Signup to receive the Early Edition in your inbox here.

A curated weekday guide to major news and developments over past 24 hours. Here’s today’s news


At least three top Iranian commanders were killed yesterday in an Israeli airstrike in Syria. According to Iranian and Syrian officials, three senior commanders and four officers overseeing Iran’s covert operations in the Middle East were killed when Israeli warplanes struck a building in Damascus that forms part of the Iranian Embassy complex. Israeli officials confirmed that Israel was behind the strike but denied that the building had diplomatic status, claiming it was an outpost of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. The strike appeared to be among the deadliest attacks in a yearslong shadow war between Israel and Iran that has moved into the open as tensions between the countries have escalated over Israel’s war in Gaza. The New York Times reports. 

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has blamed Israel for the Damascus consulate attack, but also said that the United States was responsible because it supports Israel. Amir-Abdollahian said the Swiss chargé d’affaires in Tehran was summoned by Iran’s Foreign Ministry early today to discuss the incident, given Switzerland’s role in representing U.S. interests in Iran. “The dimensions of the Israeli regime’s terrorist attack and crime were explained, and the American administration’s responsibility underlined,” he said, adding, “the United States should be answerable.” CNN reports. 

Iran will retaliate for Israel’s airstrike in Damascus, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said today in a statement. “Having failed to destroy the will of the resistance front, the Zionist regime (Israel) has put blind assassinations back on its agenda to save itself. It must know that it will never achieve its goals and that this cowardly crime will not go unanswered,” Raisi said.

The United States told Iran it “had no involvement” or advanced knowledge of the Israeli strike, according to a U.S. official speaking on behalf of the National Security Council. The rare message indicates concern within the Biden administration that the strike could lead to a regional escalation and the resumption of attacks by pro-Iran militias against U.S. forces. A senior U.S. official said Washington “has communicated this directly to Iran.” Israel notified the Biden administration a few minutes before it conducted the strike but did not ask for U.S. approval, Israel and U.S. officials said. Barak Ravid reports for Axios.

Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah, Iran’s most powerful armed proxy in the region, vowed to retaliate for the strike in Damascus. “This crime will not pass without the enemy receiving punishment and revenge,” the group said in a statement. Reuters reports. 

China has condemned Israel’s strike in Damascus. “The security of diplomatic institutions cannot be violated, and Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be respected,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Wang Wenbin said today.


Seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen (WCK) and a local driver were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza yesterday, the aid organization said in a statement. An Israeli official said four of the aid workers who died in the strike were American, British, Australian, and Polish nationals. WCK has been leading efforts to deliver food into Gaza via sea, and said the workers were traveling in a “deconflicted zone” in two armored cars branded with the charity’s logo. “Despite coordinating movements with the IDF, the convoy was hit as it was leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, where the team had unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza on the maritime route,” it said in a statement. WCK has announced it is suspending its operations in Gaza following the airstrike, and the Israeli military has said it is conducting a “thorough review” into the incident. Barak Ravid reports for Axios.

Israeli officials agreed yesterday to take into account U.S. concerns about a planned offensive in Rafah, according to a joint statement issued after a virtual meeting held with U.S. officials on alternative ways to root out Hamas in southern Gaza. The meeting was led by top U.S. and Israeli officials and concluded with a plan for follow-up talks in person as early as next week, the statement said. There was no indication that U.S. and Israeli negotiators reached any agreement on Israel’s Rafah plans. Reuters reports. 

Israel’s parliament approved a law granting the government the power to ban broadcasts of TV channels including Al Jazeera. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would “act immediately” to close the network’s local office, calling it a “terrorist channel.” Al Jazeera said in a statement, “Netanyahu could not find any justifications to offer the world for his ongoing attacks on Al Jazeera and press freedom except to present new lies and inflammatory slanders against the Network and the rights of its employees.” The United States expressed concern over the move. Ido Vock and Hugo Bachega report for BBC News.


The Biden administration is set to approve the sale of up to 50 American-made F-15 fighter jets to Israel, in a deal expected to be worth more than $18 billion, according to three people familiar with the matter. The transaction, which would amount to the largest U.S. foreign military sale to Israel since the start of the war in Gaza, comes as the administration is also expected to notify Congress soon of a large new sale of precision-guided munitions to Israel. CNN reports. 

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan will travel to Saudi Arabia this week to continue talks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about a normalization deal with Israel, according to a U.S. official. The official said that no major breakthroughs were expected from the meeting. CNN reports. 

Reported discrimination and attacks against Muslims and Palestinians reached a record high in the United States last year, driven by rising Islamophobia and bias since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, data from the advocacy group the Council on American-Islamic Relations showed today. Reuters reports. 


The United Kingdom is “urgently seeking further information” on the death of a British aid worker for WCK who was killed in an Israeli airstrike, the foreign office said today. Australia has also contacted Israel and requested a call-in from the ambassador to “ask for accountability” for an Australian WCK worker killed in the strike, while Poland’s foreign minister has asked the Israeli ambassador in Warsaw for “urgent explanations” after a Polish WCK volunteer was killed.

