Published: 11:03, April 13, 2024
Israel 'ready' for Iranian retaliation in coordination with US
By Xinhua
Emergency services work at a building hit by an air strike in Damascus, Syria, April 1, 2024. An Israeli airstrike that demolished Iran's consulate in Damascus, Syrian and Iranian officials said. (PHOTO / AP)

JERUSALEM/BEIRUT – Israel's military chief Herzi Halevi said on Friday that the army was prepared, in close coordination with the US Central Command, or CENTCOM, for a possible Iranian retaliatory attack.

Israel was on high alert on Friday as warnings increased of Iranian retaliation following Israeli airstrikes on Iran's embassy in Damascus, in which seven senior Iranian officers were killed.

Photos released by the military showed CENTCOM Commander General Michael Erik Kurilla participating in a situational assessment meeting in Tel Aviv alongside Halevi and other senior Israel Defense Forces commanders on Friday.

We are prepared for an attack with various capabilities and we will also know how to defend the citizens of Israel.

Daniel Hagari, Spokesman, Israel Defense Forces

"The IDF is very strongly prepared, both offensively and defensively, against any threat," Halevi said, adding the military was "constantly preparing to deal with existing and potential threats in coordination with the United States Armed Forces".

Later in a press briefing, IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari said the joint meeting was held to "ensure a close coordination between us".

Israel's official alert application Home Front Command had not released new instructions for the public but that the military was on high alert, said Hagari.

"We are prepared for an attack with various capabilities and we will also know how to defend the citizens of Israel.”

Hezbollah fires rockets

About 40 rockets were fired from Lebanon at northern Israel on Friday night, causing no casualties, following Israeli airstrikes in southern Lebanon, Israel military said.

The rockets triggered sirens in multiple communities across the Upper Galilee in northern Israel.

Hagari said at the press briefing that most of the rockets fell in open fields, causing no injuries.

Lebanese military group Hezbollah confirmed in a statement on Friday firing dozens of Katyusha rockets on the Al-Zaoura site in the occupied territories. The rockets were fired in response to Israel's airstrikes on the villages of Aita al-Shaab and Al-Taybeh earlier in the evening, it added.

According to an Israeli military statement, the strikes targeted military compounds belonging to Hezbollah, an Iranian-backed armed group and political party.

Also on Friday, two Hezbollah drones carrying explosives that had crossed from Lebanon into Israeli territory were intercepted.

The cross-border fire came amid heightened alert in Israel, awaiting an Iranian retaliation for the killing of seven Iranian commanders in Syria in an Israeli airstrike on April 1.