Saudis, Israelis Coordinate Military Steps to Face Iran
The Director of Saudi General Intelligence Presidency (GIP), Khalid Bin Ali al-Humaidan, broke new ground for the oil kingdom by making a trip to Tel Aviv as well as Ramallah on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 20-21. His arrival was first revealed in a debkafile exclusive
His business with the Palestinian Authority was short: He conveyed a warning to Palestinian General Intelligence Chief Majid Farraj for his masters to back off from the direct line of communications they had set up with Tehran. Palestinian and Iranian delegations have already held their first meeting in Brussels.
The Saudi spy chief’s main destination was Tel Aviv, arriving with a team of high-powered security officials from Riyadh.
It was led by the personal representative of the Saudi Minister of Defense, Deputy Prime Minister Prince Mohammad bin Salman, and included senior navy, air force and air defense officers.
They were received at the Israeli Defense Forces General Headquarters by Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gady Eisenkott, Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Meir Eshel, Navy Commander, Adm. Ram Rotberg, Military Intelligence Chief Maj. Gen. Hertzi Halevi and Shin Bet Director Nadav Argaman.
The Saudi visitors also met with the Mossad Director Yossi Cohen.
Their arrival while Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was away on a trip to Australia and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman was also absent attested to this being a working visit. It was in fact devoted to the practicalities of coordinating military operations in regions adjoining the Arabian Peninsula, such as the Red Sea and Gulf, in which both hold countries hold security interests. The two groups also discussed the situation in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.
But Iran was the main topic of common interest, DEBKA Weekly’s sources affirm – particularly Tehran’s initiative for establishing a Shiite military bloc with Iraq, Syria and Lebanon under Hizballah domination.
The Trump administration is at the same time working on a plan for an alliance of moderate Sunni nations for the war on the Islamic State (which is discussed in a separate article).
Official circles in Tehran, Damascus and Beirut are convinced that the US-led alliance is primarily designed as a tool against Iran and Hizballah rather than ISIS. They also believe there is a scheme to present Saudi and Israeli intelligence data to Russian President Vladimir Putin to persuade him to drop his ties with Tehran and switch his support to the alternative Sunni bloc, consisting of Saudi Arabia, Gulf Emirates, Jordan and Egypt.
According to this intelligence, the leaders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Hizballah are pushing hard for supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to authorize a preemptive strike against Israeli or Saudi Arabia – or both. This action would aim both to torpedo President Donald Trump’s plans for Middle East moves and force Putin to reaffirm his alignment with his Shiite allies against America.
The Saudi-Israeli security conferences in Tel Aviv set up military coordination lines for countering an Iranian attack on Saudi Arabia or Iranian-backed Hizballah aggression against Israel.
In the first week of March, the Israeli prime minister is due in Moscow to discuss these issues with the Russian president.