US moves additional forces into Middle East as Iran could launch direct attack on Israel within hours - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

US moves additional forces into Middle East as Iran could launch direct attack on Israel within hours

ByShweta Kukreti
Apr 13, 2024 04:14 AM IST

Amid the reports that Iran may launch a big counterattack against Israel as soon as Friday, the US has deployed more troops in the Middle East.

Iran may launch a big counterattack against Israel between the next 24 to 48 hours, reported The Wall Street Journal. The alert comes as Iran has vowed retaliation after Israel launched an airstrike on Iran consulate in the Syrian capital of Damascus, which claimed lives of several Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanders, including two generals.

Amid concerns over wider conflict in the Middle East, CENTCOM chief Gen. Michael Erik Kurillaon Friday met with Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halev. (Yoav Gallant@X)
Amid concerns over wider conflict in the Middle East, CENTCOM chief Gen. Michael Erik Kurillaon Friday met with Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halev. (Yoav Gallant@X)

According to CBS, which cited two unidentified US sources, the operation may involve over 100 drones and several dozen missiles directed against military locations within the nation.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India's general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

The officials suggested Tehran may still decide to go forward with a strike of a lesser severity in order to avert a sharp escalation.

Amid concerns over wider conflict in the Middle East, CENTCOM chief Gen. Michael Erik Kurillaon Friday met with Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halev. They all talked about "readiness for an Iranian attack against the State of Israel, which may lead to regional escalation," according to Gallant's office.

Also Read: US weighs impending Iran Missile Strike on Israel; Biden's commitment to security ‘iron clad’

In the statement, Gallant stressed that the enemies think they can pull apart Israel and the United States, but they are bringing “us together and strengthening our ties.”

Calling Iran a 'terrorist body" that funds Hamas and Hezbollah, the Israeli Defence Minister noted that Israel and the US stand shoulder to shoulder.

“We are prepared to defend ourselves on the ground and in the air, in close cooperation with our partners, and we will know how to respond,” he added.

Will US react to ‘very credible’ Iran threat to strike Israel?

According to US authorities cited by the Saudi news agency Al-Hadath, Washington will retaliate against any Iranian attack that threatens US interests, soldiers, or bases.

The unidentified officials underlined a previous statement made by the US that Tehran has received a clear word from Washington stating that it was not a party to the airstrike on the Iranian consulate building in Damascus on April 1. US officials were confident that Iran understood the message after being informed that “Israel launched the attack, not us,” as per the Saudi daily.

However, US officials quoted by Axios said Iran has warned inadvertently that it will attack American troops deployed in the area if the US gets involved militarily.

Also Read: US on high alert as Iran vows revenge for Israel strike on Tehran's Syria Embassy: 'Stay away so you won't get hurt'

It further stated that the US has urged Israel to inform the Biden administration and allow it to weigh in before determining how to respond.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, told reporters on Friday that "we still deem the potential threat by Iran here to be real, to be viable."

In light of Tehran's threat, Kirby continued, the US was reevaluating its own force posture in the area and was closely monitoring developments. He, however, refused to provide details on what Washington would do if an attack was carried out by Iran.

“We are certainly mindful of a very public and what we consider to be a very credible threat made by Iran in terms of potential attacks on Israel,” he said. “We are in constant communication with our Israeli counterparts about making sure that they can defend themselves against those kinds of attacks, but I really don’t want to get into armchair quarterbacking this thing in a public way.”

US deploys more forces into Middle East

Ahead of the potential strike by Iran, the United States has increased the number of its troops stationed in the Middle East, Daily Mail reported, citing several sources.

The USS Dwight Eisenhower has been moved into the Red Sea as a warning to Tehran and to protect US people in case the violence escalates, the sources said, stressing that the Pentagon is boosting its presence in the region.

Without giving any details, an unnamed US defence official told Fox News that the United States was sending "additional assets" to the region "to bolster regional deterrence efforts and increase force protection for US forces."

According to The Wall Street Journal's Thursday report, Iran has not decided yet how and when it will launch the strike.

The Supreme Leader of Iran is considering the political ramifications of the strike preparations, an advisor to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told the outlet.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, May 25, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On