GOP senator calls for US retaliatory strikes on Iran

Republican Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) called for retaliatory strikes against Iran after Tehran launched drone and cruise missile attacks against Israel on Saturday.

“Iran has begun launching drone strikes on Israel,” Blackburn said Saturday on social media platform X. “@POTUS  — we must move quickly and launch aggressive retaliatory strikes on Iran.” 

Blackburn’s post gives a sense of the pressure that President Biden could come under from some Republicans in Congress amid fears of a wider regional war.

IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari stated the “direct attack” from Iran constitutes a “severe and dangerous escalation.”

“Our defensive and offensive capabilities are at the highest level of readiness ahead of this large-scale attack from Iran,” he said in a video address posted on Saturday. “This is a mission that we are determined and ready to fulfill.”

The IDF said that Israel is on high alert and forces are “constantly monitoring” the developments. Naval vessels and fighter jets are on a defense mission, according to IDF. Air defenses also are on high alert.

NSC Spokesperson Adrienne Watson said Iran’s attack “is likely to unfold over a number of hours.” The strikes had been expected for several days after Iran’s embassy compound in Damascus, Syria was hit by an Israeli strike on April 1. The early April attack killed two senior officers in Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

NSC said that President Biden is being regularly updated regarding the ongoing situation. He returned to the White House on Saturday in light of the situation with Iran, the White House said midday Saturday, adding he would be meeting with his national security team. 

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