Lloyd Austin and Yoav Gallant
Lloyd Austin and Yoav GallantAriel Hermoni, Defense Ministry

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin asked his Israeli counterpart, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, to notify the US ahead of any potential response to the Iranian attack, a US official told CNN on Saturday night.

The two had spoken hours after Iran had launched its massive barrage of drones and missiles at Israel.

After the conversation, Gallant wrote on social media, “Spoke with Secretary Austin about Israel’s defensive operations in the face of Iran’s attack. We are prepared for any further threats, and are determined to defend our citizens.”

“Thank you to Secretary Austin and the US Administration for standing boldly with Israel,” he added.

Gallant and Austin had previously spoken on Thursday night. In a readout following the call, Pentagon Press Secretary Pat Ryder said that Austin reiterated during the conversation with Gallant “ironclad US support for Israel's defense in the face of growing threats from Iran and its regional proxies.”

“Echoing President Biden's unequivocal message to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, Secretary Austin assured Minister Gallant that Israel could count on full US support to defend Israel against Iranian attacks, which Tehran has publicly threatened,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, a senior administration official and a senior defense official told NBC News on Saturday night that there is concern among top US officials that Israel could do something quickly in response to Iran’s attacks without thinking through potential fallout afterward.

President Joe Biden has privately expressed concern that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to drag the US more deeply into a broader conflict, according to three people familiar with his comments.

Those concerns stem in part from the administration’s views of the approach Israel has taken to its war against Hamas, as well as the attack in Damascus.

While the White House believes the Israelis are not looking for a wider war or a direct war with Iran, particularly given the resources they have fighting the war in Gaza, US officials can’t be certain, the senior administration official said.