- The Washington Times - Friday, April 12, 2024

President Biden set off alarms Friday that an Iranian attack on Israel could be imminent.

Speaking with reporters, Mr. Biden said classified intelligence prevented him from discussing how soon Iran could launch a strike against Israel, but said it might happen quickly.

“My expectation is sooner rather than later,” he said.

When asked if he had a message for Tehran, Mr. Biden replied, “Don’t.”

U.S. officials have been. urgently pressuring Tehran to back down from a wider Middle East conflict.

Earlier Friday, the U.S. began moving troops and other assets into the Middle East as Iran prepared a large number of missiles and drones for a potential strike against Israel. U.S. officials said that Iran has readied more than a hundred cruise missiles for a possible strike.

The U.S. is moving assets into the region to deter Iran from launching a strike and protecting troops in the region. By moving these assets into the region, the U.S. could respond swiftly with an air defense.

Roughly 3,400 U.S. troops are in Iraq and Syria, within striking distance from Iran.

White House national security spokesman John Kirby said the administration was monitoring the situation “very, very closely.” He added that the U.S. is “doing everything we can to protect our people and our facilities.”

The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that the commander of the U.S. Central Command has moved up a previously scheduled trip to Israel so he could meet with Israeli officials as a sign that the U.S. is taking the threat extremely seriously.

Mr. Biden said Wednesday that the U.S. will keep its commitment to Israel‘s defense amid reports of Iran planning a “significant attack” on the Jewish state in the coming days.

Speaking at the White House alongside Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in a joint press conference, Mr. Biden said the two discussed intelligence suggesting an Iranian attack on Israel.

“As I told Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu, our commitment to Israel‘s security against these threats from Iran and their proxies is ironclad,” he said. “We’re going to do all we can to protect Israel‘s security.”

• This story is based in part on wire service reports.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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