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Israel On High Alert After Unprecedented Five-Hour Attack By Iran; Biden Reaffirms U.S. Commitment To Israel's Security; Biden To Meet With G7 Leaders Today; Iranian Military Leader: U.S. Bases Will Be Targeted If U.S. Backs Israel's Retaliation; Biden Tells Israel U.S. Won't Participate In Any Offensive Operations Against Iran; Iran: Military Operation Against Israel Has Concluded; Biden To Meet With G7 Leaders Today; GOP Lawmaker Pushes For Aid Bill To Be Put To Vote. Aired 6-7a ET

Aired April 14, 2024 - 06:00   ET



CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: Hello and welcome to our viewers in the United States and around the world. This is CNN's continuing breaking news coverage of Iran's strike on Israel. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London alongside my colleague Alex Marquardt in Washington.

Now this morning, Israel remains on high alert after Iran launched and unprecedented five-hour attack on Israel. The IDF says more than 300 missiles and drones were fired. The majority were fired from Iran. Some were launched from Iraq and Yemen, they say. Only a few were able to pierce Israel's defenses hitting an airbase in the southern part of the country causing minor damage. And there are no reports of injuries suffered directly from the strikes.

ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN ANCHOR: Israel is now saying that the U.S., Britain, as well as France also acted during these Iranian strikes. U.S. forces intercepting more than 70 one-way attack drones and at least three ballistic missiles, that's according to two U.S. officials who are familiar with the matter.

The attack was in response to an Israeli strike last week on what Iran says was its consulate building in Damascus, that was on April 1st. This morning, Tehran is saying that the matter has concluded and warns the U.S. and Israel against future attacks. But as we speak now, Israel's forces do remain on high alert.

AMANPOUR: President Biden has spoken with Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister, reassuring him that Washington still has a strong commitment to Israel. But our MJ Lee has learned the president also told Netanyahu, the U.S. will not take part in any offensive operation against Iran.

CNN is covering the story around the globe. CNN's Kevin Liptak and Kylie Atwood are standing by in Washington. But we begin with Jeremy Diamond in northern Israel. So, Jeremy, you're up there. It's the border with Lebanon. Hezbollah says that it did fire -- it was not clear whether it's in relation to the Iran strike. What are you hearing up there?

JEREMY DIAMOND, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, listen, we saw a significant barrage of rockets being fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel late last night or early this morning, I should say. This followed a five-hour long attack that Iran leveled against Israel.

More than 300 drones and missiles that were fired by Iran, 99 percent of which were intercepted by Israeli as well as some American air defense assets, according to the Israeli military. That included 170 drones, 30 plus cruise missiles, and 120 ballistic missiles. Only some of those ballistic missiles, according to the Israeli military, actually made it to their target, with several of those ballistic missiles hitting the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel, causing what the Israeli military described as light damage.

Following that barrage, Hezbollah fired at least 55 rockets directed at northern Israel and the Golan Heights. Iran's military chief of staff now saying that this military response by Iran has been concluded. But there's no question that both Israel and Iran are on high alert. And the question now is, how will Israel respond to this attack by Iran as well as its proxy forces?

Already we've seen overnight that Israel retaliated for those latest strikes striking deep inside Lebanon in northern Lebanon, which is rarer than the typical Israeli response that we see. Israel's war cabinet convenes overnight to discuss potential responses. So far, they have yet to publicly say what that response will look like.

We know that in recent days before this attack happened, Israel effectively said that an Iranian attack on Israeli soil would result in a commensurate response, suggesting a response on Iranian soil itself. That much remains unclear at this hour, but certainly this is a significant inflection point. And while the wave of Iranian drones and missiles has now concluded, much more still remains to be seen. Christiane, Alex.


AMANPOUR: Jeremy, just a quick question. It appears that the targets were a military base. That is according, at least, to a fragmentary commentary that we've already had from Israeli officials.

Now, you been up there and you've, obviously, been covering this since the heightened tensions since October 7. One of the areas of great concern for America is Israel potentially getting into a war with Hezbollah. Let's leave Iran aside for a moment.

And I covered the 2006 war which they didn't win. It was at best fought to a draw. What are you hearing about that?

DIAMOND: Well, what's so interesting, Christiane, is over the course of the last six months, we thought that if there were to be a moment that could potentially escalate this war between Israel and Hamas, and this kind of slow simmering conflict between Israel and Iranian proxy forces, that if there were to be something that would kind of result in this going in to a full-blown regional war, that it would be that that conflict between Israel and Hezbollah.

