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President Joe Biden is facing a challenging situation as an attack on Israel is launched from Iranian soil during the current Middle East conflict. This attack increases the risk of a wider regional conflict that could potentially involve the United States. Biden finds himself in the delicate position of providing strong support for Israel while also trying to prevent further escalation with US involvement. The extent of Iran’s attacks and potential involvement of proxies in targeting Israel adds uncertainty to the situation.

The ongoing conflict in the Middle East has significant implications for Biden as he navigates the fraught politics of an election year. The eruption of the Israel-Hamas war has affected Biden’s support at home, particularly as he has resisted calling for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza. Biden returned to the White House from Delaware to closely monitor the situation in the Situation Room, better equipped for real-time monitoring of events unfolding.

Prior to Iran’s attacks, US officials were monitoring Iran’s preparations for a major attack on Israel following Israeli strikes in Damascus that killed top Iranian commanders. The US, in consultation with Israel, anticipated Iran’s retaliation and prepared for different scenarios, including the possibility of Iranian attacks inside Israel and on American assets in the region. The potential worst-case scenario of a direct attack on Israel and a wider regional conflict was a major concern.

Despite tensions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the Gaza war, Biden and his top officials have been working to maintain strong support for Israel against Iran. The US Defense Secretary and National Security Advisor reaffirmed support to Israel prior to the attack, and discussions with Israeli officials were held to coordinate responses and prevent escalation. The US military successfully intercepted some Iranian missiles during the attack.

As the situation escalated, the US also sent warnings to Iran about further escalating the crisis and encouraged European and Arab allies to deliver similar messages. US officials assessed that Iran was not seeking direct conflict with the United States, and American forces in the region were not expected to be targeted in the drone attack launched by Iran. The tensions between Iran and Israel, however, remain high, with the risk of miscalculation due to the lack of direct communication channels.

Overall, President Biden is faced with a complex and volatile situation in the Middle East as Iran’s attack on Israel raises the stakes for a wider regional conflict. The delicate balance between showing support for Israel while preventing escalation with US involvement complicates Biden’s decision-making. The ongoing conflict and potential involvement of proxies add further uncertainty to the situation, requiring careful monitoring and coordination with Israel to avoid further escalation.

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