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Israel coordinated with US before Syria strikes

 AN F-35 seen during an aerial display at an IAF pilots’ graduation ceremony at Hatzerim air base in the Negev. Stealth fighter aircraft of this type were involved in the downing of the Iranian UAVs.  (photo credit: AHARON KROHN/FLASH90)

AN F-35 seen during an aerial display at an IAF pilots’ graduation ceremony at Hatzerim air base in the Negev. Stealth fighter aircraft of this type were involved in the downing of the Iranian UAVs.
(photo credit: AHARON KROHN/FLASH90)

Reports have shown that Israel has coordinated with the US before some of the strikes it's conducted in Syria in recent years, 

For while Israel and Russia coordinate on Israel's operations in Syria through a deconfliction mechanism, the US has largely kept quiet about any coordination with Israel in Syria.

According to reports, for several years many of Israel's operations in Syria have been reviewed in advance for approval by senior officials at US Central Command (CENTCOM) and at the Pentagon.

Avoiding interruption of US-led operations

The secret coordination with the US is conducted in order to ensure that Israeli airstrikes don't interrupt operations by the US-led coalition against ISIS.

Current and former US officials told WSJthat the US only reviews airstrikes that Israel wants to conduct from near the coalition's Al Tanf Base in southeastern Syria. While many of Israel's strikes are conducted from other locations, Israel has sometimes conducted strikes from near the base in recent years in order to avoid Syrian air defenses, according to the report.

 A convoy of US military vehicles moves in the village of Khirbet Amo, near Qamishli, Syria February 12, 2020. (credit: SANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)A convoy of US military vehicles moves in the village of Khirbet Amo, near Qamishli, Syria February 12, 2020. (credit: SANA/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

The secret coordination mechanism has Israel provide details of planned missions to CENTCOM ahead of time, with the command then conducting a review and informing the US defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who conduct their own assessments, according to the report.

A former US official told WSJ that it is a "well-developed and deliberate process."

US operations against ISIS

While the US usually signs off on planned strikes, it has occasionally asked Israel to make modifications in order not to disrupt US operations against ISIS. The WSJ report cited two instances in which this occurred, including the US Delta Force raid in 2019 that killed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and during a particularly active part of the US-led campaign against ISIS in the Euphrates River Valley.

In November, The New York Timesreported based on anonymous US and Israeli intelligence officials that a drone strike in October on the Al Tanf base was conducted by pro-Iranian militias in retaliation against alleged Israeli airstrikes in Syria. Pro-Iranian militias have targeted the base multiple times with drones and rockets.

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