A Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) document that has surfaced as part of a trove of leaks suggests the US believes it can pressure Israel to provide “lethal aid” to Ukraine, The Times of Israel reported.
A photo of the document circulating online shows that it lays out four possible scenarios in order from most plausible to least plausible that could result in Israel providing Kyiv with weapons. The top secret document is titled “Israel: Pathways to Providing Lethal Aid to Ukraine” and is dated February 28, 2023.
Antiwar.com could not verify the authenticity of the photo, but its contents match reporting from media outlets that have access to the documents US officials have said are authentic, including The New York Times.
The first and most plausible scenario outlined by the DIA analysis is Israel adopting a “Turkish model” for Ukraine under US pressure. The Turkish model means selling Ukraine weapons through third parties but openly advocating for peace talks to end the war, as Ankara has done throughout the conflict.
The second scenario is if Russia supplies Iran with more advanced equipment, such as Su-35 fighter jets, or expands support for Iranian weapons programs, and Israel responds by providing lethal aid to Kyiv.
The third scenario is if Israel requests expanded US support for “counter-Iran activities” in response to Russia allowing advanced conventional Iranian weapons through Syria. In exchange for the US supporting Israeli operations against Iran, Israel would provide lethal aid to Ukraine.
The background provided for the third scenario suggests that Israel has already requested US support for its operations against Iran. The background reads: “Israeli defense leaders are advocating for increased risk-taking to counter Iran, including proposing bilateral US-Israeli operations. Israel has regularly requested ATG overflights to support strikes in Syria.”
ATG likely refers to the al-Tanf Garrison, a US base in southern Syria. In July 2022, The Wall Street Journal reported that the US and Israel had been coordinating on Israeli airstrikes in Syria that are launched from the direction of the ATG. According to the report, the vast majority of Israeli airstrikes that pass the ATG have been approved by the US.
The fourth scenario, and least plausible, is if Russia incurs casualties from Israeli airstrikes in Syria and begins firing on Israeli aircraft, causing Israel to change its calculus on lethal aid to Ukraine.
Since the document was published on February 28, Israel has dramatically ramped up its airstrikes in Syria, including one strike that killed two members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). But at this point, there’s no indication that Israel has pledged to provide the “lethal aid” Washington desires.
Axios reported on March 15 that Israel approved the export of an anti-drone jamming system for Ukraine, which uses electronic warfare to down drones. Israeli officials have said this export doesn’t mean their position is changed since the system doesn’t have live-fire rounds that can kill Russians. The Axios report said Israel first notified Ukraine it would approve the export on February 15, before the DIA analysis was published.
The DIA document mentioned three Israeli weapons systems the US is hoping might be sent to Kyiv, including the Barak 8 surface-to-air missile system, the Spyder air defense system, and the Spike ATGM, the Israeli equivalent to the US Javelin anti-tank missile system.