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The United States issued a travel warning for Israel with the belief that an Iranian attack is imminent and the fear that the Gaza war could spread

The United States issued a travel warning for Israel with the belief that an Iranian attack is imminent and the fear that the Gaza war could spread

Tel Aviv – Israel is preparing for the worst scenarios that American officials believe may come true in just hours – which is The possibility of a direct attack on Israeli territory by Iran In response to the strike that occurred approximately two weeks ago, which resulted in the death of seven Iranian military officers. Iran vowed to take revenge for Israel's killing of its leaders who were subjected to an attack on the Iranian embassy in the Syrian capital on April 1.

Two US officials told CBS News that a major Iranian attack against Israel is expected on Friday, possibly involving more than 100 drones and dozens of missiles targeting military targets inside the country.

The officials said it would be difficult for the Israelis to defend against an attack of this scale, and while they noted the possibility that the Iranians might choose to launch a smaller-scale attack to avoid dramatic escalation, their retaliation is believed to be retaliatory. imminent.

The White House warns Iran against launching retaliatory attacks on Israel

Tehran has not publicly stated how or when it will respond to the shooting – so it is unclear how far Iran's leaders will go. If they decide to carry out a direct attack on Israel, there is a fear that this will lead to the destruction of Israel The ongoing war against Hamas is an ally of Iran To a much broader regional conflict.

With Iranian retaliation expected at any time, the US State Department announced on Thursday Warn Americans in Israel Do not travel outside major cities, which are better protected from incoming missiles by the country's Iron Dome missile defense system. The latest guidance indicated that travel by US government employees in Israel may be further restricted without warning as matters develop in the volatile region.

“Whoever harms us, we will harm him,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged Thursday while visiting troops at an Israeli army air base. “We are prepared…defensively and offensively.”

Members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) burn Israeli and American flags during the funeral of members of the IRGC Quds Force killed in an Israeli airstrike in Syria, in Tehran, Iran, April 2024.

Mortada Nikoubazel/NoorPhoto/Getty

Sima Shine, a security expert and former official at Israel's national intelligence agency Mossad, told CBS News that it was a dangerous moment for the region, and that it was “the most worrying” for her. She said concern about all-out war was likely to be equally high “on both sides, in Israel and Iran.”

If Iran chooses to attack Israel directly, this could include a complex missile and drone attack similar to the one launched by Iranian forces. It was launched against a Saudi oil facility in 2019.

Shine predicted that “they will try to do this at the military level or some military assets.” “But the question would be the damage. If there are many injured, dead and injured… I think it has the potential for significant escalation.”

Iranians stand in front of an anti-US and anti-Israel banner during a march to commemorate International Quds Day, also known as Quds Day, during the funeral of members of the Quds Force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard who were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Syria, in Tehran, Iran, April 5, 2024.

Mortada Nikoubazel/NoorPhoto/Getty

However, Shine stressed that she still believes that neither side actually wants a regional conflict.

US 'really trying to avoid war'

The United States sent a top general to Israel this week to coordinate with the close American ally over any response it might make to an Iranian attack, and speaking Friday on “CBS Morning,” the top US military officer said: “We are really trying to avoid war. “

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Charles Brown Jr. said: “This is part of the dialogue I am having with my counterparts in the region, which includes the Israeli Minister of Defense, who I spoke with yesterday.” He added that the US Army was “doing things not only to prevent war, but at the same time, one of the key things for me is making sure that all the forces in the area are protected.”

“My role, as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is to plan and prepare,” Brown said. “This is something we do very well.”

Israeli expert Shine said that the dilemma for Iran is to know how to implement the response it promised to the Israeli attack in Syria, but in a way that does not lead to further escalation. Likewise, Shine said Israel could choose to show restraint when it responds to whatever Iran ultimately does.

If either side gets the balance wrong, the consequences could be dire for the region, and even for the world.

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