And yet what we're actually seeing is that this major escalation has actually come directly between Israel and Iran, resulting from Israel's strike on a consular facility in Damascus that killed a senior level Iranian commander, and then Iran's large-scale attack against Israel overnight.

Now, one thing that's unclear is the extent to which Hezbollah was acting in coordination with Iran. Obviously, they closely coordinate their military operations in general, but overnight as Hezbollah appears to have launched dozens of rockets at northern Israel and the Golan Heights, they claimed that their attacks were in support of the Palestinian people, framing it in that vein, rather than as part of this large-scale attack with Iran.

So, look, Israel in these latest strikes early this morning in northern Lebanon those are rare. It has happened before, however. So, it remains to be seen to what extent this could escalate further from here.

AMANPOUR: Jeremy Diamond, thank you. And in a matter of hours, President Biden will meet with G7 leaders virtually to coordinate a diplomatic response. Alex.

MARQUARDT: President Biden has already spoken with his Israeli counterpart Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

AMANPOUR: And CNN's Kevin Liptak joins us now from Washington. Kevin -- OK. What can we expect from that meeting today?

KEVIN LIPTAK, CNN SENIOR WHITE HOUSE REPORTER: Yes. And I think when the White House says that they will be coordinating a united diplomatic response, the emphasis is on the word diplomatic. Certainly, President Biden hoping to avoid a wider regional escalation, and he has made clear, including in his phone call with Prime Minister Netanyahu, that the U.S. will not participate in any offensive operations against Iran.

I just want to read to you a little bit of the president's statement last night. He said, "I've just spoken with Prime Minister Netanyahu to reaffirm America's ironclad commitment to the security of Israel." The president goes on to say, "I told him that Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks, sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel."

And I think reading between the lines of that statement and also in talking to American officials, the president's message here is take the win to Netanyahu. You have been successful in intercepting these hundreds of missiles and drones launched towards Israel. They did not strike anything of significance, most of them were shot down. Effectively saying that this was a success. And the president certainly trying to avoid this conflict from exploding into a wider regional conflagration. That is something that he had been trying to do since the start of this conflict. Certainly now, tensions are at among their highest point.

The president, in his talks with Netanyahu, trying to emphasize the importance of not letting this spiral out any further. And certainly, today as President Biden returns to the situation room to discuss the conflict with the leaders of the G7, his message will be on the diplomatic front, to try and find ways to coordinate against Iran without turning this into a regional war.

Now, we know yesterday President Biden returned urgently from his beach house in Rehoboth for these crisis meetings in the situation room. He's able to watch in real time as this unfolded. Now certainly the focus here at the White House is on how Israel respond and what that response might look like, Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Indeed. Kevin, thank you. And within the past few hours, Iran's army has sent another stark warning to the United States saying that if it cooperates with Israel in any possible counterattack, U.S. bases will be -- quote -- "dealt with." So, with us now is CNN's Kylie Atwood in Washington, D.C.


KYLIE ATWOOD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Yes, that's right. What we learned overnight from U.S. officials was that the U.S. was heavily involved in the response, the defense of Israel, alongside Israel, over the course of these five hours. With U.S. officials telling CNN that 70 drones and at least three ballistic missiles were intercepted by the U.S. over the course of this attack.

And we should also note that according to President Biden in that statement, there were not any U.S. personnel or U.S. facilities that were struck at all, and that is significant. It obviously contributes, the defense that the U.S. was able to put up, the defense that Israel was able to put up to the U.S. assessment that this was a largely unsuccessful attack by Iran.

And of course, the U.S., U.S. officials, President Biden himself, have reiterated that the U.S. support for Israel, U.S. defense of Israel, remains ironclad. But of course, it is important to point out that in that phone call between Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Biden, according to reporting from our colleague MJ Lee, President Biden said very clearly that the U.S. would not participate in offensive operations against Iran.

So, the U.S. is standing on Israel's side here, but also essentially saying, we're not going to go with you if you decide any counterattack is necessary here. The U.S. is pushing in conversations with allies in the region as they have been doing over the course of the last a week or so to try and de-escalate this situation.

The secretary of state put out in a statement last night, of course, condemning this attack by Iran, but also saying that he would be in touch with his partners in the region and around the world as the U.S. is pushing not to escalate this conversation. And it's also worth noting that today all eyes will be on that diplomatic response. As you guys were saying, the G7 will be meeting today. And we'll watch to see what the White House says out of that.

