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February 26, 2021 1:50 pm

Report: Israel ‘Very Pleased’ With US Strikes on Iranian Targets in Syria, Was Informed in Advance

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FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks to Defense Department personnel during a visit to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., February 10, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo

Israeli officials were “very pleased” with US airstrikes against Iran-backed militias in eastern Syria Thursday, and were informed by the Biden Administration before the attack, Walla reported Friday.

The strikes were a retaliation for a Feb. 15 rocket attack in Erbil, Iraq that killed a civilian contractor and injured an American service member. They came as President Joe Biden navigates a tense standoff with Iran over a possible return to the nuclear deal struck in 2015 by Barack Obama and abandoned in 2018 by Donald Trump.

Israeli officials said that the US gave advance notice about the strikes, as would be routine ahead of such actions, and that the attack would send a strong signal to Iran.

“The Iranians didn’t realize that Biden is not Obama, and that in the end they will miscalculate and get hit,” an Israeli official told Walla.

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The military action — the first of Biden’s presidency — killed at least one individual and destroyed facilities near the Syrian border with Iraq used by Iran-backed militias, including Kataib Hezbollah and Kataib Sayyid al-Shuhada, according to Pentagon press secretary John F. Kirby.

“The operation sends an unambiguous message: President Biden will act to protect American and coalition personnel,” Kirby told reporters Thursday.

In a statement Friday, the Syrian Foreign Ministry condemned the strikes, saying that the Biden administration “is supposed to stick to international legitimacy, not to the law of the jungle as (did) the previous administration.”

Israel had told the US that it would not compromise on the Iranian nuclear issue to address the Islamic Republic’s malign activities in Syria and elsewhere, and that a return to the 2015 accord would be a mistake.

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