Israel braced for Iranian attack as US moves ‘additional assets’ in region


Israel remains braced for an attack from Iran as the US moves “additional assets” to the Middle East.

Joe Biden said he expects an attack “sooner, rather than later” and simply told Tehran “don’t”, with warnings growing of retaliation for the killing last week of a senior officer in Iran’s embassy in Syria.

The White House said the threat of an imminent attack on Israel is real and viable, while at least three other countries have updated their travel advice, including France, Russia and India.

As Mr Biden pledges the US is “devoted” to Israel’s defence, an official has told Sky News “additional assets” are being moved to the region to boost “deterrence efforts” and protect American forces.

According to Sky’s US partner NBC News, most of the assets involved are already deployed in the area and are just being moved around.

Sky’s US correspondent Mark Stone said no further details have been provided.

An Iranian missile unveiling from February this year. Iran's Defence Ministry/WANA via Reuters
An Iranian missile unveiling from February this year. Pic: Iran’s Defence Ministry/WANA via Reuters

“I think the consensus among experts is that the Iranians will respond, but they will almost certainly respond against Israel directly rather than any American military in the region,” Stone added.

“Nevertheless, what that response will look like and what it will mean in terms of an Israeli response, we don’t know yet.”

Israel did not claim responsibility for the airstrike on 1 April that killed Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a senior commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps’ overseas Quds Force.

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Biden’s message to Iran: ‘Don’t’

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Israelis living near Gaza border ‘terrified’ of attack from Iran

But Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said Israel “must be punished and shall be” for an operation he said was equivalent to an attack on Iranian soil.

Six other officers were also killed as they attended a meeting in the Damascus embassy compound.

Iran has missiles capable of hitting Israel, which has in recent weeks bolstered its air defences.

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Analysis: Will Iran attack Israel?

The Israeli military has called back reservists in preparation for any escalation along its northern border, where it exchanges fire almost daily with Iran-backed militants Hezbollah.

While there have been no formal security instructions in Israel, some parents said their children have been told to take books home for the Passover school holidays in case of possible lesson disruptions.

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Late on Friday, Israel said around 40 rocket launches were identified crossing into Israel from Lebanon, most of which were intercepted.

Meanwhile, Israel’s bombardment of Gaza has killed 33,634 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run health ministry, since the 7 October attacks.

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