AMANPOUR: Indeed, Kylie, because everybody knows that while you are maybe outgunned by both Israel and Iran, a war with Iran would be a massively serious prospect. Thanks so much.

Now, as we said, Hezbollah has taken the opportunity to launch rocket strikes on the IDF. And Israel has retaliated. We'll take you live to Beirut for details.



MARQUARDT: This morning, fighting continues as it has for months between Israeli and Hezbollah forces along the Lebanese-Israeli border. Take a look.


MARQUARDT: That is dramatic video of outgoing Hezbollah rocket fire from Lebanon into the occupied Golan Heights. Now, following the attack the group, Hezbollah, which is backed by Iran, they issued a statement declaring its support of the Palestinian people in Gaza.

Now, Israel has already retaliated in the hours since that Hezbollah strike, hitting Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon. And Lebanon is where we find our senior international correspondent Ben Wedeman, who joins me now from Beirut.

So, Ben, in that statement about its support for the Palestinian people, Hezbollah appears to be making clear that its actions have to do with the war in Gaza, and are independent of Iran's attack on Israel.

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. The beginning of that statement is really the standard statement that Hezbollah puts out every time it launches strikes against Israel. And we know that from speaking with sources very close to Hezbollah, and we heard in his speech from Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of the Hezbollah himself, that the response to the Israeli strike on the diplomatic complex in Damascus, belonging to the Iranians on the 1st of April, would be Iranian.

Now, it's interesting that -- I think the video that you just showed was Katyusha rockets being fired by Hezbollah from southern Lebanon toward air and missile defense positions belonging to the Israelis on the Golan Heights, which might indicate that they were trying to disable those as the Iranian strikes were taking place.

Nonetheless, what we're seeing is that this is -- certainly today is really a continuation of the back-and-forth between Hezbollah and Israel that we've seen since the 8th of October. And therefore, you know, we've heard President Biden saying that the United States will not participate in any offensive operation -- Israeli offensive action against Israel -- against Iran, excuse me. So, it does appear that we've sort of gotten over what last night looked like.

What was really threatening to be a regional war it has gone back to really where we were. Where we were, of course, is there's a war going on in Gaza six months now, more than 33 -- almost 34,000 people dead, according to the U.N., 70 percent of whom are women and children.

Now, we know that the Israelis have long wanted the United States to participate in some sort of military action against Iran. President Biden's statement would indicate that that's not going to happen.


So, I think what we're seeing here in Lebanon, in Gaza, is it -- just back to the war that's been going on for six months. And the hope, certainly, here in Lebanon is that this country will not be drawn into any sort of war.

Last night, we saw a lot of panic buying of petrol in stations, particularly in the south of the country. The airport was closed for a few hours. But now everything has gone back to, as I said, before what passes for normal in Lebanon. Alex.

MARQUARDT: Ben, you've just spent time in southern Lebanon along the border with U.N. forces, I believe. The U.S. is trying to help broker a diplomatic deal to prevent a further flare up, and perhaps an Israeli incursion into southern Lebanon. What are the prospects of avoiding further war and a second front essentially being opened up? How are those -- how are those conversations going?

WEDEMAN: Well, what we've seen is Amos Hochstein, who is a special envoy from the White House, has been coming here on a regular basis, trying to work out some kind of arrangement whereby Hezbollah fighters who are along the border in southern Lebanon would be pulled back to north of the Litani River.

So far, they haven't had much success in this regard. And we understand that the Israelis are getting impatient. The government -- Benjamin Netanyahu is under intense pressure from the tens of thousands of Israelis who have fled their homes in the northern part of the country. And therefore increasingly, there are messages being sent that Israel's tolerance is wearing thin and that they could launch some sort of operation in the southern part of the country to try to drive Hezbollah out.

But if we go back to history in 2006 there was a more than month-long war between Israel and Hezbollah. Israel was -- really failed in achieving its objective of destroying Hezbollah. And there's no reason to believe that it wouldn't be the same if Israel to -- were to launch a similar military operation today. Alex.

MARQUARDT: All right. Ben Wedeman in Beirut. Thanks very much. Christiane. AMANPOUR: It's an important point, as we said, that war in 2006, which we both covered at best was fought to a draw with Hezbollah. A war against Iran would be much, much more serious, of course.

Now, Israel's military work with the U.S., the U.K. and France to defend against Iran's retaliatory strike. And while President Biden says the U.S. won't join any offensive operations against Iran, he reaffirmed America's commitment to Israel's security.

