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Biden warned Netanyahu to 'think carefully' before Iran response, official says

Anadolu Agency WORLD
Published April 15,2024

US President Joe Biden warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "think carefully" about risk of escalation with Iran and Tel Aviv is not looking for escalation, according to a US official on Sunday.

"The Israelis made clear to us they're not looking for a significant escalation with Iran," a senior US official told reporters.

Iran launched a drone and missiles attack on Israel late Saturday, in retaliation for a strike in Damascus earlier this month that killed several Iranian commanders.

The official said Biden made "very clear" to Netanyahu during their phone call on late Saturday that "we do have to think carefully and strategically about the risks of escalation."

"Our aim is to deescalate regional tensions. We do not want a broader regional conflict," the official said.

In response to a question whether the US would participate in an Israeli counter offensive after Iran's overnight strikes, the official said: "We would not envision ourselves participating in such an act."

A senior US military official said the US ships based in the Easter Mediterranean, USS Arleigh Burkey, and USS Carney, destroyed between four and six Iranian ballistic missiles during the attack.

The official added that American air craft intercepted more than 70 Iranian drones and cruise missiles headed towards Israel, reiterating the US' "ironclad commitment" to Israel's defense.

Earlier on Sunday, White House National Security spokesman stressed that the US isn't looking for a "broader regional conflict."

"We're not looking for a broader regional conflict and everything we've been doing since the 7th has been designed to prevent that outcome," Kirby said when asked if the US participate in any offensive action if there is an Israeli reprisal.