UK’s Cameron Says Israel Will Likely Respond to Iran Attack

By Dave DeCamp –

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Wednesday that he believes Israel will respond to Iran’s drone and missile attack, which was a reprisal for Israel bombing Iran’s consulate in Damascus.

Cameron made the comments while visiting Israel and advising against escalation. “It’s right to have made our views clear about what should happen next, but it’s clear the Israelis are making a decision to act,” he said after meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog. “We hope they do so in a way that does as little to escalate this as possible.”

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was also in Israel on Wednesday to warn against a major escalation. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled he would not heed the advice.

“I have just come from meeting with the British and German foreign ministers,” Netanyahu said. “I thank our friends for their support in defense of Israel and I say this — support in both words and deeds. They also have all kinds of suggestions and advice, which I appreciate; however, I would also like to clarify — we will make our decisions ourselves. The state of Israel will do whatever is necessary to defend itself.”

Also on Wednesday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi reiterated Tehran’s warning that it would hit Israel much harder if Israel chooses to escalate. “If we had carried out a heavier operation, nothing would be left of Israel. But it was supposed to be a limited action,” Raisi said.

Iran gave the US and Israel plenty of time to prepare for its attack, as Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian said Tehran gave 72-hour notice to regional countries. The White House denied that it received direct notice from Iran, but Turkish, Iraqi, and Jordanian officials said they did, which would have gotten back to the US. Iran also announced that it launched missiles and drones hours before they would reach Israel, and the US was able to intercept most of them on its own.

The US is portraying the Iranian attack as an Israeli victory, and President Biden has said the US would not support Israeli offensive action against Iran. But the US has also vowed to continue to defend Israel, which means the US would intervene if there were another escalation and Israeli territory came under attack again.

US officials told NBC News that they believe Israel’s response will be “limited in scope” and would likely target Iranian forces and allies outside of Iran. Israel has been targeting Iranians in Syria for years, but the consulate bombing marked a huge escalation since it targeted a diplomatic facility and killed a high-level Iranian general and six other members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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