Iran tells the US to “stand aside” as it prepares to respond to Israel over the strike in Syria

The United States did not comment on the alleged message sent by Iran.

Mourners on Friday try to touch the flag-draped coffins of Revolutionary Guard members killed in an airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Syria. Photo: AP

CNN reported that the United States is on high alert and is preparing for a “major” response from Iran against Israeli or American targets in the region. The network quoted an unnamed American official.

NBC, citing unnamed American officials, said that the administration of US President Joe Biden is concerned that any attack might be inside Israel, specifically against “military or intelligence targets, and not against civilians.”

Bloomberg reported that the Biden administration took the unusual step of communicating directly with Iran that the United States was not aware that Monday's strike in Damascus would occur. This indicates that the United States was trying to prevent its forces and bases in the Middle East from being attacked.

The Islamic Republic said it would deliver a “slap” to Israel, its arch enemy. However, it is unclear when this will happen or whether Iran will attempt to attack Israel directly or through one of its proxy groups such as Hezbollah, based in Lebanon.

China condemns the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Syria

The air strike targeted the Iranian consulate in Damascus, killing at least seven Iranians, including two generals. While Israel has repeatedly targeted Iranian-linked assets in Syria over the past few months, this was the first time an attack targeted an Iranian diplomatic building.

Since then, Israel has been on alert, canceling the return leave for combat forces, calling up reserves and strengthening its air defenses.

Its military sent navigational signals over Tel Aviv on Thursday to disable drones or GPS-guided missiles that might be launched into the country.

Speaking to Israeli forces at an air base on Friday, Defense Minister Yoav Galant said that Israel attacks enemies wherever it decides to do so.

He said: “It could be in Damascus, and it could be in Beirut.” He added, “The enemy is being subjected to severe blows everywhere and is therefore looking for ways to respond.” “We are ready with a multi-layered defence.”

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said on Friday that the Iranian response is undoubtedly coming. But he said that his group “will not interfere in such decisions.”

“And after that, how Israel will behave, the region will enter a new phase,” Nasrallah said in a televised speech on Jerusalem Day.

Hezbollah supporters raise their fists and chant as they listen to a speech by the group's leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, speaking via video link in Beirut, Lebanon, on Friday. Photo: AP

Nasrallah, who lives in hiding, highlighted the coordinated work carried out by so-called Iranian resistance groups in the region.

Hezbollah, the most powerful militia in the Middle East, said the group had not used its “basic arsenal” in daily skirmishes with Israel along Lebanon's southern border since the war between Israel and Gaza began on October 7.

He added: “We have not used our main weapons yet, and we have not used our main forces yet.”

Nasrallah said that Hezbollah is “fully prepared and prepared” for any war with Israel.

“If they (Israelis) want war, we say hello to them.”

Nasrallah renewed his position that the Lebanese front near the Israeli border in southern Lebanon is linked to the Gaza war. He added: “When the war stops in Gaza, it will stop here.”

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Hezbollah said on Friday that three of its fighters were killed in exchanges with Israel. Its ally, the Amal Movement, said it had also lost three fighters in an air strike in southern Lebanon.

The Israeli army said in a statement that it bombed a “military compound” used by the Amal Movement and targeted several areas in southern Lebanon.

A military spokesman previously posted on Twitter that the Israeli Air Force bombed Hezbollah's infrastructure.

Solidarity marches with the Palestinians were held on Jerusalem Day throughout the region.

Hundreds demonstrated in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, including members of the Islamic Jihad movement, and many of them chanted, “Jerusalem, we are coming.”

In Baghdad, pro-Iranian groups organized a march of about 2,000 people who gathered on Palestine Street, chanting: “No to America, no to Israel.”

An Israeli flag was drawn on the ground so that demonstrators could step on it.

Additional reporting by AFP

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