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Secretary of State Blinken says US was not involved in Israel’s retaliatory strike on Iran


Daily Caller News Foundation

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. was not involved in Israel’s offensive strikes on Iran early Friday.

The U.S. told foreign ministers at a Group of Seven (G7) meeting Friday that Washington had received “last minute” information about drone action against Iran, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani, who chaired the gathering, said, according to the Associated Press. Blinken declined to speak directly to the timing of Israel’s notification about its retaliatory attack but said the U.S. did not participate in any “offensive” action against Tehran amid longstanding concerns in the White House of conflagrations in the Middle East stoking all-out war with Iran.

“I’m not going to speak to that except to say that the United States has not been involved in any offensive operations,” Blinken said, the AP reported.

“What we’re focused on, what the G7 is focused on, and again, it’s reflected in our statement and in our conversation, is our work to de-escalate tensions,” he added, according to CNN.

Israel notified the U.S. of intentions to retaliate after Tehran launched more than 300 drones, ballistic and cruise missiles targeted at Israel on April 13 and 14, but Washington did not endorse the response, a U.S. official also said on condition of anonymity, according to CNN.

Earlier on Friday, air defenses activated at a major air base hosting Iran’s fleet of U.S.-made F-14 Tomcats and a nuclear facility in the city of Isfahan, in central Iran, after detecting an oncoming drone attack likely from Israel, the AP reported.

Tajani said Israel “informed at the last minute” U.S. officials about the drone response, the AP reported. “But there was no sharing of the attack by the U.S. It was a mere information,” he said.

It remains unclear for certain whether Israel fired missiles or only one-way attack drones at Iran.

Iranian officials have not officially acknowledged the Iranian attack, according to the AP. Israeli politicians alluded to the operation but did not formally declare the operation.

“The explosion this morning in the sky of Isfahan was related to the shooting of air defense systems at a suspicious object that did not cause any damage,” Iran’s top general,  Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi, said, according to the AP.

State-run SANA news agency also reported that Israel carried out a missile attack on an air defense unit located in Syria, the AP reported.

U.S. troops shot down Iranian attack drones targeting Israel amid Tehran’s highly previewed retaliation for Israel’s airstrikes killing senior Iranian military commanders on April 13 and 14. Tehran had threatened to retaliate against U.S. troops stationed in the Middle East if the Biden administration intervened in defense of Israel ahead of or during an attack.

On the 12th, the U.S. moved new military assets to the region to bolster deterrence and prepare for any contingencies that might require a military response.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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