Report: Israel Tells US It Has No Choice But To Respond to Iran

Israeli TV reports that Israel's War Cabinet has decided it will attack Iran, but it's unclear how or when

Axios reported on Monday that Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin that Israel has no choice but to respond to Iran’s missile and drone attack, which came in retaliation for Israel’s bombing of Iran’s consulate in Damascus.

Gallant and Austin spoke on Sunday after President Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the US would not support an Israeli attack on Iran. The US is trying to portray the Iranian attack as a victory for Israel since most of the drones and missiles were intercepted with the help of the US, the UK, and Jordan, although some missiles got through and damaged an Israeli airbase.

But the US is also reaffirming that it will continue to defend Israel if there is another escalation. According to the Pentagon, Austin told Gallant that the US “does not seek escalation,” but he added that the US will “continue to defend Israel.”

Israeli TV reported on Monday that the Israeli War Cabinet convened again and agreed to respond to the Iranian attack “clearly and forcefully,” but there are no details on what the response would look like. The report said the attack would be designed to send the message that Israel will “not allow an attack of that magnitude against it to pass without a reaction.”

Israel has a long history of carrying out covert attacks inside Iran, including assassinations, sabotage attacks on energy infrastructure, and small drone attacks. If Israel wants to launch a more significant attack on Iranian territory, such as carrying out airstrikes, it would likely need support from the US.

Israel also has a history of killing Iranians in Syria and could potentially opt to do that again. The bombing of the Iranian consulate marked a huge escalation since it targeted a diplomatic facility and killed a senior Quds Force commander and six other members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Iran is usually very restrained in its responses to Israeli attacks if it responds at all, but the consulate bombing clearly crossed a red line. The Iranian attack on Israel didn’t kill anyone but did injure a seven-year-old Bedouin girl in the Negev.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.