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Iran launched a retaliatory attack against Israel with drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles. Israeli military officials hoped to intercept the attack, which was in response to a suspected Israeli strike on an Iranian consular building in Syria that killed two generals and five officers. The U.S. and Israel have been coordinating to defend against the attack, and President Joe Biden is being updated on the situation. U.S. warships, including the USS Carney, are prepared to assist in defending Israel.

Tensions in the region have been heightened since a terror attack by Hamas and Israel’s subsequent assault on the Gaza Strip. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has vowed to punish Israel, leading to fears of an escalation into a full-blown war. The attack on the Iranian consular building resulted in the deaths of two top Iranian commanders, including Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi. Zahedi’s death marked a significant blow to Iran’s anti-Israel network of militant groups. Iran supports groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, and the Houthis, which have all been involved in recent conflicts with Israel.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has played a significant role in Iran’s military operations in the region, engaging in a shadow war with Israel. Israel has targeted Iranian military and nuclear facilities, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu views Iran as a major threat. Israel has struggled to contain Iran’s military reach in Syria, fearing the growing threat posed by Iran’s presence across the border. After the Hamas attack, Israel adopted a more aggressive stance, targeting senior Iranian figures overseeing the proxy network.

The U.S. has signaled its support for Israel and worked to prevent a significant escalation that could lead to all-out war between Iran and Israel. Iran has previously avoided direct conflict with Israel, instead opting to use armed proxies to target the Jewish state. Back-channel communications with the U.S. indicated that Iran planned to retaliate against Israel but wanted to avoid a massive escalation. The attack on Israel raises concerns about triggering an unintended reaction from Israel and escalating tensions even further.

President Biden is being updated on the situation and is in constant contact with Israeli officials, partners, and allies. U.S. assets in the region are not expected to be targeted by Iran’s attack, and the U.S. is prepared to assist in defending Israel against the assault. Israel’s defense minister has warned that a direct Iranian attack will require an appropriate response from Israel. The attack on the Iranian consular building has reignited tensions in the region and raised fears of a potential all-out war between Iran and Israel. The situation is continuing to unfold, with the risk of escalating violence.

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