The U.S. intelligence community has leaked information on Israeli air strikes on Syria, sources said. Diplomats said the administration of President Barack Obama has enabled the intelligence community to disclose Israeli military operations against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. They said the leaks included unreported Israeli air and naval strikes on advanced Iranian and Russian weapons that arrived in 2013.
“This is a decision that could come only from Obama,” a diplomat said. “[T]his reflects his dismay over the Israeli operations, which the president believes could result in a regional war.”
Last month, the U.S. intelligence community reported an Israeli air and naval strike on a recent shipment of the P-800 Yakhont coastal defense system. The diplomats attributed the leaks to the CIA, which first disclosed the July 5 Israeli strike on Latakia and later said the operation was unsuccessful. The Israeli F-16 multi-role fighters were said to have refrained from entering Syrian air space.
“While the warehouse was destroyed, American intelligence analysts have now concluded that at least some of the Yakhont missiles had been removed from their launchers and moved from the warehouse before the attack,” a U.S. official told the New York Times on July 31.
The diplomats said Israel has protested the U.S. leaks, which increased tension with Damascus. They said the purported CIA leaks have strained relations with Israel’s intelligence community, particularly the Mossad. The CIA director is John Brennan, regarded as a confidant of Obama.
“The Israelis have also been going to their friends in Congress to stop the leaks,” the diplomat said.
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