Tags: Israel | brennan | visits | israel | cia

CIA Chief Brennan Makes Unannounced Israel Visit

Image: CIA Chief Brennan Makes Unannounced Israel Visit

Friday, 17 May 2013 07:53 AM

An Israeli defense official says the head of the CIA has made an unannounced visit to Israel.

CIA chief John Brennan visited with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu; defense minister Moshe Ya'alon; military chief of staff Benny Gantz; and Mossad chief Tamir Pardo to discuss the deteriorating situation with Syria, according to media reports in Israel.

According to a report in the Israeli paper Yedioth Ahronoth, the visit arose from "the American fear of escalation in the region against the backdrop of [Hezbollah leader Hassan] Nasrallah's threats to act against Israel in the Golan Heights and the American sense that Israel is disappointed by the ineffectuality of the Obama administration with regard to the ongoing deterioration in Syria."

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According to The Guardian newspaper, Brennan was probably sent to Israel "to coordinate a joint policy between the two countries and prevent Israel from taking action on its own in Syria."

Brennan's trip comes amid Israeli concerns about weapons transfers from Syria to Lebanon's Hezbollah Islamic militant group.

Israel has carried out airstrikes aimed at halting arms shipments to Hezbollah.

Netanyahu traveled to Russia this week to persuade Moscow not to sell an advanced air defense system to Syria that could complicate any possible aerial campaign.

Israel also is in close contact with the United States over Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program.

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