White House Blames Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps for Rocket Assault on Israel
The United States has explicitly blamed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for the rocket attacks on Israel that prompted extensive Israeli air strikes against Iranian targets in Syria overnight Wednesday.
“Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) bears full responsibility for the consequences of its reckless actions, and we call on the IRGC and its militant proxies, including Hezbollah, to take no further provocative steps,” a statement from the White House press secretary said.
The statement also reiterated American support for Israel’s right to defend itself from Iranian attacks. “The Iranian regime’s deployment into Syria of offensive rocket and missile systems aimed at Israel is an unacceptable and highly dangerous development for the entire Middle East,” the White House said.
Israel earlier said that Gen. Qassem Solaimani — the commander of the Quds Force, which spearheads IRGC operations abroad — had ordered Thursday’s rocket attack, which dramatically escalated military tensions between Israel and Iranian forces stationed in Syria.
One Israeli news outlet claimed that the US would be willing to become directly involved in a military conflict that threatened Israel. According to the Hebrew news site Walla, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, has already sent a message to Iran’s leaders making clear that in the event of Israel of being “harmed,” the US would respond militarily. No further details were provided.
The general assumption in Israel, nonetheless, is that the IDF would bear the lion’s share of the military burden in the event of a war with Iran. “Even with US support and a green light from a supportive president, the military campaign will fall primarily on Israel,” Maj. Gen. (ret.) Amos Yadlin, a former IDF Military Intelligence chief and the current head of the Tel Aviv University-affiliated Institute for National Security Studies think tank, remarked on Twitter.
Yadlin went on to argue that Iran now presents a “dual challenge,” in the form of its ongoing nuclear program and the consolidation of its presence in Syria — where the Tehran regime is the main guarantor, alongside Russia, of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s continued rule.