France yesterday proposed a draft U.N. Security Council resolution that seeks options for possible U.N. monitoring of a ceasefire in Gaza and proposals to help the Palestinian Authority assume responsibilities. “It’s an ambitious project. It will take time,” French U.N. Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere said of the proposal. The draft resolution also calls for an immediate ceasefire and demands the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages still held in Gaza. Reuters reports. 

Japan has reinstated funding for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoko Kamikawa said today. According to a statement from Japan’s foreign ministry, the move follows a meeting between Kamikawa and UNRWA chief Phillippe Lazzarini on Saturday in which Lazzarini laid out the steps the agency is taking to “improve screening and education to ensure neutrality of UNRWA staff.” CNN reports.

Spain will recognize Palestinian statehood by July, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told journalists during a Middle East tour, according to several reports published today in Spanish media. The media cited Sanchez as making the informal remarks to the traveling press corps late yesterday in Amman, on the first day of visits to Jordan, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. Reuters reports. 


Ukraine struck one of Russia’s largest refineries today with a drone 800 miles from the front lines in Ukraine, causing “significant damage,” according to a Ukrainian intelligence source. Reuters reports. 


Iran tipped off Russia about the possibility of a major “terrorist operation” on its territory ahead of the concert hall massacre last month, three sources familiar with the matter said. “Days before the attack in Russia, Tehran shared information with Moscow about a possible big terrorist attack inside Russia that was acquired during interrogations of those arrested in connection with deadly bombings in Iran,” one of the sources said. While Moscow is deeply distrustful of Washington, which had also warned Russia of a likely terrorist attack, it is harder for Russia to dismiss intelligence from an ally such as Iran, raising questions over the effectiveness of Russian security services. Parisa Hafezi reports for Reuters.

One child has died and two others injured in a school shooting in a suburb of Helsinki, Finland, today. A suspect, who was also a minor, has been apprehended, Finnish police said. NBC News reports. 

North Korea test-fired a presumed intermediate-range ballistic missile today, South Korean officials said, in its latest military move since North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s recent declaration that he was ending a policy seeking reconciliation with the South. Brad Lendon reports for CNN.

Former Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou is visiting China to help build social and cultural ties on a trip that might include a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. Ma left Taipei yesterday with a student group on an 11-day trip that underscores continued interactions in education, business, and culture between the countries despite Beijing’s threat to use military force against Taiwan. AP News reports.

Belarus began three-day military exercises today on regions bordering Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland, the Belarusian Defense Ministry said. The drills aim to train officers and territorial defense troops in how to defend their respective regions and how to act in case martial law is enacted, the ministry said on Telegram. Reuters reports. 

Heavy gunfire filled the streets of Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince yesterday, including near the national palace. The latest episode of violence comes as the outgoing prime minister signaled that a broad transitional council is nearly finalized, a move widely viewed as key to ending the current crisis and paving the way for new elections. Ralph Tedy Erol reports for Reuters.

Nine children were killed after an old land mine exploded in eastern Afghanistan, a Taliban spokesperson said yesterday. NBC News reports. 

The Philippines said today its national security adviser and his U.S. counterpart discussed “coercive, aggressive and deceptive actions” by Beijing in the South China Sea. Philippine National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano “expressed his appreciation for the United States’ continued assurances and reaffirmation of its ironclad commitment” to their alliance, the Philippine National Security Council said in a statement. Reuters reports. 


The judge overseeing the federal tax case against Hunter Biden denied a series of motions by the president’s son to dismiss the tax charges against him. In an 82-page order, U.S. District Judge Mark Scarsi rejected all eight motions filed by Hunter’s legal team. NBC News reports. 


Former President Trump posted a $175 million bond yesterday in his New York civil fraud case, pausing collection of the more than $454 million he owes and preventing the state from seizing his assets to satisfy the debt while he appeals, according to a court filing. Michael R. Sisak and Jennifer Peltz report for AP News.

The judge overseeing Trump’s criminal hush money case has expanded his gag order after Trump posted online attacks about the judge’s daughter. On his social media platform Truth Social, Trump wrote that Justice Juan Merchan’s daughter was a “Rabid Trump Hater” who “admitted to having conversations with her father about me, and yet he gagged me.” Judge Merchan wrote in his ruling, “It is no longer just a mere possibility or a reasonable likelihood that there exists a threat to the integrity of the judicial proceedings. The threat is very real … It merely injects fear in those assigned or called to participate in the proceedings, that not only they, but their family members as well are ‘fair game’ for Defendant’s vitriol.” Kayla Epstein reports for BBC News.

Trump’s former spokesperson and campaign press secretary Hope Hicks is expected to testify for the prosecution at his criminal hush money trial that is scheduled to begin later this month, multiple sources familiar with the matter told ABC News