Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a phone call with US President Joe Biden in the early morning of April 14 from the Kirya military command post in Tel Aviv. Photo: Office of the Prime Minister of Israel

President Biden reaffirmed his commitment to protecting Israel, but US officials revealed that Washington had warned against supporting Tel Aviv in retaliating against Tehran.

“Israel has demonstrated incredible defense capabilities and the ability to neutralize unprecedented attacks. They have sent a very clear message to their opponents that no one can threaten Israel’s security.”, US President Joe Biden said on April 14, after a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss Iran’s attack.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced that they and their partners successfully intercepted 99% of the 300 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and missiles of all types that Iran fired targeting Israeli territory. US officials revealed that US forces in the area shot down more than 70 Iranian UAVs and at least three ballistic missiles to support Israel.

President Biden reaffirmed his “ironclad commitment” to ensuring security for Israel. He said he would work with Western leaders to “coordinate a synchronized diplomatic response” after Iran’s move, implying that the US was not considering military action in response.

Axios and CNN quoted US officials revealing that Mr. Biden warned Israel not to respond to Iran after the attack that Tehran conducted that was considered “controlled and moderate.”

According to Axios, the US President reminded Netanyahu that Israel’s success in stopping the massive attack from Iran was thanks to defense coordination with the US and partner countries in the region. “This is already a victory. Be satisfied with this victory,” a White House official recounted President Biden’s words to Mr. Netanyahu during the phone call.

White House officials revealed that Mr. Biden has confirmed that the US will not participate in any Israeli military campaign with the goal of retaliating against Iran and also does not support Israel’s military retaliation. Mr. Netanyahu responded that he understood the US leader’s decision.

NBC cited three well-informed sources to reveal that Mr. Biden is skeptical that the Israeli Prime Minister wants to drag the US into a larger conflict in the region. Senior US officials are concerned that hard-line officials in the Israeli government will “act impulsively” without considering the consequences of an attack from Iran.

These concerns were further reinforced when Washington reviewed how Tel Aviv implemented the campaign in the Gaza Strip and decided to strike the Iranian consulate in Syria to kill Iranian Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi without consulting with allies. US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on April 13 asked his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant to consult with the US before any military response targeting Iran.

Israeli F-35I fighter in the US in 2019. Photo: USAF

Israeli F-35I fighter in the US in 2019. Photo: USAF

US officials believe that Israel does not want a comprehensive war with Iran, but it is difficult to avoid making wrong policy decisions. In case Israel carries out military retaliation against Iran for the April 14 raid, Washington predicts that the conflict will escalate into a war at the regional level with horrifying consequences.

“I don’t think they have a specific strategy. The Israeli side does not always make the most reasonable policy decisions,” a White House official expressed concern.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on the night of April 13 that his government maintained its stance that “anyone who harms Israel will be punished.” Israeli officials, especially members of the Security Cabinet and the far right are demanding that Tel Aviv launch a powerful response against Tehran.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced on April 14 that “the campaign is not over”, after Israel intercepted most of the UAVs and missiles from Iran. The Israeli Cabinet plans to discuss plans to respond to Iran this evening.

Israel’s Channel 12 quoted a senior official as affirming that Iran had “failed strategically,” warning its opponents “should start preparing and do not expect to sleep in peace.”

Meanwhile, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Mohammad Bagheri announced that the True Promise campaign “has accomplished all its goals” and achieved “comprehensive victory”.

Bagheri said Iran’s response targeted the “intelligence center” and the air base that Tehran said was where Israeli F-35 fighters launched to attack the consulate in Syria.

“Both of these facilities were seriously destroyed and were no longer able to operate,” Iran’s Chief of Staff declared, although the Israeli military confirmed that the raid only caused minor damage. “We consider the operation complete; we have no intention of continuing.”

Mr. Bagheri also called on Israel not to take further military action against Iran, which he said would trigger a “much larger” response from Tehran.