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President Biden returns to White House to deal with West Asia escalation | External Affairs Defence Security News


Joe Biden, Biden

President Joe Biden (Photo: PTI)

President Joe Biden is heading back to the White House to consult with his national security team about events in the Middle East, cutting short a weekend at his private residence in Delaware.


The White House announced the decision in a statement after Iran said it seized an Israel-linked container ship near the Strait of Hormuz and directed it toward Iranian territorial waters. Israel has been bracing for an Iranian response to a suspected Israeli attack on Iran’s embassy in Syria on April 1.


Biden said Friday he expected Iran’s retaliation “sooner rather than later” when asked whether an Iranian attack was imminent. He warned Iran against striking Israel, said the US is “devoted to the defense of Israel” and added that Iran “will not succeed.”

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant spoke Saturday, with Austin reiterating “unwavering US support for Israel’s defense,” Pentagon spokesman Pat Ryder said in a statement.

Austin “made clear that Israel could count on full US support to defend Israel against any attacks by Iran and its regional proxies,” Ryder said.


The Biden administration condemned the seizing of the ship and called on Iran to release the vessel and its crew immediately, Adrienne Watson, spokesperson for the National Security Council at the White House, said in a social media post.

First Published: Apr 13 2024 | 11:52 PM IST


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