US rules out joining Israeli attack against Iran

US rules out joining Israeli attack against Iran

Washington: The White House said Biden did not want a wider war after helping key ally Israel repel a massive aerial attack by Tehran -- itself in retaliation for a presumed Israeli strike that killed an Iranian general in Damascus.

“We’re not looking for a wider war with Iran,” White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” adding that the United States does not “want to see this escalate.”

Kirby said Netanyahu was “well aware” of Biden’s feelings after the two leaders spoke on Saturday while Iran's unprecedented attack was still unfolding.

The assault saw Iran fire more than 300 drones and missiles towards Israel late Saturday, injuring 12 people, the Israeli army said.

US officials said American warplanes had brought down around 70 drones while US ships downed between four and six ballistic missiles.

But a senior Biden administration official confirmed that Biden had told Netanyahu that Washington would not offer military support for any retaliation on Iran.

“We would not be a part of any response they do,” the official told reporters on a call, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We would not envision ourselves participating in such an act.”

Washington -- which is Israel’s biggest military supplier and has also been pressing for an end to the conflict in Gaza -- was also trying to guide it away from further escalation.

“A big question is not only whether, but what Israel might choose to do, and so this is a decision for them,” the Biden administration official said.

Meanwhile, Iran has resumed operations at the Imam Khomeini international airport and the Mehrabad airport in the capital, Tehran, according to the state-run Tasnim news agency.

Authorities had closed the airports on Sunday before launching an unprecedented missile and drone attack on Israel.