U.S. Officials Fear Israel's anti-Iran Action in Syria Could Backfire, Report Says

If Iran believes the United States is behind Israeli strikes, it could prompt Iran-backed militias to attack U.S. troops in the region

Smoke and explosions from the fighting between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels in the Darra province can be seen from the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, July 25, 2018.
Ariel Schalit,AP

American military officials are concerned over Israel's campaign against Iran in Syria that has won the encouragement of the White House, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

“It’s a growing concern for us,” a senior military official told the Journal. The report says that U.S. military officials fear that Iran would believe the United States is behind some of the strikes in Syria, or that the United States is feeding Israel intelligence for the strikes, it could prompt attacks by Iran-backed militias on American troops in the regions.

The officials expressed concerned particularly to more than 5,000 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq.

The Israeli military said last month that it had carried out some 200 sorties in Syria since the beginning of 2017 in an attempt to thwart Iranian entrenchment in the counrty and the transfer of weapons to Hezbollah. The Israeli bombings commenced, according to foreign press reports, in January 2012, less than a year after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war.

Haaretz's Amos Harel wrote last week that Russia has been taking a more forceful stance toward Israel concerning Israel Air Force activity in the north, ever since the incident in which a Syrian anti-aircraft missile downed an Ilyushin Russian intelligence-gathering plane. The plane was shot down at the end of an Israeli airstrike near Latakia in northwestern Syria.