Israel warns of ‘strong blow’ if Iran attacks

Israel warns of ‘strong blow’ if Iran attacks
Benjamin Netanyahu
JERUSALEM, JAN 8 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 1/8/2020 1:28:31 PM IST

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Wednesday that Israel would strike a “resounding blow” if attacked by arch foe Iran, as regional tensions soar after the US killing of a top Iranian general.

“Anyone who attacks us will receive a resounding blow,” the premier told a Jerusalem conference after Iran launched a salvo of retaliatory missile strikes on bases used by US troops in Iraq.

Netanyahu has described the target of last week’s US drone strike -- Major General Qasem Soleimani, commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards foreign operations arm -- as a “terrorist-in-chief”.

“Qasem Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of countless innocent people, he destabilised many countries for decades, he sowed fear and misery and anguish and he was planning much worse,” Netanyahu said.

“He was the architect and driver of Iran’s campaign of terror throughout the Middle East and the world.”

The Israeli premier praised US President Donald Trump for “acting swiftly, boldly, and resolutely” in killing Soleimani in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

The drone strike has put the United States and key allies on alert for Tehran’s response to the killing.

A senior Iranian official on Monday warned the Israeli cities of Haifa and Tel Aviv would be turned “to dust”, if Washington carried out further military action in response to its retaliatory moves.

He reiterated his praise to US President Donald Trump for “acting swiftly, boldly, and resolutely” in killing Qassem Soleimani.

He stressed that Israel fully supports the US in its recent military campaign in the Middle East.

Iran has vowed to avenge the deadly drone strike, prompting alert in Israel, a close ally to the US.

On Monday, Mohsen Rezai, head of Iran’s Expediency Council, warned that “if America takes any measure after our military response, we will turn Tel Aviv and Haifa to dust”.

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