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US intel warns Iranian attack on Israel ‘imminent,’ CENTCOM commander to visit Israel

Diplomatic flurry across the Middle East to prevent escalation

A missile is launched during a military exercise in an undisclosed location in the south of Iran, in this handout image obtained on Jan. 19, 2024. (Iranian Army/WANA/Handout via REUTERS)

U.S. intelligence warned on Wednesday that a major strike against Israel to be carried out by Iran or one of its proxies using missiles or drones was “imminent,” Bloomberg reported.

Since the alleged Israeli strike killed a senior Iranian general and six other officers in Syria, Iranian officials have been threatening Israel with retaliation. Israeli officials have responded by warning that Israel would answer forcefully, and possibly attack Iran directly.

According to the report, Iran could target either military or government facilities in Israel with high-precision munitions. Based on U.S. and Israeli estimates, such an attack “is seen as more a matter of when, not if,” Bloomberg reported.

During the past few days, several U.S. leaders including President Joe Biden have affirmed they would stand by Israel in case of an attack.

The commander of the U.S. forces in the Middle East, CENTCOM Commander General Erik Kurilla, is expected to visit Israel on Thursday to coordinate possible responses to an Iranian strike, the Axios news outlet reported.

The general’s visit is part of a larger effort by U.S. and Israeli officials across agency levels to prepare for an Iranian response, officials on both sides told Axios.

Kurilla will meet senior IDF officials as well as Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who said yesterday that Israel would “react very quickly with a decisive offensive action against the territory of whoever attacks our territory, no matter where it is, in the entire Middle East.”

Axios also reported that the U.S. reached out to countries across the Middle East to attempt to dissuade Iran from attacking Israel, which has the potential to cause a regional conflagration.

As part of these diplomatic efforts, foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Iraq called Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian to discuss regional tensions, the Iranian Foreign Ministry stated.

The possibility of a major Iranian attack caused widespread fear among the Israeli public and gave rise to a storm of speculation and fake news on social media worldwide.

On Wednesday, much of the speculation focused on Iran’s airspace, after the German carrier Lufthansa announced it would suspend its flight to Iran’s capital Tehran in the coming days.

In addition, the Iranian news outlet Mehr reported that the regime had closed the airspace over its capital “due to military drills,” before denying and deleting its report shortly after.

Social media commentators suggest that before launching a significant attack from its soil, Iran would likely close its airspace to avoid endangering passenger planes while a large salvo of long-range missiles was being launched toward Israel.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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