Biden Officials Fear Israel's Response To Iran Could Drag US Into Wider War

By Jason Hall

April 14, 2024

President Biden Delivers Virtual Remarks To The National Action Network Convention
Photo: Getty Images

Some of President Joe Biden's top officials fear that Israel's response to Iran's drone and missile attacks could potentially drag the U.S. into a wider war.

Biden, who publicly reinforced his administration's "ironclad" commitment to aiding Israel's defense, was reported to have privately expressed concern that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was attempting to drag the American military into a much larger conflict, three sources with knowledge of the situation confirmed to NBC News on Sunday (April 14). Biden told Netanyahu that the U.S. wouldn't participate in offensive operations in Iran and advised Israel not to retaliate against Iran during a phone call Saturday (April 13) night, a senior administration official confirmed to NBC News.

Iran launched an attack Saturday that swarmed Israeli airspace with hundreds of drones and missiles and reportedly resulted in limited damage, but showed deterrence without resulting in an all-out war, experts told NBC News. Iranian armed forces chief of staff Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri shared a public statement confirming the attack "concluded and we are not willing to continue it" hours after the strike took place.

An Israeli official in Prime Minister Netanyahu's office said the country planned to "consult with all its partners but ultimately it's Israel's decision as to what the response will be" via NBC News.

“Israel can’t allow such a large attack over Israel without some kind of response, be it small or large,” the official said. “It’s up to the war cabinet to decide now.”

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