Joe Biden races back to White House as Iran launches drone and missile attack on Israel

President Joe Biden cut short his weekend getaway at his Delaware beach house, returning to the White House on Saturday amid escalating tensions in the Middle East.

The President plans to convene with his national security team and keep a close eye on the intensifying situation in the Middle East, as fears of an Iranian attack on Israel mount. The current tension levels are the highest they’ve been since the onset of the Israel-Hamas war six months ago.

This development follows a suspected Israeli strike on an Iranian consular building in Syria earlier this month, which resulted in 12 fatalities, including two high-ranking Iranian generals from the Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force.

In response, Iran has pledged to retaliate against Israel, leading US and Israeli officials to brace for a potential attack as early as this weekend. This has sparked concerns about the conflict broadening into a wider regional war.

Reports from the Pentagon reveal that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been in touch with his Israeli counterpart to discuss pressing regional threats. He reassured that Israel could count on the full backing of the US to defend against any attacks by Iran and its regional proxies, reports the Mirror US.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan also had a conversation with his counterpart to reaffirm Washington’s “ironclad commitment to the security of Israel.”

On Friday, Biden declared that the United States was “devoted” to defending Israel and that “Iran will not succeed.”

Reporting to the press, President Biden only had one word for Iran: “Don’t.”

When questioned about potential scenarios for a direct US military response or the imminence of an Iranian attack on Israel, he tactfully avoided revealing classified information, stating “but my expectation is sooner than later.”

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The United States and its allies have issued stern warnings to Tehran, urging against additional escalation in the already fraught conflict. Amid the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, Israeli forces and Iran-backed Hezbollah militants have been trading fire along the Israel-Lebanon border almost daily.

Since the conflict erupted on October 7, over 150 attacks by Iran-sponsored militias on US forces stationed at bases in Iraq and Syria have been recorded by US officials. A late assault in January resulted in the tragic loss of three American servicemen in Jordan.

In a robust response, the US initiated a significant air assault operation, hitting over 85 targets across seven locations in both Iraq and Syria. In a concerning development on Saturday, Revolutionary Guard commandos belonging to Iran brazenly seized an Israeli-linked container ship near the Strait of Hormuz following a helicopter raid.

Adrienne Watson, the spokesperson for the National Security Council, robustly denounced the seizure and demanded Iran to release the ship and crew without delay. “We will work with our partners to hold Iran to account for its actions,” she outvoiced emphatically.

On a related note, Saturday also witnessed some of the worst unrest in the Israeli-occupied West Bank since Hamas’s attack on Israel.

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