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US disputes Iran intended to give forewarning on attacking Israel

The United States rebuked claims Sunday that Iran gave other countries in the region a warning that it would be launching a significant aerial attack against Israel on Saturday.

Iran did not warn other countries in the region that it would be attacking Israel on Saturday, a senior administration official said in a briefing to reporters Sunday. When asked to confirm claims that Iran gave a 72-hour warning about its attack, the official said that was “absolutely not true.”

“They did not give a notification, nor do they give any sense of, you know, these will be the targets, so evacuate them. They were clearly intending to destroy and to cause casualties. That was their intent, and the fact that they didn’t, I think they might want to now say that, ‘Well, we didn’t need to,'” the official said.

Iran launched a wave of drone and missile attacks toward Israel on Saturday, but most of them were thwarted with the help of U.S. forces overnight. Iran said that its attack was in response to a strike earlier this month that killed members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps in an Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said Sunday in a televised meeting that the country had warned its allies and neighbors in the region about the attack 72 hours in advance, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The senior administration official said this was not the case, noting that Iran’s goal was to harm Israel.

“And so no, there was no such forewarning or anything like that. They were very clear that they would be responding, and that was clearly going to happen. The level, scope of it was something that was discussed throughout the week,” the official said.

“But no, there was no kind of like, warning as a way to kind of fire missiles but somehow not hurt anybody. That was not … that was not their intent,” he said.

The White House sounded the alarm last week that Iran was expected to launch a retaliatory attack on Israel in response to an April 1 attack on its embassy in Syria. President Biden warned Friday that an Iranian attack would likely come “sooner than later.”

Source: The Hill

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