US says Iran threat against Israel credible, CBS warns attack imminent

The threat of an Iranian attack is viable and credible, the White House said as the American news outlet CBS reported on Friday that Iran could attack military sites within Israel with missiles and drones.

America, France, Russia, and India issued travel warnings. At the same time, Israel’s Home Front Command remained silent even as the army was on high alert for an Iranian response to an alleged IDF airstrike in Damascus that killed seven Iranian generals on April 1.

“We are prepared to defend ourselves on the ground and in the air, in close cooperation with our partners, and we will know how to respond,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Friday as he met with the head of US Central Command (CENTCOM) Michael Erik Kurilla at the IAF Hatzor airbase.

US National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby said that Washington was “certainly mindful of a very public and what we consider to be a very credible threat made by Iran in terms of potential attacks.”

US officials have been in “constant communication” with their Israeli counterparts, to make sure “they can defend themselves against those kinds of attacks,” Kirby stated.

“We are taking this seriously and so are our Israeli counterparts,” he stated.

Kirby added that the United States is looking at its own force posture in the region in light of Tehran’s threat.Gallant, after speaking with Kurilla in Israel, said that they had discussed the “close cooperation between the US and Israel, between our defense establishments and our militaries.”

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (credit: ARIEL HERMONI/DEFENSE MINISTRY)

Strengthening ties

“Our enemies think that they can pull apart Israel and the United States, but the opposite is true – they are bringing us together and strengthening our ties. We stand shoulder to shoulder,” Gallant stated.

In light of the heightened possibility of an attack, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in the last 48 hours.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Israel Katz have also issued public statements warning Tehran that it would retaliate for any strike, including direct hits on its soil.

The US, France, Russia, and Germany have all worked behind the scenes to avert a direct confrontation between the two arch-foes, which comes as Israel has been under attack by Iranian proxy groups for the last half year.

The US embassy asked its staff and their families not to travel outside of “greater Tel Aviv (including Herzliya, Netanya, and Even Yehuda), Jerusalem, and Be’er Sheva areas until further notice.”

France advised its citizens to refrain in the coming days from traveling to Iran, Lebanon, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. It also asked that the families of diplomatic staff leave Iran.

India advised its citizens on Friday against traveling to Iran and Israel until further notice, given the “prevailing situation in the region.”

India’s foreign ministry said citizens in the two countries should observe “utmost precautions about their safety and restrict their movements to the minimum.”

Reuters contributed to this report.