White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby
White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby Image Credit: AFP

Washington: Iran's threats of reprisals against Israel after a strike in Syria this month that killed two Iranian generals remain "real," the White House said on Friday.

"We still deem the potential threat by Iran here to be real, to be viable," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told journalists.

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Kirby would not confirm reports that US officials considered an Iranian attack "imminent" or comment on whether the United States would help shoot down any Iranian missiles fired at Israel.

"I would just say that we're watching this very, very closely," he said, adding that Washington would make sure the Israelis "have what they need and that they're able to defend themselves."

The United States would also look at its own force posture in the region where it has thousands of troops "to make sure that we're we're properly prepared."

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Israel 'shoulder to shoulder' with US on Iran
Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said that Israel and the United States were "shoulder to shoulder" in facing the threat from Iran, after talks with US Central Command chief Michael Kurilla.

"Our enemies think that they can pull apart Israel and the United States, but the opposite is true - they are bringing us together and strengthening our ties", Gallant said in a statement, after the two discussed Iran's threats of retaliation for a deadly air strike on its consulate in Syria widely blamed on Israel.

"We stand shoulder to shoulder."