Iran continues to threaten Israel, Biden returns to Washington

The president was on a weekend trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware when he returned to the White House to consult with his national security team.
President Joe Biden boarding Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base.
Posted at 1:50 PM, Apr 13, 2024

President Joe Biden returned to Washington on Saturday to consult with his national security team about events in the Middle East as tensions in the region elevate even further amid threats from Iran. 

On Saturday Israel's military said Iran had launched drones toward Israel that were expected to arrive within hours of their launch. 

Earlier this week Israel's foreign minister made strong statementswarning that his country would strike Iran directly if the Islamic Republic attacked its territory. 

President Biden was on a weekend trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware when he returned to the White House Saturday afternoon. 

The White House later released a statement acknowledging "airborne strikes" against Israel were started, and said the president's national security team members were in constant contact with Israeli officials. 

The White House said Saturday afternoon "this attack is likely to unfold over a number of hours." 

The statement said, "President Biden has been clear: our support for Israel's security is ironclad. The United States will stand with the people of Israel and support their defense against these threats from Iran."

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

The president was seen boarding Marine One after leaving Gordons Pond in Rehoboth Beach, headed back to Washington. His motorcade was seen later arriving in Washington to head back to the White House. 

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Israel Katz said in a post on X in both Farsi and Hebrew, "If Iran attacks from its territory, Israel will respond and attack in Iran."

Gallant said, "we are determined to take any measures required to defend the citizens of the State of Israel."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "We appreciate the U.S. standing alongside Israel, as well as the support of Britain, France and many other countries. We have determined a clear principle: Whoever harms us, we will harm them. We will defend ourselves against any threat and will do so level-headedly and with determination."

The statement said Israel has "added new capabilities — on land, in the air, at sea" in its "intelligence directorate, within the State of Israel and together with" partners "led by the United States."

On Saturday commandos from Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard were seen in video boarding a ship from a helicopter. The vessel was an Israeli-affiliated container ship near the Strait of Hormuz. Commandos seized the vessel Saturday, the Associated Press reported. 

Iran vowed to retaliate after Israel attacked its embassy compound in Damascus, Syria last week. 

President Biden told reporters on Friday he expected a possible attack on Israel to happen "sooner rather than later." 

Tensions have been high in the Middle East since the conflict between Israel and Hamas flared up after the Oct. 7 terror attacks in Israel. 

In late January President Biden vowed to respond after three American troops were killed and dozens were injured in a drone strike in Jordan near the Syrian border.