Biden Tells Bibi: US Will Not Support A Counterattack Against Iran After Hundreds Of Drones, Missiles Sent

By Tyler Durden

Update(Midnight ET)It is just after 7am Israel local time and Israel’s military is reporting the Iranian attack has stopped, several hours after Iran said its ‘limited’ operation has “concluded” – which involved an unprecedented hundreds of suicide drones as as well as ballistic missiles sent against Israel in retaliation for the April 1st Israeli attack on Iran’s embassy in Damascus. Below is the top story from English-language Times of Israel:

Hebrew media reports claim that not a single drone or cruise missile managed to infiltrate Israeli airspace.

According to the unsourced reports, most ballistic missiles were also knocked down outside of Israeli airspace.

A report in Ynet says some 20 cruise missiles were downed short of Israel’s borders. The US, UK and Jordan helped take down many of the drones.

Israel is reporting very little damage inside the country (though previously admitting “minor damage” against at least one key airbase in the south).

After the enormous Iranian drone and missile swarm a senior Israeli official has been quoted by Israel’s Channel 12 as saying “Iran’s attack was a strategic failure.” The official added in a threatening manner, “Now they can get ready and not sleep in peace.” Israel’s war cabinet appears to be readying a military response…

Crucially, the Biden White House appears to be strongly signaling to the Netanyahu government that the attack is ‘done’ and that the United States will not back any follow-up counterattack operations against Iran:

US President Joe Biden told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US will not aid any Israeli counterattack on Iran, US media report, citing senior administration officials.

Axios and CNN report that message was passed during a phone call between the pair.

Axios reports that Biden told Netyanyahu the US will oppose any Israeli counterattack.

CNN reports that Biden said the US will not take part in any such counteraction.

Israel has called on a United Nations Security Council meeting to condemn the Iranian aggression, which is expected to take place late Sunday. The US administration appears to be lobbying for a status quo and for Israel to not mount a strong response.

Below is a portion of the Axios report on the Bibi-Biden late night phone call:

Behind the scenes: Biden told Netanyahu the joint defensive efforts by Israel, the U.S. and other countries in the region led to the failure of the Iranian attack, according to the White House official.

  • “You got a win. Take the win,” Biden told Netanyahu, according to the official.
  • The official said that when Biden told Netanyahu that the U.S. will not participate in any offensive operations against Iran and will not support such operations, Netanyahu said he understood.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Lloyd Austin spoke on Saturday with his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant and asked that Israel notify the U.S. ahead of any response against Iran, a senior Israeli official said.

Meanwhile, Israel’s official channels are filled with ‘fighting words’ like the following:

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Update(20:00ET): CNN is reporting there have been several explosion on the ground across Israel, but there’s yet to be official confirmation of the extent of casualties. Israeli media is reporting the first as follows: “Medics treating first injury from Iran attack – a 10-year-old boy from Bedouin town near Arad in serious condition.” The IDF spokesman is confirming at least one of its military bases has been hit in the south by an Iranian cruise missile, sustaining “minor damage”. This was reportedly at Dimona, where Israel reportedly has undeclared nuclear weapons, making such a strike highly dangerous. Further Iran’s IRNA is reporting:

Iran successfully struck the Israeli airbase in the Negev Desert with ‘Khaybar’ ballistic missiles.

Importantly, Times of Israel is reporting that Israel’s military is preparing a response, in what is likely to become a continuing tit-for-tat in the coming days:

Israel plans a “significant response” to the unprecedented Iranian drone salvo against it, top-rated Channel 12 TV quotes an unnamed senior Israeli official as saying early on Sunday.

The IDF has called this new attack a “major escalation”. Over “200 different kinds” of projectiles were fired toward Israel, the IDF spokesman said. For more than the past week Israeli leaders have firmly warned that should Iran launch retaliation from within its own soil, the Israeli response against the Islamic Republic will be ‘stronger’ – as Netanyahu previously put it. That’s precisely what has happened and so a major Israeli response is likely.

Below: stunning footage over the Temple Mount of Jerusalem as Israeli anti-air highly active:

More over Jerusalem:

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has condemned Iran’s attack on Israel, saying it risks plunging the entire region “into chaos.”

“We condemn the ongoing attack in the strongest possible terms, risking to plunge an entire region into chaos,” Baerbock wrote on X. “Iran and its proxies must stop this immediately. In these hours, we stand firmly by Israel.” However, by and large there was silence from European and NATO leaders when Israel mounted an unprecedented attack on Iran’s embassy in Damascus on April 1st.

Meanwhile, the US says it is still intercepting inbound drones and missiles. The IDF says it has “numerous” fighter jets in the air right now. Iran has warned Washington not do get involved in the conflict, saying American bases in the region are at risk if it does so.

An extremely vague Biden statement:

Al Jazeera LIVE FEED:

Update(1845): Ballistic missiles are still in the air headed for Israel along with more than 100 drones. Live visuals have shown projectiles falling on Israel. Iran is now very publicly saying the matter has “concluded”:

IRAN’S UN MISSION: “Iran’s military action was in response to the Zionist regime’s aggression against our diplomatic premises in Damascus. The matter can be deemed concluded. However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe. It is a conflict between Iran and the rogue Israeli regime, from which the U.S. MUST STAY AWAY!”

From Israel’s perspective, Iran has now crossed a red line, and Netanyahu is likely to now see himself as having carte blanche to take out Iran nuclear facilities.

