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Report: Trump told Russia of Israel operations in Syria

November 23, 2017 at 5:26 pm

US President Donald Trump on 6 November 2017 [Shizuo Kambayashi/Anadolu Agency]

US President Donald Trump revealed sensitive information as to Israel’s covert operations in Syria to senior Russian officials, Vanity Fair revealed in a report yesterday.

Israel’s counter terrorism unit had reportedly been working to infiltrate a Daesh cell in Syria, which was allegedly developing bombs that could pass through airport security undetected.

During a meeting in the Oval Office on 10 May with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak, Trump is believed to have passed this information on without notifying Israeli principals of the decision.

Such information was not authorised to be shared with Moscow, due to the Israeli assumption that it would be shared with their regional rival Iran. The news that Trump had spread the intelligence was met with outrage from Israeli intelligence chiefs.

Read: US to probe Kushner’s relations with Israel

The information was reportedly exchanged just a day after the president’s sudden firing of FBI director James Comey, who had been leading the probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. In subsequent days, Trump attempted to repair relations by denying that he mentioned Israel during his meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak.

The report comes amid several revelations regarding relations between the US and Russia, as part of the ongoing investigation in Russia’s interference in the 2016 US presidential elections. The allegations have diminished possibilities of close ties with Moscow, despite Trump’s previous public acknowledgement of his respect for Russian President Vladmir Putin.

It is also believed that this information prompted US Homeland Security, as well as British authorities, to ban laptops and other electronics on nine Middle East carriers until airports could comply with more strict security guidelines.

Read: Turkey, Russia, Iran agree on Syrian dialogue summit