Mideast Daily News

Report: Trump Exposed Israeli Covert Op To Russians

By Charles Bybelezer | The Media Line

November 23, 2017

Presidents Trump and Putin. (Photo: MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV/AFP/Getty Images)
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According to American media, U.S. President Donald Trump divulged information to Russia about an Israeli operation in Syria that collected intelligence about an Islamic State plot to transform laptops into bombs undetectable by airport security. The report by Vanity Fair, citing unnamed officials, claims that members of the Israeli army’s elite Sayeret Matkal unit, in conjunction with the Mossad spy agency, were flown into Syria to plant a listening device to penetrate the ISIS cell that was devising the plan. As a result of the intelligence gathered, Washington for two months imposed restrictions on passengers carrying large electronic gear on nine airlines, most of which were Middle Eastern carriers, before lifting the ban in July. The publication purported that Trump thereafter shared details about the mission to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during in a closed-door meeting in the Oval Office on May 10. While rumors of the disclosure surfaced shortly thereafter, the U.S. president vehemently denied the allegations, saying he “never mentioned the word or the name Israel [during the meeting].”  Trump’s actions are believed to have sparked anger within Israeli officialdom, prompting calls by some for a scaling back of intelligence sharing with the U.S. Jerusalem regularly conducts military strikes in Syria in order to prevent the transfer of weaponry to Iran’s proxy Hizbullah, however, particulars about such covert activities are rarely, if ever, publicized.

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