Iranian Attack on Israel Seen as Imminent

US restricts the travel of Americans in the country
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 12, 2024 11:53 AM CDT
US Warns Americans in Israel Amid Fears of Iran Attack
In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei leads Eid al-Fitr prayer marking the end of the Muslims holy fasting month of Ramadan, in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, April 10, 2024.   (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP)

Iran may launch a serious strike against Israel in retaliation for the April 1 strike on the Iranian embassy in Syria as soon as Friday, US officials tell CBS News. As Israel braces for the assault, the US imposed travel restrictions on Americans in the country, per the Washington Post. Little is known of Tehran's plans, but experts fear a direct attack, especially one with significant casualties, could trigger wider war in the Middle East. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday Israel was "prepared ... both defensively and offensively" and would harm "whoever harms us."

But US officials tell CBS it would be hard for Israel to defend against a large-scale attack, potentially to include dozens of missiles and more than 100 drones. The US Embassy in Jerusalem issued a security warning to government employees and their families Thursday, saying to expect travel restrictions indefinitely. Americans are not to travel outside major cities, which are better protected by Israel's missile defense system. A US senior general is in Israel to help coordinate any response if appropriate, per CBS. One security expert tells the outlet a military asset might be targeted and the chance of an all-out war is real.

The US Embassy alert didn't name Iran and said travel restrictions came "out of an abundance of caution." Israel has not publicly claimed responsibility for the April 1 strike on the Iranian embassy in the Syrian capital of Damascus, said to have killed two senior members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and five other officers. Nonetheless, Iran vowed the country would be punished. US officials had no prior warning of the strike on the diplomatic compound, a location "traditionally exempted from hostilities," per the Washington Post. (More Israel stories.)

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