Israel threatens to bomb Iranian nuclear sites, report

Israel threatens to bomb Iranian nuclear sites, report

Shafaq News/ A Western security official has confirmed that Israel plans to target objectives inside Iran, including nuclear facilities, if Tehran retaliates for the attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus and strikes locations within Israel.

Last week, Israel launched what could be considered its "strongest" strike against Iran in months by targeting the Iranian consulate building in Damascus with six missiles fired by F-35 fighter jets.

The attack resulted in the killing of Brig-Gen Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a leader in the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), along with his deputy and five others.

According to a report from the Times of Israel (ToI), "Tehran said reluctant to carry out attack in response to assassination of top general in Damascus, instead likely to retaliate through proxy groups."

Citing an anonymous "Western security official," the London-based Elaph News reported that Israel has been conducting air force drills in recent days that include preparing to target Iranian nuclear facilities and other key infrastructure.

"Unnamed US intelligence sources told CNN, however, that Iran is unlikely to attack Israel directly out of fear of American and Israeli reprisal, and will instead urge its various proxies in the region to launch attacks on its behalf in the coming days." The ToI said.

Published on Monday night, the CNN report cast doubt on previous assessments by both Washington and Jerusalem that an attack by Iran was "inevitable."

"Israel has been on high alert over the past week amid Iranian officials' promises of revenge for a Damascus airstrike that killed their top commander in Syria, Mohammad Reza Zahedi, alongside six other members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and at least one member of Iranian proxy group Hezbollah.

"Though Israel has not commented on the matter, both Damascus and Tehran blame Israel for the attack last Monday. The New York Times cited four unnamed Israeli officials as confirming that the country was behind the strike." The report added.

At a security cabinet meeting on Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly alluded to the strike while vowing to respond to a prospective Iranian attack.

"Iran has been acting against us for years — directly and via proxies. And, therefore, Israel acts against Iran and its proxies — defensively and offensively," he said.

"Zahedi was reportedly responsible for the IRGC Quds Force's operations in Syria and Lebanon, for Iranian militias there, and for ties with Hezbollah, and was thus the most senior commander of Iranian forces in the two countries. The 63-year-old was the most important Iranian soldier killed since the United States strike on Baghdad airport that killed Quds Force leader General Qassem Soleimani in 2020. The IRGC is a US-designated terrorist organization." Times of Israeli said.

Analysts saw the raid as an escalation of Israel's campaign against Iran and its regional proxies that runs the risk of triggering a wider war beyond the Israel-Hamas conflict in the Gaza Strip.

Both Iran and Hezbollah have vowed revenge for the strike. An adviser to Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, threatened Israeli embassies, telling Iran's ISNA news agency on Sunday that "the embassies of the Zionist regime are no longer safe."

In televised remarks last Friday, Hezbollah leader Sayyis Hassan Nasrallah said an Iranian response was coming.

"Be certain, be sure, that the Iranian response to the targeting of the consulate in Damascus is definitely coming against Israel," he said.

The report also pointed out that after an assessment on Sunday with top army brass at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that Israel was ready to respond to any attack by the Islamic Republic, and has "completed preparations for a response against any scenario that would develop against Iran."

“Israel is bracing for potential missile and drone attacks by Iran-backed groups in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen — all of which have been carried out amid the ongoing Gaza war — and ballistic missile attacks directly from Iran, which Israel has not yet faced. Israeli officials believe the country's air defense systems will be able to handle the threat.”

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