Biden warns Iran against attacking Israel amid expected retaliation for consulate bombing

US President Joe Biden on Friday warned Iran against attacking Israel amid expectations that Tehran will soon carry out a reprisal for the bombing of its consulate in Damascus, Syria earlier this month.

"We are devoted to the defense of Israel. We will support Israel. We will help to defend Israel, and Iran will not succeed," Biden told reporters as he concluded virtual remarks to a civil rights group.

Israel is on high alert amid Iran's public vow to attack Israeli targets in retaliation for the April 1 airstrike on its diplomatic facility in the Syrian capital. The strike killed at least seven members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, including two top generals.

Iran has accused Israel of carrying out the attack and vowed to respond. Israel, however, has not officially claimed responsibility for the attack, but it has for months carried out a number of strikes against Iranian targets across Syria.

Both Iran and Hezbollah, its main ally in Lebanon, have said that the attack will not go unpunished.

Asked by a reporter how imminent an Iranian attack is, Biden said his expectation is "sooner than later."

The escalation comes as Israel continues to wage a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip following a cross-border attack in early October by Hamas, which killed about 1,200 people.

More than 33,600 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, and over 75,800 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

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