The White House vowed Saturday that the United States’ support for Israel’s security is “ironclad,” pledging to stand with the Jewish state and “support their defense” after Iran launched an aerial drone attack towards the country Saturday afternoon. 

Iran launched drones from its own territory toward Israel late Saturday, days after its Supreme Leader warned it would hit back in response to an airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Syria that left several generals dead. 

“Iran has begun an airborne attack against Israel,” White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a statement Saturday. “President Biden is being regularly updated on the situation by his national security team and will meet with them this afternoon at the White House.” 

The White House said the president’s team “is in constant communication with Israeli officials as well as other partners and allies.” 

“This attack is likely to unfold over a number of hours,” Watson said. 

“President Biden has been clear: our support for Israel’s security is ironclad,” Watson continued. “The United States will stand with the people of Israel and support their defense against these threats from Iran.” 

Netanyahu and Biden embrace

FILE – President Joe Biden is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after arriving at Ben Gurion International Airport, Oct. 18, 2023, in Tel Aviv. Nearly half of Democrats disapprove of how Biden is handling the Israel-Hamas conflict, according to a new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll. The war could complicate Biden’s reelection effort as he tries to balance factions of his party with very different views on the conflict.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The president is expected to meet with national security officials to discuss the events in the Middle East in the White House Situation Room Saturday evening. The officials will likely include Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Q. Brown, CIA Director Bill Burns, Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and more. 

The president was briefed earlier in the day by his national security team. 

Earlier Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel had for weeks “been preparing for the possibility of a direct attack from Iran.” 

Netanyahu said Israel’s “air defenses are deployed, we are ready for any scenario, both in attack and in defense.” 

“I established a clear principle — whoever hurts us, we hurt him. We will protect ourselves from any threat and we will do so with coolness and determination,” he said.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack on Iran’s consulate in Damascus. 

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates. 

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