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US president to return to Washington amid tension in Middle East

April 13, 2024 at 6:56 pm

US President Joe Biden gives a speech in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington, D.C., United States on April 10, 2024. [Celal Güneş – Anadolu Agency]

US President Joe Biden will return to Washington on Saturday afternoon to consult with his team amid heightened tensions between Iran and Israel, Anadolu Agency reports.

“The President is returning to the White House this afternoon to consult with his national security team about events in the Middle East,” the White House said.

Biden cut short his weekend trip to Delaware, it added.

Israel is on high alert amid Iran’s public vow to attack Israeli targets in retaliation for the April 1 airstrike on its diplomatic facility in the Syrian capital Damascus. The strike killed at least seven members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including two top generals.

READ: Russian foreign minister calls Israeli strike on Iranian diplomatic mission in Damascus ‘political killing’

Iran has accused Israel of carrying out the attack and vowed to respond. Tel Aviv has not officially claimed responsibility for the attack, but it has for months carried out a number of strikes against Iranian targets across Syria.

Both Iran and Hezbollah, its main ally in Lebanon, have said that the attack will not go unpunished.

“Don’t,” US President Joe Biden on Friday said is his message to Tehran.

“We are devoted to the defense of Israel. We will support Israel. We will help defend Israel and Iran will not succeed,” he told reporters.

Asked by a reporter how imminent an Iranian attack is, Biden said his expectation is “sooner than later.”

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