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
Local

Gunther from 'Friends' talks Central Perk

We spoke with Gunther (James Michael Tyler) at the preview for new pop-up Central Perk, based on the cafe in "Friends."

Local

Central Perk opens in SoHo

Central Perk, of "Friends" fame, is giving out free coffee in SoHo through Oct. 18.

National

Beer sponsor Anheuser-Busch reproaches NFL over domestic abuse

Anheuser-Busch chastised the NFL for its handling of domestic violence cases, making it the first major advertiser to put pressure on the league.

Local

Sen. Krueger dishes on prospect of legal marijuana…

New Yorkers may see the legalization of recreational marijuana use as early as 2015 if State Senator Liz Krueger (D) gets her way. The Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act will…

Music

FREEMAN makes Freeman a free man from Ween

For nearly 30 years, Aaron Freeman was known endearingly to his listeners as Gene Ween. But with "FREEMAN," he makes it clear that he's gone somewhere else.

Television

'Outlander' recap: Season 1, Episode 6: 'The Garrison…

Whipping, punching, kicking and a marriage contract. "Outlander" is not for the faint of heart this week with "The Garrison Commander."

The Word

The Word: Hey girl, it's a girl for…

It's a girl for Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes, who reportedly welcomed a daughter last Friday, according to Us Weekly. The super-private couple managed to…

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, Sept. 16: 'New Girl,'…

Check out the season premiere of "New Girl," as Jess competes with Jessica Biel for a guy's attentions.

MLB

5 top contenders for NL Rookie of the…

The outing rekindled award talk for deGrom, who appears to hold the top spot for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Metro breaks down a few other contenders.

College

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

College football Top 25 poll (AP rankings)

NFL

Tom Coughlin says Giants 'beat themselves' against Cardinals

Head coach Tom Coughlin, who had a day to cool off and reflect, still sounded like he had a gnawing feeling in his gut.

NFL

Marty Mornhinweg accepts blame for Jets timeout fiasco

Jets fans looking for a scapegoat for Sunday’s timeout fiasco found a willing party on Monday: Marty Mornhinweg.

Style

Rachel Zoe: New York Fashion Week Spring 15

Rachel Zoe goes 'Glam bohemia' for Spring.

Food

Where to find SweeTango apples

Introduced in 2009, SweeTango — a hybrid of Honeycrisp and Zestar — is a sweet apple with plenty of crunch.

Style

London Fashion Week recap

London Fashion week gets in on the action with politics, heritage and summertime living.

Food

Padma Lakshmi's recipe for green mango curry

Padma Lakshmi shares her recipe for green mango curry in UNICEF's new book, "UNICHEF."