U.S. would notify Israel hours before Syria attack: Israeli official

(FILES) A picture taken on March 10, 2005, shows senior Israeli defence official Amos Gilad gesturing as he speaks with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman (not seen) in the Egyptian seaside resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. Israel's outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has suspended Gilad, the Jewish state's pointman for Gaza truce talks in Egypt, over comments he made in an interview blasting the premier for changing his position over a lasting truce with Hamas, an official said. AFP PHOTO/SAMEH SHERIF (Photo credit should read SAMEH SHERIF/AFP/Getty Images)
Senior Israeli defence official Amos Gilad gesturing as he speaks with Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman (not seen) in 2005. Credit: SAMEH SHERIF/AFP/Getty Images

The United States would notify Israel hours in advance of an attack on Syria, an Israeli official said on Sunday.

While formally on the sidelines of the Syrian crisis, Israel fears coming under reprisals from its northern foe should the United States launch strikes to punish Damascus for alleged use of chemical weaponry.

Asked how much advance notice Israel would get from its U.S. ally about such attacks, an Israeli official briefed on contacts with Washington told Reuters: “Hours.”

But a senior strategist for the Defense Ministry said separately Israel was, like the rest of the world, in the dark at present.

“Will the United States attack? Will it not attack? What will the consequences be? All of these things are unknowns,” Amos Gilad said in a speech at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism near Tel Aviv.

President Barack Obama has run into formidable U.S. domestic opposition to military action. Wary of appearing to meddle in American affairs, most Israeli officials have not publicly commented on the debate.

Israel plans to deploy anti-missile systems and troop reinforcements on its Syrian and Lebanese fronts if Obama green-lights strikes against Syria.

MISSILE INTERCEPTORS

Reuters television filmed what looked like an Iron Dome missile interceptor battery being positioned on the outskirts of Jerusalem on Sunday. “We don’t comment on our aerial defenses,” a military spokeswoman said.

An Israeli military magazine, Bamahane, said a month ago there were six such batteries deployed around the country and occasionally rotated geographically.

Obama has asked Congress to approve strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government in response to a chemical weapons attack on August 21 that killed more than 1,400 Syrians.

Next week in Washington, hundreds of activists of the influential pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee will lobby Congress for military action in Syria.

Some Israeli officials have privately voiced concern U.S. failure to attack Syria would embolden Iran, an ally of Damascus, in its defiance of international calls to curb a nuclear program which the West fears is aimed at developing nuclear arms – a charge Tehran denies.

Gilad disagreed with those assessments, however, saying in his speech: “Whether or not this is popular, I don’t recommend drawing conclusions about Iran from Syria.”

Gilad noted Obama’s declarations that he would not allow Iran to get the bomb, backed by U.S.-led diplomatic and economic pressure as well as military mobilization in the Gulf.

“I recommend attributing a high level of credibility to his statements (on Iran),” Gilad said.

 


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Train selfie star who got kicked in the…

  A 22-year-old Canadian man who posted a video of himself getting kicked in the head by a train conductor is set to cash in…

National

Call of Duty hoaxer blamed for $100K SWAT…

A heavilly-armed SWAT team and an army of police officers stormed a Long Island home fearing a grisly double homicide – only to find it…

National

Minnie Driver tweets naked celebrity snap to 'shut…

Actress Minnie Driver has responded to bitchy critics who sniped about her bikini body by Tweeting a naked picture of herself. The 44-year-old star of…

National

American middle classes no longer world's richest (guess…

America's middle classes are no longer the richest in the world – having been overtaken in the wealth stakes by their Canadian counterparts. For almost…

Television

John Turturro tags in for Robert De Niro…

The cast of the courtroom drama miniseries has undergone yet another shift. Following Robert De Niro's exit, the cable network has brought in John Turturro…

Arts

"The Shape She Makes", an "extraordinary treat" at…

“The Shape She Makes” is a fascinating melding of theater and dance in a narrative that exposes human vulnerability in its purest form. Initially, the…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 22: 'Glee,' 'Agents…

'Glee' Rachel makes her Broadway debut in "Funny Girl." Remember when she was just a high school drama nerd? FOX, 8PM 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'…

The Word

Lindsay Lohan's big, drunk interview

Lindsay Lohan appears to be completely off the wagon now, if Kode magazine's chronicle of her trip to Coachella is any indication. According to the…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Yankees rout Red Sox, 9-3

Jon Lester allows eight runs in 4 2/3 innings taking loss

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers,…

MLB Power Rankings: Brewers best in baseball, Dodgers, Cardinals, Yankees surge. The A's, Braves, Rangers, Giants and Rockies are also in the top 10.

Sports

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

American runners stand tallest in 2014 Boston Marathon

Sports

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins…

2014 Boston Marathon results: American Meb Keflezighi wins men's race

Wellbeing

How to burn off all that Easter candy

Sorry to be a buzzkill, but you can't eat chocolate eggs and Jelly Bellys forever.

Food

Powdered alcohol: 5 things to know about 'Palcohol'

What's the deal with powdered alcohol? Here's what you need to know about Palcohol.

Travel

Travel hacks: 6 tips on living out of…

Lynne Martin shares her travel hacks on living out of just two suitcases.

Wellbeing

Tough Mudder pro gives tips on conquering a…

Learn hacks from head designer Nolan Kombol.