US, Israel: Coalition Ensured 'Spectacular Defeat' of Iran Attack

2024-04-15 17:31:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

US, Israel: Coalition Ensured 'Spectacular Defeat' of Iran Attack

The United States and Israel say the Iranian airstrike, which used 300 drones and missiles, suffered a "spectacular defeat" thanks to the response of Israel and its allies. But, as Voice of America correspondent Anita Powell reports, after the attack attention has focused on what happens next and on calls to avoid further escalation in the region.

The White House said Sunday that Iran's first direct attack on Israel was a failure.

99% of Iranian missiles were intercepted before they could hit Israel.

President Joe Biden cut short his weekend trip and returned to the White House on Saturday, where he spent hours talking with world leaders. White House officials also told reporters that Washington does not support an Israeli counterattack.

President Biden's administration made this position clear on Sunday.

"The president has made it clear, we do not seek war with Iran," said John Kirby, White House Homeland Security spokesman.

After the attack, Israeli leaders tried to focus on what the attack means for solidarity against Iran, which supports the militant groups that carried out the Oct. 7 attack on Israel, engulfing the region in violence.

"We have an opportunity now to create a strategic alliance against Iran, which threatens to use nuclear warheads on missiles. The US, Israel and its allies stand by each other to defend against this threat." says Yoav Gallant, Israel's Defense Minister.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for restraint on Sunday during the Security Council meeting.

"I strongly condemn the serious escalation of the attack on Israel by the Islamic Republic of Iran. I call for an immediate cessation of these hostilities. I also condemned the attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1, recalling the principle of inviolability of diplomatic and consular premises and personnel which must be respected in all cases," said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Tehran vowed to retaliate for the alleged Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus earlier this month. Iran's ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday that the attack on the consulate justified Iran's response. He emphasized that Iran does not seek conflict with the United States, but ended his speech with a warning:

"If the US starts military operations against Iran, its citizens or interests, Iran will use the right to respond proportionately," said Amir Saeid Iravani, Iran's UN ambassador.

Although Israelis expected it, the night of the attacks was extremely disturbing, some of them said the next day.

"No one knew what to expect. It was a completely new experience, but people were very relieved because the attack was blocked," says analyst Nimrod Goren of the Middle East Institute.

The main question is how Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will react.

"I think that as Israel considers how to react from now on, he (Netanyahu) also sees some opportunities to reverse the negative perception of his image in the West, given what happened and the restraint he is showing to responded to the Iranian attack," says Mr. Goren.

As world leaders ponder what happens next, the situation in Gaza reinforces the need to end the conflict./ Voa

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