In a post on X this morning, French president Emmanuel Macron said -- quote -- "I condemn in the strongest terms the unprecedented attack launched by Iran against Israel, which threatens to destabilize the region."

The U.K. and Canadian prime ministers also condemned Iran's actions and pledged ongoing support for Israel's security. CNN's Paula Hancocks is live from Abu Dhabi with what's next in terms of the allied response. Paula.

PAULA HANCOCKS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Christiane, it's interesting what we've been hearing from the western side. Certainly, the western reaction has been very much focused on condemning the Iranian strikes overnight.

But when you look in the region here, there's certainly a lot more sensitivities. We are seeing much more of a diplomatic tightrope, if you like, with some of the countries in this region not wanting to upset any side.

For example, Saudi Arabia, it now has diplomatic relations with Iran. Once again, it is also -- if the Biden administration is taken at its word close so considering relations with Israel, and they also are close to the United States. So, they have had a very muted response of publicly, certainly, saying that they want all sides to de-escalate.

A very similar situation when you look at the UAE, when you look at Qatar, Jordan, for example. They all want to say that this needs to de-escalate, but they do not want to point the finger of blame in any particular direction. And that is understandable.

Of course, the sensitivities in this region are significant. They are all still agreed on one point though, and they are all still calling for that ceasefire in Gaza, calling for humanitarian aid to be going in, in more significant amounts into Gaza. But when it comes to what happened overnight, they are certainly not aligning themselves with any side.


Simply saying that they are worried about potential severe repercussions. Qatar saying there is deep concern. And that is really the line that they are trying to focus on at this point.

But it goes to show the concern in this particular region that this may be a significant escalation if indeed it becomes, once again, a tit for tat, a response to a response that we have seen in the past. And many of these countries in the region simply do not want to see an escalation. They cannot afford an escalation, and they are the countries that could potentially be brought in if this conflict does spread into a more wider regional escalation -- Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Paula, some of those countries, as you say, are involved in attempting to mediate an end to the catastrophe in Gaza. We see 33,000 or more dead. So many of them women and children and civilians. According to the United States, famine has set in. Starvation is happening there. The reality is terrible.

But also wondering whether you're hearing that some of those countries are concerned, that this escalation with and by Iran could move the focus from the important business of ending the war in Gaza, getting the hostages back and having a plan for the day after.

HANCOCKS: We've certainly been hearing that there's a concern that the focus has now shifted. I mean, the very fact that all the focus today is on this overnight strike by Iran, whether or not Israel will be carrying out some kind of response, whether the U.S. will be involved in that response. And the word Gaza is barely being uttered at this point. It is like the focus has shifted significantly.

Now, of course, as you say, there are still hundreds of thousands of people on the brink of famine in Gaza. Northern Gaza is still an utter catastrophe when it comes to innocent civilians there with no food, no water, and no shelter. You have countries like Jordan, for example. They have been integral in trying to get airdrops of food and water into northern Gaza. They've been working with many countries around the region, around the world, including the United States, to make that happen.

And yet overnight they were embroiled in what was happening with these Iranian strikes. They say that they had to work to shoot down what they call some foreign objects flying into their airspace. We had eyewitness accounts sending us videos as well in Amman, in Jordan, of what appeared to be these projectiles being intercepted overhead. Christiane.

AMANPOUR: Paula Hancocks, thank you so much. And our continuing breaking news coverage of Iran strike against Israel continues after a short break. And we'll talk more about the reaction around the region. That's coming up.



AMANPOUR: Iranians are celebrating last night's attack on Israel but new video into CNN shows pro-Palestinian demonstrations taking place in Tehran's Palestine Square. Often these are state-managed. This is following Iran's launch of more than 300 projectiles in retaliation for Israel strike on an Iranian consulate in Syria earlier this month. Israel's military says 99 percent of the missiles and drones fired overnight were shot down and damage was only minimal. Joining me now from Tel Aviv is the former director of Mossad who led Israel's National Security, Efraim Halevy. Welcome back to the program, Mr. Halevy. Can I just ask you first to evaluate what happened overnight. Did Iran do damage or did Israel showed that it actually came out ahead?

EFRAIM HALEVY, FORMER DIRECTOR, MOSSAD: I think that Israel came out ahead. As you said before the percentage of success was over 99 percent. I think this is unprecedented in this kind of warfare. I think that we suffered no real damage except for the injury of one person. And that is after hundreds and hundreds of these missiles and other AUVs were fired against Israel and Israel was able to neutralize almost all of them I'd say. I don't remember any such operation ever in recent years and such a success of this type.

