(FreedomBeacon.com)- Current and former US officials acknowledged that many of the Israeli airstrikes carried out in Syria since 2017 were covertly reviewed by the United States as a way to avoid interference with US military operations in the region.
These officials told the Wall Street Journal that for several years, Israel’s missions were reviewed in advance by senior officials at US Central Command (CENTCOM) and the Pentagon.
The purpose of the review was for the US to confirm Israel’s missions wouldn’t affect the US-led military campaign to stamp out ISIS militants who had been seeking to regain power after the defeat of their so-called caliphate.
According to the Journal, the discretion surrounding this level of coordination reveals how Washington tried to remain supportive of Israel while at the same time avoiding being drawn into the country’s proxy war against Iran.
Current and former officials told the Journal that the US approved an overwhelming majority of the Israeli raids it reviewed. However, the United States didn’t review every operation Israel carried out in Syria and has never helped the Israelis pick their targets.
The primary focus of the US review was any Israeli operation that came close to the al-Tanf garrison in eastern Syria. Al-Tanf is a US outpost on the Syria/Jordan border.
This close coordination began in 2017 when Israeli aircraft began flying close to al-Tanf to avoid Syrian air defenses, the officials told the Wall Street Journal.
Once the Israelis provided their plans to CENTCOM, the command conducts a review and then notifies the Defense Secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs who may or may not conduct their own review.
The officials told the Journal that while the US has given a green light for most of the strikes it reviews, there have been times when the US has requested modifications.
When the US military is involved in a sensitive operation, for example, the 2019 Delta Force raid that led to the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the US will ask Israel to hold off on its strike until the operation is completed.