"Don't have any comment": White House mum on reports of Israeli strikes in Iran

World Saturday 20/April/2024 07:11 AM
"Don't have any comment": White House mum on reports of Israeli strikes in Iran

Washington, DC: The US has refrained from commenting on reports of Israeli attacks in Iran overnight, with White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre abstaining from taking any questions about the strikes.

"I know there's a lot of interest in reports from the Middle East overnight and we understand that we get that. I'm going to say it now, though I know you all will certainly ask me about that. We do not have any comment on the reports at this time," Jean-Pierre said at a press briefing on Friday.

The White House Press Secretary further said that the US has been consulting its allies and partners, including in the region, to reduce further risk of escalation in the Middle East.

Asked about the situation in the Middle East, Karine Jean-Pierre said, "I'm going to again be super mindful, and I understand the interest and going to be disappointing many people here this afternoon. I just don't have anything to share. I'm not going to speculate on the reportings out there. You heard the same, obviously. You said what we've been saying since this morning; you heard from Secretary Blinken. So, I'm just going to be really, really mindful, but as you asked me as well about escalation, I'm going to speak more generally."

She said that the Biden administration has been clear from the beginning that they do not want to see this conflict escalate. She referred to the G7 foreign ministers' joint statement released after the meeting, that was attended by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

"We have been very clear from here from the beginning that we do not want to see this conflict escalate. We continue to consult with our allies and partners, including in the region, to reduce further risk of escalation in the region. That's a sentiment that was expressed in the G7 foreign ministers' joint statement that went out this morning," she added.

Earlier on Friday, Israel carried out airstrikes against Iran, ABC News reported, citing a US official. Al Jazeera cited Mehr news agency reporting that "sounds were heard over the city" in Isfahan, adding that "several miniature UAVs were shot down."

However, the official could not confirm whether Syria and Iraq sites were hit as well. The report came shortly after local sources reported blasts in the Isfahan region of central Iran.
Following this, Iran fired air defense batteries and shut down flight operations in several cities, including Tehran, Shiraz, and Isfahan, which were later lifted.

Meanwhile, as per Syrian media reports today morning, the Syrian Army's locations in the southern Syrian governorates of As-Suwayda and Daraa were also the target of attacks.

The attacks targeted Syrian military radar sites between Qarda and Izraa in Daraa, southern Syria, according to the local news outlet As-Suwayda24. Residents of Mosul and Erbil in Iraq reported hearing the sounds of fighter jets as well on Friday during the early morning hours, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The latest development comes after Iran on April 13 fired a barrage of over 300 missiles and drones against Israel, which Tehran said was in retaliation for an alleged Israeli strike on its consulate in Syria on April 1 in which 13 people were killed.

Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, during discussions on the Middle East situation at the UNSC on Thursday, warned Israel against taking any military actions targeting Iranian interests.

He stated Iran has concluded its "defense and counteroffensive measures" and urged the international community to stop Israel from carrying out any military operations against Iran.

On April 17, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Israel will make its own decisions and do whatever is necessary to protect itself, even if it contradicts the advice given by its allies, as reported by The Times of Israel.

Netanyahu made the statement at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday after meeting with the foreign ministers of the UK and Germany. UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock arrived in Israel on Wednesday.