Report: Obama Discussed Attack Delay With Netanyahu

September 1, 2013  

U.S. President Barack H. Obama informed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in advance that he would let Congress decide on the appropriate action the U.S. would take in Syria. Reports in Israeli media quoted senior Israeli officials as saying the Obama called Netanyahu on Saturday, some four hours before he appeared on national TV in the US to announce that he was holding back on taking action against Syria until Congress discussed what the appropriate actions should be.

Obama had spoken with other world leaders in recent days about what the U.S. was planning, but both the U.S. and Israel kept details of the calls under wraps. Neither government would confirm that the call took place, telling Israeli reporters that they had no comment when asked about the matter.

The officials quoted in the report said that Netanyahu and Obama also discussed possible steps either country might take regarding Syria. Several weeks ago, U.S. officials promised Israel that they would give Israel at least several hours’ notice before attacking Syria.

Earlier, Netanyahu said at Sunday’s cabinet meeting that Israel would respond if it was forced to. Israel, he said, was prepared for “every possible scenario” in neighboring Syria after US President Barack Obama postponed a threatened missile strike. “Israel is calm and sure of itself, the citizens of Israel know that we are prepared for every possible scenario,” Netanyahu said. “Our enemies have very good reasons not to try our strength, not to test our power,” he added. “They know why.”

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