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Israel, U.S. believe Iran is about to retaliate for Israeli bombing of Syria consulate, officials say

Israel and the U.S. are convinced Iran is preparing to retaliate for the Israeli strike on an Iranian consulate in Syria, U.S. officials say.
Israel on Monday struck an Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria, and killed a number of senior leaders of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to the Pentagon.
The U.S. has picked up intelligence that Iran is planning a retaliatory attack that would include a swarm of Shaheed loitering drones and cruise missiles. Officials say the timing and target are unknown, but a proportional response to the Damascus attack would be to hit an Israeli diplomatic facility. The attack is likely to come between now and the end of Ramadan next week.
Another important unknown is where the drones and missiles would be launched — from Iraq or Syria, which could prompt a thin claim of deniability by Tehran — or from Iranian territory.
A public funeral was held in Tehran on Friday for the seven IRGC members killed in the suspected Israeli strike in Damascus, including two generals, CBS News’ Seyed Bathaei reported.
At the funeral, the IRGC’s overall commander, Gen. Hossein Salami, warned that Israel “cannot escape the consequences” of assassinating Iranian military officers, he did not give any further indication of how or when Iran might retaliate, Bathaei said.
Seeking to prevent Iranian retaliation on facilities connected to the U.S., Biden administration officials have stressed that the U.S. had no advanced notice of the strike.
National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said that President Biden in his phone call Thursday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed Iranian threats to Israel.
“There was discussion between the two leaders about the very viable and quite public threat Iran is making to Israel’s security in the last day or so, and the president made very clear — very clear — to Prime Minister Netanyahu that he can count on U.S. support to help them in their self-defense against threats directly and publicly posed by Iran,” Kirby told reporters on Friday.
The Israelis are already warning publicly that they will retaliate, so an attack by Iran on an Israeli facility would be another step closer to a regional war.



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