Washington: Additional United States military assets that were moved into the Middle East before Iran's attack on Israel will remain in place, CNN reported, citing Pentagon spokesperson Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder.

"As (Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin) has said, both publicly and privately, we don't want to see escalation, but we obviously will take necessary measures to protect our forces in the region and as was demonstrated over the weekend, we'll take necessary measures to defend Israel," Ryder said.

Ryder's comments come as Israel debates possible retaliation to Iran's attack.

Earlier, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi vowed answer to the Iranian attack and said that Iran's attack on Israel "will be met with a response."

"Iran wanted to harm the strategic capabilities of the State of Israel, this is something that did not happen in the past," Halevi said while addressing troops at Nevatim airbase, which was hit in the strike.

"We were prepared in the 'Iron Shield' operation, this preparation brought Iran to also meet air superiority, which you expressed (manifested) very well," he said, CNN reported.

Halevi said that Israel had intelligence of Iran's strike since last Monday, adding that Israel is "very strong and knows how to deal with it on its own."

Meanwhile, amid fears of Israel response, US Secretary of Defence Llyod Austin spoke with the acting Deputy Prime Minister of Kuwait, Sheikh Fahad Youssef Al-Sabah and discussed the unprecedented attack by Iran on Israel, adding that US does not seek escalation, an official statement said.

"Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III spoke with Kuwaiti Acting Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, and Minister of Interior, His Excellency Sheikh Fahad Youssef Al-Sabah today to discuss the unprecedented attacks launched from Iranian territory and by Iran's proxies in the region into Israel, and U.S. and coalition efforts to defend Israel," Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said in a statement.

"The Secretary emphasized that while the United States does not seek escalation, we will continue to defend Israel and U.S. personnel. The Secretary reaffirmed the strong bilateral defence partnership between the United States and Kuwait," he added.

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