Officials: Israel Puzzled by US Decision to Confirm Syria Attack

Unsure Whether Leaks Are Pro or Anti-Intervention

On Friday, unnamed US officials confirmed that a recent “explosion” that killed a large number of Syrian troops at a coastal base was caused by an Israeli air strike, the second time in as many months that an attack Israel had seemingly gotten away with was outed by US officials in leaks to the press.

Though Israeli officials insist they’re not mad, they say they are puzzled by the leaks and aren’t clear whether the agenda is pro-intervention or anti-intervention, though they’re sure it’s one or the other.

The “pro” argument is on the belief that officials are hyping the Israeli attacks, and the fact that Israel seems to be able to keep attacking with no real repercussions, as part of a narrative that the US could attack at its leisure and expect to get away with it too.

By contrast, some officials think it might be an “anti-intervention” argument trying to convince the US public that Israel has things well in hand with its own strikes and that the putative need for a US invasion is unwarranted.

Absent in all of this speculation is whether the revelations are an effort to shame Syrian President Bashar Assad, who had previously promised to retaliate against future Israeli attacks and seems reluctant to draw attention to those attacks.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.