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Iran’s attack on Israel stress tests Washington's Middle East coalition

President Joe Biden urged Netanyahu to "think carefully and strategically" about next steps as the White House ruled out supporting any Israeli retaliation against Iran.
An F-15E Strike Eagle fighter aircraft of the Israeli Air Force Aerobatic team flies during a rehearsal for the upcoming Independence Day air show in Tel Aviv on April 24, 2023.

WASHINGTON – US F-15E Strike Eagles, in coordination with UK, French and Jordanian fighter pilots intercepted dozens of Iranian drones fired towards Israel overnight on Sunday, helping to thwart a massive counterattack by Iran that risked dragging the region into war.

The retaliatory attack on Israel was the first to be launched directly from Iranian territory, signaling a potential turning point in the decades-long covert conflict between Israel and the Islamic Republic.

Biden administration officials said Iran’s attack, which targeted Israeli military sites, was designed to inflict significant damage and casualties. Only Israel’s air base at Nevatim sustained minor damage in the multi-wave assault, officials said following the attack. There were no reported deaths, but a 7-year-old Bedouin girl in the Negev region was seriously injured from missile shrapnel.

“If successful, this attack could have caused an uncontrollable escalation, a broad regional conflict,” a senior administration senior official told reporters.

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