TEL AVIV – President Donald Trump on Wednesday discussed “critical bilateral and regional issues” with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after an Iranian missile strike on U.S. bases in Iraq, the White House said.
No more details were forthcoming.
The statement came after Tehran fired more than a dozen missiles at U.S. bases in Iraq and warned it could strike Israel next.
Earlier Wednesday, Netanyahu warned Iran against attacking Israel and praised the “bold” U.S. move in killing “terrorist-in-chief” Iranian General Qasem Soleimani.
“Qasem Soleimani was responsible for the death of countless innocent people,” Netanyahu said at a conference in Jerusalem. “He destabilized many countries. For decades, he sowed fear and misery and anguish. And he was planning much worse.
“We’re standing steadfast against those who seek our lives. We’re standing with determination and with force. Whoever tries to attack us will receive a crushing blow in return,” he declared at a conference in Jerusalem.
“President Trump should be congratulated for acting swiftly, boldly and resolutely against this terrorist-in-chief, who was the architect and driver of Iran’s campaign of terror throughout the Middle East and throughout the world,” he added.
“In the Middle East, no day is like any other. The regional upheaval continues. The struggle between extremists and moderates continues unabated,” he continued.
“On one side is radical Islam led by Iran, which seeks to grasp large sections of the area by means of murderous terrorism, and to grasp, strangle and eliminate us, because they understand that the strongest force of Western culture is here, in the State of Israel. They understand this very well.”
“On the other side is the pragmatic camp that is threatened by Islamic extremists. This camp well understands the campaign for existence, for life and for the future. The State of Israel is the anchor of stability in these stormy waters. The challenges that we are dealing with are not lessening – on the contrary,” the prime minister went on.
He reiterated Israel’s support of the U.S. in its campaign against Iran. “America has no better friend than Israel, and Israel has no better friend than America.”
Ambassador to Israel David Friedman also spoke at the conference, which was organized by the Kohelet Forum think tank, and addressed the attack on the U.S. bases.
“Initial assessments are positive, and we pray those reports are true,” he said.
“Our military is by far the strongest in the world and our cause is just. We pray to God that we will prevail, overwhelmingly and without loss of innocent life.”
After the strike on Soleimani, Israeli media reported that Netanyahu was briefed about the U.S.’ plan to assassinate ahead of time.
Prior to his departure for Athens hours before the attack, Netanyahu said “very, very dramatic things” were imminent.