The US has specific intelligence that Iranian leaders did NOT know about Hamas attack on Israel in advance but officials have yet to reach a final conclusion
Initial US intelligence assessments indicate that top Iranian officials were taken by surprise when Hamas launched its deadly attacks on Israel, according to multiple reports.
Terrorists killed at least 1,200 people when they broke out of the Gaza Strip on Saturday morning, attacking military and civilian targets.
The attack shocked Israel and its security services, which failed to foresee the danger.
Questions have since circulated about whether Iran, Hamas’s biggest sponsor, helped plan or finance the attacks.
But reports that Iranian leaders were taken by surprise cast doubt on the idea that Tehran was directly involved.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (center) examines a group of armed forces cadets during their graduation ceremony in Tehran on Tuesday. He used the opportunity to deny that Iran had any involvement in the Gaza attack on Israel
National security officials such as Rep. John Kirby, left, and national security adviser Jake Sullivan say they have yet to see evidence that Iran was behind the Hamas attack
A source told Reuters that Iranian leaders would normally be aware of such an important operation.
“We will be looking at additional information in the coming weeks to inform our thinking on this matter, including whether there were at least some people in their system who either had a clearer sense of what was coming or even contributed to aspects of the design. said the official.
The US monitors meetings between Iran’s paramilitary Quds Force and its proxies, such as Hamas.
But the New York Times reported that officials said no evidence had yet been found to suggest those meetings were used to plan or authorize the Hamas attack.
Israel’s military said on Wednesday that more than 2,700 people were injured in the hours-long assault, after hundreds of fighters bulldozed through security fences or used parachutes to evade the defenses.
Hamas also used drones to disable remote sensors and machine guns, nullifying Israeli surveillance and countermeasures systems.
This level of complexity has led to questions about how much outside aid has been given to the Gaza-based militants.
In public statements, national security officials accused Iran of being “complicit” in the attack, supporting Hamas with weapons and cash in its fight against Israel, without mentioning that it was directly involved in planning, financing or training fighters for the attack. Saturday attack.
The covered bodies of Israeli victims of the weekend infiltration by Palestinian militants are gathered at Kibbutz Beeri near the Gaza border on October 11, 2023
Palestinian militants fire rockets at Israel from Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on October 11, 2023, as Israel continued to shell Hamas targets in the enclave
“We’re looking into it,” White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters Wednesday afternoon. “Again we have seen no evidence … concrete proof that Iran was directly involved in these particular attacks.
“We will continue to look at it. The book is not closed on this. We will keep looking.’
A day earlier National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan delivered a similar message in the White House briefing room.
“We have said from the beginning that Iran is complicit in this attack in the broadest sense because it has provided the lion’s share of funding for the military wing of Hamas, it has provided training, it has provided capabilities, it has provided support. and they have had involvement and contact with Hamas for years,” he said.
“And all of that has played a role in contributing to what we’ve seen.
“Now, on the question of whether Iran had advance knowledge of this attack or helped plan or direct this attack, we do not have — as I stand here on the podium — the confirmation.”
Iran has denied any role.
The country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday celebrated Israel’s “irreparable” military and intelligence defeat.
“We kiss the hands of those who planned the attack on the Zionist regime,” he said in his first televised address since the deadly attack.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Israeli soldiers and military hardware are massing around the 141-square-meter Gaza Strip, which has been pounded by airstrikes for days.
“We started the attack from the air, later we will come from the ground,” Defense Minister Yoav Gallant told the soldiers.