Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed a deadly retaliation if Iran attacks Israel as part of its response to the US assassination of commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad last week.
“We’re standing steadfast against those who seek to kill us. We’re standing with determination and with force. Whoever tries to attack us will suffer a most crushing blow,” the Israeli leader declared at a conference in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
Netanyahu alleged that Soleimani was personally responsible for the deaths of “countless innocent people,” destabilizing “many” countries and spreading “fear and misery and anguish.”
He argued that US President Donald Trump should be applauded for ordering a drone strike that killed the Quds Force commander, accusing the slain “terrorist-in-chief” of plotting to carry out acts of terror around the world.
The Israeli prime minister stressed that his country “stands completely beside” the United States in its confrontation with Tehran.Until now, Netanyahu had remained tight-lipped about Soleimani’s killing, describing the incident as a purely American affair that Israel had no part in.
Senior military commanders in Iran have suggested that Tel Aviv could be targeted as part of Tehran’s response to the assassination.Iran targeted several US military facilities in Iraq in the early hours of Wednesday, describing the strikes as legitimate measures carried out in self-defense.