AMANPOUR: So, therefore, Mr. Halevy, do you believe that Israel should not retaliate for this round. And if it does putting itself in direct confrontation with the United States, what will that bring to your country? I'm not sure whether a decision has been taken yet in Israel as to how to handle the aftermath of this attack.

On the one hand, I think the renewal of aircraft coming into a Lod international airports, the opening of the airports here and other places may be one of the indicators that Israel is going to look at this within the context of the wider element of the conflict we are now into.

I think also that maybe the time will come for the Iranians to think twice and three times before they proceed with the activities they had actually supporting mainly in the north of the country. And I think that this is a time for a perception not only of Israel but also of the Iranians. They have to think of their future. And the fact of the matter is that Israel is not alone inside the region on this --


AMANPOUR: Mr. Halevy, the former Israeli Prime Minister --


AMANPOUR: Sorry to interrupt you. The former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak told CNN today in direct, you know, question about what next. He said that Israel "had won this round" as we discussed, and that Netanyahu must think before doing anything further. And not only that, look at the whole picture. And he laid out that Israel is still in Gaza. That is not, you know, finished. Hostages are still captive. And as you mentioned, the Lebanon-Israel border is volatile.

What would your advice be if you were still in that position?

HALEVY: My advice would be that I don't think -- that this is not the time for taking -- going back and taking revenge. I don't -- I don't think the revenge is a good policy. And therefore, what we have to think of, what is our interest now. And I think that number one interest that we have is to get release of the hostages that are in the hands of the Hamas. AMANPOUR: And given the fact that these negotiations --

HALEVY: And this is something which has to have the highest priority.

AMANPOUR: Correct. And that's what the people of Israel believe. Certainly, the families believe that and have made it very clear to their government. But these negotiations appear not to be bearing any fruit at all. And I wonder if you think that the Israeli government needs to really double down on negotiations to deliver what you've just said. And we've also heard today that one of Netanyahu's most extreme coalition members has said that this event overnight actually shows that Netanyahu should double down and go into Rafah now despite what the United States has said.

HALEVY: I think that the opinion of one particular individual in the cabinet should not be something which has to be taken any notice of. And I think that, as I said, the number one uh priority we now have is to save the lives of the hostages. We know now that the hostages are in very dire straits. We know now that they're suffering enormously. We know that the women are suffering in ways that I don't want even to describe in this particular broadcast.

And therefore, we have to think also of our commitment to those who are now in captive in Gaza and to give this priority over every other issue on the table.

AMANPOUR: Efraim Halevy, former head of Mossad, thank you so much indeed. And of course, obviously the United States and all its allies say that huge amounts of humanitarian aid must get into the starving people of Gaza as well.

Celebrations in Tehran, as we mentioned, to show support for Iran's retaliatory strikes on Israel, while others in the region urge caution. As I say, those celebrations are often staged, managed by the regime. Next, we live the -- we get the latest reaction around the world.



ALEX MARQUARDT, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: In just a matter of hours, President Joe Biden will be meeting with fellow G7 leaders after Iran's five-hour barrage of missiles and drones that were fired against Israel overnight.

Joining me now to discuss is CNN Global Affairs Analyst Kimberly Dozier and CNN Military Analyst and Retired Air Force Colonel Cedric Leighton who is back with us.

Kim, to you first. We have seen Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu throughout the course of this war in Gaza time and time again ignore the pleas and the urging of the Biden Administration primarily around the question of aid getting into Gaza as well as avoiding Palestinian casualties. So, in this moment, as Israel considers its response, to what extent

do you think the U.S. now has leverage over Israel as it tells Israel that it would not support a strike against Iran?

KIMBERLY DOZIER, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: Well, the problem with that is that Israel has proven itself perfectly willing and capable of doing unilateral strikes without U.S. support. That said, it has been the common thinking that Israel would need some sort of refueling if it were to do a direct attack on Iran of any sort of sustained sort.


The problem also is that Israel's deterrence has been in the past if someone strikes Israel, it strikes back twice as hard. I had Israeli officials and Middle East officials explain that to me as they were watching what was unfolding in Gaza, that after the Hamas attacks of October 7th, Israel felt the need to message the Middle East writ-at- large that this cannot happen again and to make them feel pain.

