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US sends reinforcements to ‘defend Israel’

Washington is “devoted” to West Jerusalem, President Biden has stated

American ships and troops in the Middle East prepared for a likely Iranian attack on Israel on Friday, as President Joe Biden urged Tehran to change its mind.

Iranian leaders have vowed to “punish” Israel for the April 1 airstrike on the consulate in Damascus, Syria that killed seven officers of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, including two of its generals.

“Don’t,” Biden said on Friday, when asked what his message was to Iran.

“We are devoted to the defense of Israel. We will support Israel. We will help to defend Israel, and Iran will not succeed,” he added.

The Pentagon is moving additional troops and equipment to sites in the Middle East, to “bolster regional deterrence efforts and increase force protection,” an anonymous official said in a background briefing.

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Huge Iranian counter-strike on Israel expected within hours – US

The Department of Defense did not specify the number or type of assets deployed, but according to the Wall Street Journal, that two destroyers – at least one armed with the Aegis missile defense system – have been “repositioned” in the area.

Meanwhile, the head of the US Central Command, General Michael Kurilla, has extended his stay in Israel, Axios reported citing Israeli officials. Kurilla arrived on Thursday to “coordinate” a defense from a possible Iranian strike.

Tehran has announced that it had an “imperative to punish” Israel because the UN had done nothing to condemn West Jerusalem’s “reprehensible act of aggression on our diplomatic premises in Damascus” or bring the perpetrators to justice.

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Why Israel is risking a dramatic escalation with Iran

Israel has said it would respond to any attack with strikes of its own, with UK tabloids speculating they might target Iranian nuclear facilities. Anonymous US intelligence officials have spread rumors of potential American participation in such attacks.

However, a number of countries in the region where the US has bases or treaty rights have reportedly told Washington it can’t use them to strike Iran. Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Oman and Kuwait have denied the use of their territory and airspace so far, according to the Middle East Eye. There has been no word from Bahrain as of yet.

 

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