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  • February 3, 2013

    Obama green light for Israel to strike Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah military links

    DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 2, 2013, 4:57 PM (GMT+02:00) Tags:

    Obama approves Israeli action after Iran ducks out of nuclear diplomacy
    The air raid over the Jamraya military complex near Damascus Wednesday, Jan. 30, attributed to Israel by Western sources was Israeli’s first assault on the Syrian-Hizballah military compact forged between Bashar Assad and Hassan Nasrallah.

    That was the real strategic import of the operation, which took place with the approval of US President Barack Obama, DEBKAfile’s military sources report.

    In every other respect, it was a surgical strike on a well-defined target, comparable to Israel’s attack in September 2007 on the nuclear reactor North Korea was building at El Kabir in northern Syria. The object then was to sever the Syrian-Iranian-North Korean nuclear link before it took physical shape and began turning out plutonium for Iran’s nuclear program.

    After its destruction, Tehran and Pyongyang decided to cut Syria out of their nuclear plans because its proximity to Israel made any nuclear site an easy mark.

    The overriding importance of the attack on the Syrian military compound therefore lies in its three objectives:

    1. The Jamraya complex was selected because it serves the shared military agendas of Syria, Hizballah and Iran.

    The bombers struck three targets: a Syrian chemical weapons store and laboratories; a depot holding the sophisticated weapons Iran had sent Hizballah in the last two years – some of which, like the SA-17 anti-aircraft missiles, are termed “game changers” in a potential clash with Israel; and a large fleet of trucks standing by to ferry the munitions across the border into Lebanon.

    Israeli threats to destroy the weapons had so far prevented their transfer.

    In a separate building at Jamraya, Hizballah forces learned how to use the new Iranian hardware and maintained a team of drivers ready to move the arsenal over to Lebanon. This building was not attacked.

    2. The air strike was a move toward disrupting the cooperative military efforts of all three allies in Syria and Lebanon;

    3. Israel took its first step into the Syrian conflict.

    As we first reported in the latest DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday, the operation went forward with a green light from President Obama, after he was briefed on the plan by AMAN (Israeli Military Intelligence) commander, Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi at the White House on Jan. 22.

    Our sources also reported that another Israeli emissary, National Security Adviser Yakov Amidror, visited Moscow at the same time to warn Russian leaders of the coming attack in Syria.

    While Russian officials voiced objections to Israeli attacking Syria, they also apparently omitted to forewarn President Assad of what was coming and he was taken by surprise. After the raid, President Vladimir Putin advised the Syrian ruler to refrain from exacerbating the military situation with Israel.

    The reported Israeli strike on Jamraya had two key consequences of future relevance:

    a) President Obama’s consent for Israel and its armed forces IDF to be the first pro-Western power to intervene in the Syrian war, after keeping them out of involvement in the Arab Revolt raging around its borders for two years:

    b) Officials in Tehran publicly warned last week that an attack on Syria would be deemed an attack on Iran, a message no doubt underlined through diplomatic channels to Washington. Nonetheless, after holding the Israeli government back for years from striking Iran’s nuclear sites, Obama approved an attack with the potential for widening into a major Israeli-Iranian military clash.

    While the importance of keeping sophisticated missiles and poison gas out of Hizballah hands cannot be overrated, DEBKAfile’s sources in Washington and Tehran reveal that what really pushed the US president into his change of face was Iran’s withdrawal from the secret talks he set much store by for a diplomatic resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue.

    Three further changes of major strategic importance occurred this week.
    Tehran informed the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna that new, high-speed IR2m centrifuges were being installed in Natanz to expand the 20-percent uranium enrichment taking place at the Fordo underground facility.
    The Iranian letter was posted to the IAEA the day after the two Israeli emissaries visited Washington and Moscow.

    The diplomatic channel to Tehran was symbolically shut down in Washington last week by the resignation of Gary Samore, President Obama’s Coordinator for Weapons of Mass Destruction, Counter-Terrorism and Arms Control.

    DEBKAfile discloses that Samore was lead negotiator in the failed nuclear talks with Iran. His exit means that he sees no way of curbing Iran’s race for a nuclear weapon. He has taken up an appointment as Executive Director of Research in the Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center.

    US Vice President Joe Biden provided the third key development. Asked Saturday, Feb. 2, in Munich when Washington might hold direct talks with Tehran, he replied dismissively: “When the Iranian leadership, the supreme leader, is serious.”

    Biden spoke for the Obama administration when he suggested that Khamenei has not been serious to date.

