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US Disapproves Israeli Bombings in Iraq

US Disapproves Israeli Bombings in Iraq

Saturday, 24 August, 2019 - 11:00
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Reuters file photo

US President Donald Trump’s administration had reservations about Israeli strikes on Iranian weapons depots used by the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq, political sources said.

Political and media sources in Tel Aviv said the “US disapproves these bombings and says they counter its interests ... in Baghdad.”

The sources spoke after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu strongly hinted his country was behind the recent airstrikes in Iraq.

“If anyone thinks that Iraq will turn to another Syria, and Israel will violate its sanctity whenever it decides to, then we stress that Iraq is not Syria,” sources warned, adding that turning Iraq into a battleground against Iran is very dangerous for Israel.

"It is doubtful the Americans are pleased with repeated attacks that undermine their relations with an important ally, Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, at a time that is sensitive in any case," military editor of the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, Amos Harel said Friday.

A few days ago, “US officials decided to out Israel. They told The New York Times that Israel is responsible for the strikes" and "pushing the limits," Harel added.

He stressed that these officials have also warned that the heightened tensions stoked between Washington and Baghdad may lead Iraq to demand that the United States withdraws its troops from the country.

The changes in the strategic picture vis-a-vis Iran could also affect the Israeli army’s budgetary priorities and force-building plans, he noted.

"At the base of the 'Gideon' multi-year plan, formulated by former chief of staff Gadi Eisenkot, was the assumption that the nuclear agreement with Iran created a window of opportunity for several years, enabling the Israeli army to focus on improving its capabilities in other areas, among them dealing with threats from Hezbollah and Hamas."

But, then, Netanyahu and his defense minister, Ehud Barak, wanted to attack Iran to thwart its nuclear program.

According to Israeli former Premier Ehud Olmert, it was a costly idea and had an impact on the security budget.

“If it looks like there is a possibility of renewed escalation despite Trump’s lack of willingness, this is a scenario that also necessitates special military preparedness,” Harel said.

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