Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu “commended” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on U.S. military action against Iranian-backed militias in Iraq, in a phone call on Monday, according to a statement from the prime minister’s office.
PM Netanyahu was referring to five airstrikes carried out by the U.S. on Sunday against Kataib Hezbollah, a Shiite militia linked to Iran which is accused of rocket attacks that killed an American contractor. Iraqi security and militia sources said at least 25 militia fighters were killed and at least 55 wounded in the air strikes, and there were threats of reprisals.
Meanwhile, former IDF intelligence chief Amos Yadlin warned on Monday that as welcome as the U.S. action is, it will require Israel to be more careful in its own operations in the area.
Yadlin characterized the U.S. decision to directly engage Iran and its proxies as “the crossing of a Rubicon,” a point of no return, which puts the Islamic Republic on notice that it will respond with military force when Americans are killed.
In Yadlin’s view, Israel had more freedom to maneuver in Iraq against Iranians and their allies as long as the U.S. was not acting. However, now the situation has changed, and Israel must coordinate more closely with Washington, according to The Jerusalem Post.