Lloyd Austin
Lloyd AustinREUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin spoke on Monday with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, the fourth call between the two in recent days.

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said that Austin had called Gallant “to discuss the aftermath of Iran's unprecedented April 13 attacks, which US, Israeli, and partner forces thwarted in a combined defensive operation.”

“The Secretary reiterated steadfast US support for Israel's defense and reaffirmed the strategic goal of regional stability,” added Ryder.

Earlier on Monday, Ryder said that additional US military assets that had been moved into the Middle East before Iran’s attack on Israel remain in place.

"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," the Pentagon Press Secretary said, according to CNN.

In their conversation on Sunday, Austin and Gallant reviewed “the successful combined operation by the United States, Israel, and their partners to defend Israel from unprecedented attacks launched from Iranian territory and by Iran's proxies.”

“The Secretary emphasized that while the United States does not seek escalation, we will continue to take all necessary action to defend Israel and US personnel,” Ryder said after that conversation.

Monday’s call took place amid speculations that Israel is planning to retaliate for the massive Iranian attack on the weekend, in which some 300 missiles and drones were fired from Iranian territory towards Israel.

The Wall Street Journal reported that American officials believe Israel is preparing to respond to Iran's massive assault in the near future.

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi visited the Nevatim Airbase on Monday, two days after the base was damaged in the Iranian missile and drone attack, and said that the Iranian attack will be met with a response.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Ali Bagheri Kani, warned Israel against retaliating, saying a response to an Israeli retaliation “will not be measured in days and hours, but in seconds.”