World, Americas, Middle East

US missile ship anchors off Israeli coast: Report

Move comes as world braces for possible Iranian attack on Israel following April 1 strike on Iranian Consulate in Damascus

Abdelraouf Arnaout  | 12.04.2024 - Update : 12.04.2024
US missile ship anchors off Israeli coast: Report File Photo


As the world braces for possible hostilities between Iran and Israel, a US missile ship with advanced defensive capabilities docked Friday off Israel.

“The United States of America on Friday brought a missile ship close to the coast of Israel,” Israeli Channel 14 reported.

The vessel has “advanced defensive capabilities and may help Israel if it is subjected to a missile attack by Iran in the near future,” it said.

“Israel is preparing for a direct attack from Iran, in the north or south of the country, within the next 24 to 48 hours,” the channel quoted an unnamed source as saying.

The channel also said the US had asked Israel why it was not informed in advance about the April 1 attack on the Iranian Consulate in Damascus, Syria. Israel is widely blamed for the attack, which is said to be spurring a possible Iranian strike on Israel.

“Last night, in a conversation with (Israeli) Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin demanded clarifications about Israel not informing the United States before carrying out the attack near the Iranian Consulate in Damascus where a senior Iranian official was killed,” the channel said.

Israel is on high alert amid fears of a possible Iranian attack on Israeli targets after threats by Tehran to retaliate over the April 1 strike.

At least seven members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were killed in the attack, including two top generals.

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz threatened Wednesday that his country’s military would strike Iran directly if Tehran launched an attack from its territory against Israel – threatening an escalation of the war in Gaza into a broader regional conflict.

The US ship docked as Israel continues its deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack in early October by the Palestinian group Hamas, which killed around 1,200 people.

More than 33,600 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza and over 76,000 injured, besides causing mass destruction and displacement and a crippling blockade leading to conditions close to famine.

* Writing by Ikram Kouachi

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