So, that's what's going on in the war cabinet in Israel. The decision to strike now or strike covertly later now that Iran has crossed this divide and attacked openly, something it hasn't done before, though this shadow war is out in public, and that changes all the rules. Will Israel be content to do another deniable attack on Iran or does it feel the need to strike back in a public way? And we'll only know that by watching what they do in the coming hours and days.

MARQUARDT: But to your point, Kim, it may be hard to see what they do in the coming days. Cedric, to what Kim was discussing there, mentioning there in terms of perhaps an asymmetric response, if we don't see a classic say bombing campaign of Iran by Israel, what are some of the ways that Israel could respond in a more covert and hidden way in the coming weeks and months?

CEDRIC LEIGHTON, CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, Alex, one of the things that we've seen the Israelis do, of course, is those targeted assassinations of for example nuclear officials in Iran. That would be one thing that they could do. But they've basically already done that in many parts of the Middle East. In fact, even recently in Lebanon, they gone after some of the leaders of Hamas that have handled the finance aspect of Hamas.

So, that's the kind of thing that we can expect. But the other thing I think that is perhaps more likely if they go the asymmetrical route would perhaps be a cyberattack. And I'm thinking of stocks net for example that has been attributed to a joint U.S.-Israeli operation. Whether or not that was the case is, you know, subject to you know, some secrecy obviously but that is the kind of thing that the Israelis could mount. They have the technical capability to do that. And that could be done in conjunction with some more kinetic-type operations.

MARQUARDT: Kim, in the wake of last night's strikes, we've heard the sort of classic belico statements from the Iranians that they're ready to respond to more should Israel decide to do anything. Should the United States decide to do anything, they're ready to hit us targets. But what do you make of this uh really interesting set of statements last night that essentially we did what we came here to do and all this is over? That it really does seem like they were trying to telegraph this is the response and we don't want it to get any bigger?

DOZIER: I think that was important messaging for Western powers to hear because everyone watching this was wondering interesting they sent something like 300 missiles and drones in Israel's direction, but they didn't time it in such a way that everything would arrive at one once. Israel had a chance to respond together with the U.S., Britain, Jordan to knock these things out of the sky. They could have instead been faced with a barrage that overwhelmed their and their allies air defenses. So, Iran has apparently kept that in reserve for a potential future strike.

Each side is learning from what unfolded in the past 24 hours, so that also guarantees that whatever Israel does next, if Iran then responds, you're in this potential escalation, this tit for tat, and you can be pretty sure that the next round would be more deadly.

MARQUARDT: Well, there's certainly still a lot of tension this morning, a lot of questions about what we're going to see uh in the hours and the days going forward. Colonel Cedric Leighton, Kim Dozier, thank you both for joining me today.

And Iran's attack on Israel is sparking an urgent push on both sides of the aisle here in Washington. We'll have details on the bipartisan plan to support Israel with more aid. That's when we come back. Stay with us.



AMANPOUR: Welcome back. Republican Representative Mike Lawler of New York is urging his fellow House GOP members to pass an aid bill for Israel and also Ukraine and Taiwan. That of course has been held up in Congress for months. He's also blaming democrats for delay despite House Speaker Mike Johnson's refusal to bring a $95 billion foreign aid package that already passed in the senate in February to the House floor.


REP. MIKE LAWLER (R-NY): Look, I believe very strongly we need to get aid to Israel, to Ukraine, and to Taiwan. It's why I've introduced defending borders, defending democracies which would provide $66 billion in lethal aid as well as border security here in the United States. We have to recognize the threat at our own Southern Border.

But let me be very clear about this. House Republicans passed aid to is Israel back in November of last year. Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats sat on that for months refusing to take up that supplemental aid package for Israel. We obviously have to work together to get this done.

So, yes, I'm calling on Speaker Johnson to bring a bill to the floor this week. I'm calling on Chuck Schumer and the White House to work with House Republicans. We are in a divided government. We have to work together. There has to be compromise. We need to help Israel. We need to help Ukraine. We need to help Taiwan and we need to secure our own borders. The world is under attack and we all have a responsibility and an obligation to get this done.



AMANPOUR: And indeed, of course, everyone warns all America's allies that Ukraine is under attack by Vladimir Putin, and unless Ukraine gets the weapons, it will lose. That is the warning of the Ukrainian President. Now, the wave of Iranian strikes on Israel appears to have subsided but Israel says it remains on high alert. And our breaking news coverage continues after a short break.