Kafe Knesset

Jewish Insider

September 7, 2017


Mum’s the word: Israeli officials, as always, kept mum this morning as the country woke up to news of an air strike on a military factory in Syria. The silent treatment follows the traditional ambiguity policy that Israel adopts after every strike. However, the Security Cabinet convened last night for more than three hours – with Iran-Syria topping the agenda. All of this, against the backdrop of Bibi’s recent meeting with Putin and ahead of his scheduled meeting with President Trump. While there are some issues brought to the Cabinet that are usually leaked to the press immediately, these meetings – dealing with Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah are held under an extra veil of secrecy, and Cabinet ministers are traditionally required to sign a special confidentially form. This morning, everyone involved stayed under the radar, for now.

But former officials did weigh in – Amos Yadlin, former IDF intelligence chief, published a series of tweets these morning, using the Twitter thread style that was common in the former Obama-administration. Maybe former US Ambassador Dan Shapiro taught him how to tweet in this manner, since Shapiro is now at the think tank Yadlin heads, the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.

“The strike reported last night is not routine,” Yadlin informed. “It targeted a Syrian military – scientific center for the development and manufacture of, among other things, precision missiles which will have a significant role in the next round of conflict. The factory that was targeted in Masyaf produces the chemical weapons and barrel bombs that have killed thousands of Syrian civilians.” Yadlin of course did not confirm it was an Israel action, but did state that “if the attack was conducted by Israel, it would be a commendable and moral action by Israel against the slaughter in Syria.” The attack, Yadlin continued, sent three important messages – “1. Israel won’t allow for empowerment and production of strategic arms. 2. Israel intends to enforce its redlines despite the fact that the great powers are ignoring them. 3. The presence of Russian air defense does not prevent airstrikes attributed to Israel.” He concluded that “Now it’s important to keep the escalation in check and to prepare for a Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah response and even opposition from Russia.”