Israel had advance notice of the U.S. plan to kill Iranian military leader Gen. Qassem Suleimani, Israeli military and diplomatic analysts reported Friday night while refraining from providing further details due to heavy military censorship.
“Our assessment is that the United States informed Israel about this operation in Iraq, apparently a few days ago,” Barak Ravid, a journalist and commentator with deep sources in the Israeli security establishment, said on Channel 13.
An Israeli army officer with knowledge of Israeli military assessments, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he did not have permission to speak to reporters, told the Los Angeles Times that the attack on Suleimani “did not come as a surprise.”
Though Trump gave a speech Friday afternoon insisting he doesn’t want to “start a war” with Iran and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that “de-escalation is the United States’ principal goal,” a second airstrike was carried out in Iraq on Friday targeting members of Iraq’s Popular Mobilisation Force, who are said to have ties with Iran.
The PMF claimed the strikes actually killed a convoy of medics, not their senior leaders, Reuters reported.