahu’s war cabinet appears divided on how to respond, with discussions focusing on the timing and scale of potential retaliatory measures. Despite the cabinet’s inclination towards action, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant highlighted the possibility of forming a strategic regional alliance to address what he described as a “grave threat” from Iran, especially concerning its alleged intentions to equip missiles with nuclear warheads, a claim Iran has consistently denied.

The situation remains fluid, with Israel on high alert and emergency measures in place to ensure public safety. The Israeli government has approved operational plans for both defensive and potential offensive actions, as stated by Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari. Moreover, the financial burden of intercepting the attack was substantial, with costs estimated around 4.5 billion shekels ($1.2 billion), partially funded by the US.

In Tehran, Iranian military officials have issued stern warnings against any Israeli retaliation, with Major General Mohammad Bagheri stating that any further military actions by Israel could provoke a significant response. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian reiterated that their initial attack was a limited measure of self-defense and informed regional nations ahead of time.

Global calls for restraint have been echoed by major powers and regional states alike, with an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council scheduled to discuss the crisis. The G7 nations have also condemned Iran’s attack, highlighting the risk of uncontrollable regional escalation.

The incident has stirred various reactions across the region, from public demonstrations in Iran celebrating the attack to expressions of relief and hope among Palestinians in Gaza, who view the Iranian strike as a form of retaliation against ongoing Israeli military actions.

This complex and rapidly evolving situation underscores the fragile balance of power in the Middle East and the critical role of international diplomacy in preventing a broader conflict. As tensions continue to simmer, the international community remains vigilant, urging all parties involved to exercise maximum restraint and pursue peaceful resolutions to their disputes.