Illustration by KL./

 – The United States has communicated to Iran that it was not involved in an air strike against a top Iranian military commander in Damascus, the White House said on Thursday.

“We communicated to Iran that the U.S. had no involvement in the strike that happened in Damascus and we have warned Iran not to use this attack as a pretext to escalate further in the region or to attack U.S. facilities or personnel,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

Suspected Israeli warplanes bombed Iran‘s embassy in Damascus on Monday in a strike that killed an Iranian military commander and marked a major escalation in Israel’s war with its regional adversaries.

The United States has been on high alert about possible retaliatory strikes from Iran and U.S. envoys have been working urgently to try to lower tensions.

“Obviously we don’t want this conflict to spread,” Jean-Pierre said.

(Reporting by Jeff Mason and Steve Holland; Editing by Chris Reese and Sandra Maler)

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