June 20, 2019 / 5:30 PM / 5 months ago

Israel's Netanyahu urges support for U.S. against Iran's 'aggression'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during the weekly cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem May 19, 2019. Ariel Schalit/Pool via REUTERS

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday called on the international community to support the United States against Iran as tensions between the two countries escalated after the downing of a U.S. drone by Iran.

“In the last 24 hours Iran has intensified its aggression against the United States and against all of us. And I repeat my call for all peace-loving countries to stand by the United States in its effort to stop Iranian aggression,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “Israel stands by the United States on this.”

U.S. President Donald Trump said Iran made “a very big mistake” by shooting down a U.S. military drone that Tehran said was on a spy mission over its territory, in an incident that fanned fears of wider military conflict in the Middle East.

Asked how the United States will respond, Trump told reporters, “You’ll find out.”

Last month an Israeli minister warned of possible direct or proxy Iranian attacks on Israel should the stand-off between Tehran and Washington escalate.

Asked if Israel’s armed forces were on any changed alert status given Trump’s statement on Iran, an Israeli military spokesman said they were not.

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton will meet Netanyahu in Israel on June 23.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch, Editing by Stephen Farrell

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