Ex-IDF intel chief: Now that US engaged Iran, Israel must be careful 

Source: Ex-IDF intel chief: Now that US engaged Iran, Israel must be careful – The Jerusalem Post

Israel must now be more careful about its own airstrikes in Iraq, former IDF intelligence chief Amos Yadlin tweeted on Monday.

By YONAH JEREMY BOB

Destroyed headquarters of Kataib Hezbollah militia group are seen after in an air strike in Qaim, Iraq, December 30, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)
Destroyed headquarters of Kataib Hezbollah militia group are seen after in an air strike in Qaim, Iraq, December 30, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS/STRINGER)
Following Sunday’s US airstrikes on Iranian-affiliated militias in Iraq, Israel must now be more careful about its own airstrikes in Iraq, former IDF intelligence chief Amos Yadlin tweeted on Monday.

Yadlin said that the US decision to directly engage Iran and its proxies with kinetic force was “the crossing of a rubicon” in which the US set down a red-line for Iran that it will respond with military force if the Islamic republic kills Americans.

This past weekend a missile attack from an Iran-affiliated militia killed a US contractor and wounded US soldiers at a base in Iraq.

Iranian-affiliated militias had launched missile attacks on US forces for several weeks, but this was the first attack in which an American was killed.

Until now, many Israeli officials had criticized the Trump administration for failing to use force to respond to Iran’s shooting down of a US drone, to an Islamic republic attack on Saudi oil fields and to the missile attacks on US bases.

In contrast, Israel has carried out airstrikes on Iranian militias in Iraq for between several months to even a year.

Last week, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi even discussed the attacks in a more public and detailed manner than ever before.Yadlin’s point was that Israel had more freedom of action in Iraq against Iranians as long as the US was not acting.

However, now that the US is taking action against Iran, Israel must be more careful about such airstrikes in Iraq and coordinate them more closely with the overall US strategy.

Yadlin noted the risk that Iraq could force US forces out of the country and that Israel does not want to be the cause of such a scenario.

 

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