    All three events contributed to the US president’s decision to let Israel have a go at the Syrian military complex, thereby broadcasting a signal to Tehran that, in the absence of serious negotiations, Washington is ready to expand its efforts for breaking up the Iran-Syrian Hizballah axis, using the IDF as its hammer.

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  • Posted by Ted Belman @ 6:40 am | 3 Comments »

    3 Comments to Obama green light for Israel to strike Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah military links

    1. Dean says:

      Does the USA have advance knowledge of everything Israel plans to do? Is Obama’s approval a prerequisite for action? Debka paints Israel as a puppet of the USA. What would happen if Israel conducted a thoroughly independent and secretive foreign policy without coordinating every move with the USA? Would the USA abandon or punish Israel? What would the punishment include? Would the punishment be any worse than the ignominy of abandoning ones country to Obama? When the USA have effectively pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan how much clout will they have in the region? Their only ally will be Israel unless they continue to fool themselves into thinking that Islamic terror groups will make reliable and responsible allies capable of defending their diplomatic staff! The oil potentates whom they have abandoned are certainly not going to continue with Obama – he might not even have his presidential library bestowed with Saudi millions.

    2. B.Poster says:

      There’s some disturbing things in this article and some things that don’t make any sense. Why does Israel need a “green light” from America to defend itself or to represent its interests in ways that it sees fit? No other country seeks US approval to carry out acts that it percieves to be in its interests. Why should Israel be any different? Now if the nature of the alliance between the two natiosn has degraded to the poin that Israel simply follows America’s orders then both countries especially America are in more trouble than I ever imagined. America is barely capable of represnting its own interests. There’s no possible way it could possibly represent Israel’s interests or even know what those are in order to know how or when to give Israel a “green light” on any area of Israel’s interest. If America is going to survive, let alone prosper, it is going to need a strong and independent Israel acting as a buffer between it and Islamic terrorist supporting nations of the Middle East.

      If Israel waits for a “green light” from America, this is not going to be good for either country and it will be especially bad for America. The IDF is well capable of defending Israeli interests. Unfortunately the American military is worn down from continuing operations in the GWOT, its technology is inferior, its training and equipment are substandard, the leadership is poor, and the troops suffer from poor morale. Waiting for “green lights” from the leadership of a country thousands of miles away would likely make the job of the IDF harder than it already is. For America to presume it needs to give Israel a “green light,” just makes it that much harder for Israel to act as the much needed buffer between it and its enemies.

      Given the level of infiltration by Islamic terrorists and their sympathizers into all level of the American government, it would be unwise for Israel to consult with America on matters of this magnitude. If they did, the Syrian leaderhsip likely would have learned about this almost instantly and Syria would not have been caught by surprise. Even if secrecy could somehow be guaranteed, the American leadership specifically the military leadership lacks the competence to be able to contribute any thing useful to such as an operation. As such, there is no strategic or practical value for the Israelis to gain by consulting with Mr. Obama or anyone else in power within the US government. In fact, taking such actions would entail much risk and no gain. As such, it would be wise to be extremely skeptical of this type of story that a “green light” from the US was sought or given. Its more than likely the US government had no knowledge of this.

      Whether the Assad government falls or stays in power has never really been up to the Americans, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Arab states or any one sharing interests wtih them. Its always been up to the Russians. If Mr. Assad maintains the support of the Russians, his government stays in power. If he loses such support he may lose power. There’s little Aemrica can do to change this situaion. It makes little sense for Russia to fail to notify their supposed ally yet critcize Israel. There are two possibilities that could explain such an action though. 1.)As a major oil exporter, Russia wishes to keep the price of crude oil high. Instability in the Middle East will help advance such a goal. As such, support Assad so he stays in power but not enough to actually crush his enemies once and for all. Keep the instability going!! 2.)Russian leaders did not know about the military operation until after it happened. Had the Aemricans been informed and a “green light” from America been sought, Russian agents operating in the US government would have notified the Russians of this. While scenario 2 is more likely, scenario 1 is entirely possible.

      What is very implausible is the notion that Israel would seek a “green light” from America for something so vital to its security interests. The risks of getting the Americans involved would be to great and the Americans would have nothing useful to contribute in the planning or the execution of an operation this magnitude. Whoever initially reported this for debka is very likely either ideologically driven and has become blinded by their ideology or they are deliberately leaking misinformation for some purpose that is not quite clear.

    3. Honey Bee says:

      Did the French receive a “Green Light” to enter Mali?