Austin angered US not warned before Israel kills IRGC commander, report

Pentagon officials say advance notice would enable better protection for US troops and assets and enable better support for Israel in case of Iranian retaliation

Yossi Yehushua|

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told Defense Minister Yoav Gallant that Israel should have informed the U.S. of its plans to strike Damascus, killing Mohammad Reza Zahedi, commander of the IRGC Quds force in Syria and Lebanon, the Washington Post reported on Friday.
According to the report officials in the Pentagon were concerned that the attack could have adverse impact on the American forces and interests in the region.
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לויד אוסטין
לויד אוסטין
Lloyd Austin
(Photo: Leah Millis / Reuters)
According to the sources quoted in the report, advance knowledge of the attackwould have enabled the U.S. to increase security of its troops and assets including its navy and aerial defenses, so as to assist Israel in any Iranian retaliation.
The IDF and Mossad approved plans for an attack on Iran in the event that Israel would come under attack from Iranian territory. Additionally, the coordination between the U.S. and Israeli militaries, has increased.
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ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו ביקור בבסיס חיל האוויר בתל נוף
ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו ביקור בבסיס חיל האוויר בתל נוף
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visiting an Air Force base on Thursday
(Photo: GPO)
A source in the know told the Wall Street Journal that an attack originating in Iran on Israel's north or south, was expected within the next 24 to 48 hours. However, another source claiming to have been briefed by Iranian officials said the regime had discussed an attack plan but had not made a final decision to launch it.
An American official told the paper that the Iranians would likely strike Israeli territory and not an asset abroad.
According to the WSJ, the IRGC presented optional operational plans to the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. A consultant in the Guards said one of the options was a strike with medium range missiles.
Online social media accounts affiliated with the IRGC have in recent hours, posted videos simulating a strike on the Dimona nuclear reactor in the Negev, and on the Haifa airport. An Iranian official said earlier that there could be a strike on water desalinization plants and power stations, should Israel retaliate.
Khamenei is concerned that a direct strike on Israel would bring about the wrong result in his view – if Israel launches a massive attack on Iranian infrastructure. "The attack plan has been presented to the Supreme Leader and he is considering its political risk," the consultant said.
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סרטון עם טילים וכיתוב "אולי הלילה" הועלה ונמחק
סרטון עם טילים וכיתוב "אולי הלילה" הועלה ונמחק
A post in Iran showing a missile that may be used to strike Israel
The sources said the Iranian plan includes strikes from its proxies in Iraq and Syria that have been launching attack drones on Israel since the start of the war. Iran and its proxies may also strike the Golan Heights or even Gaza, in order to avoid hitting Israel within its internationally recognized borders.
Another plan under consideration was an attack on an Israeli embassy, with an emphasis on a mission in one of the Arab countries, so as to indicate that diplomatic ties with Israel, coma at a cost.
According to foreign media reports, Israel has in the past dealt Iran several blows, including the killing of Iranian scientists and in 2022, an extensive strike against a base housing attack drones in the city of Kermanshah in Western Iran. According to reports, there were three rounds of strikes from Israeli drones that destroyed Iranian long-distant attack UAVs. That strike that was reportedly carried out with the help of American intelligence, also included destruction of a logistics center and oil reserves in the base.
Contrary to the combative statements coming from Iranian leaders, Tehran is concerned over an attack on its territory. The message delivered to them was that if they carry out a strike against Israel, the IDF would retaliate inside their borders.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Thursday told his American counterpart Lloyd Austin that if there is an Iranian attack on Israel, the IDF would respond accordingly. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who visited an Air Force Base said Israel was preparing to respond to its security needs both defensively and offensively.
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שר הביטחון יואב גלנט ביקר בסוללת כיפת ברזל בצפון
שר הביטחון יואב גלנט ביקר בסוללת כיפת ברזל בצפון
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant visiting an Iron Dome battery in the north earlier in the week
(Photo: Defense Ministry)
U.S. CENTCOM commander Gen. Michael Kurilla who arrived in Israel on Thursday, met with IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi and visited the Air Force command center in Tel Aviv and is on Friday, expected to meet with Gallant and visit an air base.
The IDF Spokesperson said there has been no change in announcements to the public on actions that must be taken to ensure their safety.
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