Photo Credit: Tasmin News / CC4.0
An Iranian oil tanker identified as the Ndros, in Venezuela, in Dec. 2020. Except the Ndros was scrapped in 2018, and this may be the Calliop disguised under that name.

The NY Times reported last week that an anonymous US official claimed Israel was behind the operation in the Red Sea against the Iranian IRGC Navy reconnaissance vessel and floating military base, the Saviz, and the attack was in retaliation for an earlier Iranian attack on an Israeli cargo ship. The report described how the ship had been damaged. A few weeks earlier, a report in the Wall Street Journal claimed that Israel attacked multiple Iranian ships transporting oil and equipment from Iran to Syria, since 2019.

Unconfirmed reports in Israel are saying that someone in the foreign media may have actually received the information on the planned attack on the Saviz before the attack happened and was then asked by someone in Israel to hold off publishing the information until after the operation was completed.

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A lot of concern and finger-pointing has been going around the inner circles of Israel’s security establishment as to who possibly leaked the information on Israel’s various secret operations and why. Some reporters have been hinting that it was senior politicians in the coalition (such as it is) or the opposition, depending on the reporters’ political bias. Others claim it was the US.

But at this point, defense officials are relatively sure it did not come directly from any Israeli source, according to a Walla report.

The concern now is that someone in the US government has been leaking the classified operational information that Israel has been sharing with US government officials.

What is still unclear to Israel is if this is a leak by an individual, a one-off event, or a change in US policy under the Biden administration, and what this mean with regards to future sharing of intelligence information with the American government.

The issue of the leaks may be raised during the upcoming visit to Israel by US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Sunday.

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