Israel to take ‘less aggressive’ approach to Iran response: Report

Washington believes Israel’s response to Iran’s massive drone and missile strike will be “limited” and will focus on targets outside of Iranian territory, US officials said on 16 April. 

Four US officials told NBC that they expect the Israeli response “to be limited in scope and most likely involve strikes against Iranian military forces and Iranian-backed proxies outside Iran.”

The assessment is based on talks between Israeli and US officials prior to Operation True Promise, which saw hundreds of Iranian drones and missiles target Israeli military sites late on 13 April and into the following morning. 

“As Israel was preparing for a possible Iranian attack last week, Israeli officials briefed US officials about possible response options,” the officials added. 

The officials emphasized, however, that they have not been informed about any final decision, and that Tel Aviv’s plans for a response may have shifted since the Iranian operation took place on late Saturday and early Sunday morning. 

Israel had been debating what a potential retaliation to its strike on Iran’s consulate would look like last week, as well as possible Israeli responses to the retaliation – which “ranged from no military action to strikes inside Iran,” NBC said. 

The US officials told the news outlet that Israel could use a “less aggressive option” given there were no serious casualties from Iran’s attack. They added that among these options are attacks on Syria. An attack on Syria would not target senior officials as the consulate strike did, but rather storage units or shipments holding weapons destined for Hezbollah, they said.

Israel has for years carried out strikes against Syria, aimed at targeting Iranian or Hezbollah interests in the country, or weapons shipments sent by the Islamic Republic to the Lebanese resistance. These attacks have done very little to stifle the flow of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah. 

“The US does not intend to take part in the military response,” the officials confirmed. However, they expect Israel to inform Washington about response plans in advance. 

Israel has publicly vowed to respond to the Iranian operation. Yet the magnitude and nature of its response has yet to be determined and is being debated by Israeli officials, according to Hebrew-language reports. 

Source: The Cradle

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