* * *

Update(1805): Iranian state media has just reported that the elite IRGC has launched its first wave of ballistic and(or) cruise missiles at Israel. Already an estimated hundreds of drones are headed toward Israel. It appears Iran is seeking to overwhelm Israel’s anti-air defense systems. The United States is expected to help Israel intercept this barrage. There are statements from the Houthis saying they have also launched rockets against Israel, and there are fears Hezbollah is about to unleash a barrage too, with early reports saying dozens of Katyusha rockets have already been sent into northern Israel tonight. Unconfirmed reports have said rockets have been launched from Iranian assets in Syria too.

Below is the IRGC confirmation via PressTV: “In response to the Zionist regime’s numerous crimes, including the attack on the consular section of Iran’s Embassy in Damascus and the martyrdom of a number of our country’s commanders and military advisors in Syria, the IRGC’s Aerospace Division launched tens of missiles and drones against certain targets inside the occupied territories,” the statement read. At this point the question is which will hit first: the slower-moving drones which were launched well over an hour ago, or the ballistic missiles which are likely to take less than 30 minutes to reach their targets.

The Iranian attack has an official name, and Tehran is warning that the US and foreign countries must ‘stay away’ from the conflict…


Already hawks in the US are urging Biden to intervene heavily on the side of Israel…

According to an unconfirmed note:

Al Jazeera citing Channel 12: British fighters participate with American fighters in intercepting Iranian marches in the airspace of Jordan and Syria.

Geopolitical analyst Max Abrahms writes that “Iran and Israel are now at war. A real, direct war.”

* * *

Update(1554ET): Axios correspondent Barak Ravid has cited several US and Israeli officials who say Iran’s attack against Israel has started. It is currently almost 11pm in Israel. It could take hours for the drones to reach Israel, however, the big question remains whether Tehran sends ballistic missiles. Both the IDF and the Biden administration have confirmed that drones are en route to Israeli airspace. Iranian state TV also since confirmed. The White House has said the attack is “likely to unfold over a number of hours.”

Iran launches attack against Israel using dozens of drones, four U.S. and Israeli officials told me,” Ravid writes. Airspace across Iran, Iran, Jordan, and Israel has reportedly been shut in the last hours. There are reports citing the Jordanian government saying it stands ready to shoot down any drones that violate its airspace. There are also unconfirmed reports that the Houthis have launched projectiles out of Yemen.

Airspace shut from Iran to Iraq to Jordan…

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued the following nighttime speech just ahead of the reported attack:

“Citizens of Israel, in recent years, and even more so in recent weeks, Israel has been preparing for the possibility of a direct attack from Iran,” the premier says in a video statement. “Our defense systems are deployed, and we are prepared for any scenario, both in defense and offense. The State of Israel is strong, the IDF is strong, the public is strong.”

“We appreciate the US for standing by Israel’s side as well as the support of the UK, France and many other countries.” “I established a clear principle — whoever hurts us, we will hurt them. We will defend ourselves from any threat and we will do so calmly and with determination.”

“I know that you, the citizens of Israel, are also keeping calm. I urge you to listen to the directives of the Home Front Command.”

“Together we stand, and with God’s help, together we will overcome all of our enemies,” Netanyahu says.

Schools in Israel and public gatherings have been closed for the coming days. The IDF is giving the citizenry guidelines about seeking bomb shelters and awaiting instructions.

Crypto is crashing on the news…

President Joe Biden has reportedly cut short a beach vacation to head back to the White House where he’s meeting with his national security team, monitoring the attacks, as well as Israel’s defense. It’s as yet unclear if Iran has launched ballistic missiles, following the initial drone salvo. Fox News is reporting that the head of US Central Command, Michael Kurilla, has safely departed Israel.

Israel’s Home Front command has issued the following emergency notification restricting gatherings across the country in anticipation of inbound Iranian projectiles. There are also “work from home” orders being issued, especially for non-essential government personnel.

Meanwhile just yesterday…

* * *

The past days have seen American diplomats in a global push to get countries to hold back Iran from launching a retaliatory attack on Israel for its April 1st embassy attack in Damascus.

Washington is especially leaning on China, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia in hopes that a united diplomatic front could deescalate the situation, at a moment Israel is bracing for an assault.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met with several officials over the past week, including Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. “We have also engaged with European allies and partners over the past few days and urged them as well to send a clear message to Iran: that escalation is not in Iran’s interest, it’s not in the region’s interest and it’s not in the world’s interest,” a statement from the State Department indicated.

Blinken “has been making clear to every country that has any semblance of a relationship with Iran that it is in their interest to use that relationship to send a message to Iran that they should not escalate this conflict. But I will let those countries speak for themselves about what action they may or may not take,” the statement from spokesman Matthew Miller said.

Miller added that US has also “engaged with European allies and partners over the past few days” to deliver a message urging restraint to Iran. British Foreign Secretary David Cameron and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock have also been engaging the Iranian foreign minister in recent days.

Blinken’s message to Turkey and Saudi Arabia was that they should “urge Iran not to escalate.” Going into this weekend, it’s being widely reported that a major Iranian attack, possibly including ballistic missiles and drones, remains ‘imminent’. US officials have told media sources that Iran has been observed moving major military assets including missile systems.

Though Iranian operatives on Saturday morning have seized an Israeli-linked tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, it seems the ‘big attack’ is still on hold for now.

The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, suggests there may be a diplomatic way out that avoids full Iranian military retaliation. Iran is “proposing the following: If a ceasefire is reached in Gaza and Israel does not attack the city of Rafah, it is ready, in order to reduce escalation and tension, not to take any action against Israel at the present time,” the newspaper stated.

But it’s anything but clear that a leader like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be willing to alter his plans to eradicate Hamas based on dictates from Tehran. Currently, the atmosphere seems one of the calm before the storm.

Source: ZeroHedge

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