Biden predicts Iranian retaliation

Alan Cai

April 12, 2024

Update (4/13/2024 1:31 pm): Iran launched a swarm of drones at Israel this morning from its own territory. Israel has announced that it is ready to intercept the wave. Source: WSJ

President Biden said during a press briefing today that he expected a retaliatory strike against Israel from Iran for the bombing of its embassy in Syria on April 1st. The attack, which struck a consular building adjacent to the main embassy building, killed anywhere from five to twelve individuals (seven according to official Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps reports), and was carried out by warplanes. Iran has blamed Israel for the attack and vowed revenge but Israel has yet to confirm or reject the accusation. Numerous countries including US regional partners Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates as well as US adversaries such as Russia have condemned the attack. Iranian proxy group Hezbollah, based in Lebanon, has also promised vengeance.

Biden warned that an attack by Iran could be imminent and that it could come “sooner, rather than later.” He sent two US Navy destroyers to the region, including one that is currently intercepting drones and missiles from the Yemen-based Houthi Rebels from reaching Israel, to deter Iran from further aggression. The president also sent General Michael "Erik" Kurilla, Commander of the US Central Command, to Israel to discuss strategy with top Israeli defense officials regarding a possible Iranian attack. The White House has yet to respond to a Brutus Journal request for comment.

US officials estimate that Iran has over a hundred drones and cruise missiles ready to launch at Israel. However, as the two countries do not border one another and defense facilities are scattered throughout the region, US air defenses, along with Israel’s Iron Dome, may be able to repel a vast majority of any potential attack.

Nevertheless, the true impact of any Iranian retaliation lies not in its initial impact, but in the broader regional and global implications, especially as it pertains to the escalation of the Israel-Hamas conflict and other pressing issues.

In times of potential conflict, the foremost duty of the US president is to ensure the safety of the 3500 US personnel stationed in Syria and Iraq. Biden must guarantee that American military service men and women are out of harm’s way and that the conflict does not inadvertently spill American blood. This may prove to be a tedious task considering that numerous active paramilitary parties in the region, the groups which are traditionally most active in smaller-scale skirmishes, are anti-American, with Yemen’s Houthi rebel group specifically embedding “Death to America” in its official slogan.

In such perilous times, America must decide whether to prioritize strategic initiatives in the Middle East or to protect American servicemembers. When the two come into conflict, it is always of utmost importance that the security of American military personnel is given the utmost consideration.