Following the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani last week by a U.S. drone strike, the state of Israel is adamant that they will provide no assistance to America against potential retaliation.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear that the U.S. is on their own when it comes to dealing with the fall out of Soleimani’s assassination.
#Breaking: Full Netanyahu statement to security cabinet meeting. "The assassination of Soleimani isn't an Israeli event but an American event. We were not involved and should not be dragged into it." pic.twitter.com/qgxGe3n0s2
— Noga Tarnopolsky (@NTarnopolsky) January 6, 2020
Soleimani and his Hezbollah militias have long been the foes of the Israeli government. Israeli citizens were reportedly happy with the killing of Soleimani.
“Soleimani had it coming,” said Israeli resident Rona Tal, who was enjoying an afternoon at a cafe in Tel Aviv. “Iran has been provoking Israel and the U.S. for years.”
“It’s easier to fight these people without Soleimani,” said 22-year-old Ibrahim Srur, who was interviewed while sitting behind a tourist information desk. “He was one of the most powerful men in Iran and Iran wants to destroy us.”
“When a key enemy unit loses its top strategist, policy maker, shadow diplomat and symbolic brand it surely is a huge setback,” said Assaf Orion, who once led strategic planning for the Israeli military’s planning directorate.
“President Trump has brought to an end the rule of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi on the radical Sunni [Islam] side and now Soleimani from the Shiite terror set, and that’s quite an impressive achievement,” he added.
Netanyahu reportedly believes that Iran may retaliate against Israel, and he is being careful to distance himself and his nation from the U.S. attack accordingly. Nevertheless, Netanyahu maintains that Israel supports the right of the U.S. to defend their interests against Iran as they please.
“I want to clarify again — Israel is completely on the side of the U.S. in its struggle for security, peace and self-defense,” Netanyahu said on Sunday.
Military analysts are expecting Iran to retaliate against the U.S. in some fashion in the days to come after the nation is finished mourning Soleimani.
“In the first instance, attacks against US interests in Iraq and Syria and even Lebanon seem most likely,” said Tom Beckett, who works as the executive director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) – Middle East.
“There remains a grey space, where the Iranian regime believes it can conduct limited reprisals: the most obvious is targeting shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, where it hopes it would be ambiguous enough to avoid a hostile response,” said Jack Watling, who works as a research fellow at the Royal United Service Institute.
Regardless of how Iran decides to retaliate, it appears that the U.S. will be going in alone as the conflict escalates following the military strike killing Soleimani.
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