Is Obama taking on Erdogan on Israel’s behalf?

Yesterday, David Ignatius revealed in the Washington Post that last year the Erdogan government:

 disclosed to Iranian intelligence the identities of up to 10 Iranians who had been meeting inside Turkey with their Mossad case officers

This has raised the ire of former Mossad chief Danny Yatom who has publicly condemned Erdogan’s actions.

My question is this:

Why was this revealed in a US publication? why not in an Israeli publication?

Of course the Washington Post is not the official newspaper of the US government. But the fact remains that Ignatius is reported to have close relations with the US intel community.

Its also possible that Ignatius received this news from Israeli sources and not the US intelligence community. But Ignatius is not known for being close to the Israeli government like other reporters such as Jeffrey Goldberg. In my opinion there is a good chance that his source was American.

So why would the US government want to “out” Erdogan like this? Surely they knew that this would anger him. Or worst, possibly impact relations with his government.

For now, all we have are assumptions.

One assumption is that the US government is sending a message to Israel that “when we say we have your back, we mean it”. If the US government is willing to take on Erdogan who is a fellow NATO member, there is little chance that Obama would sell Israel’s security interests down the river in a deal with Iran.

Another assumption could be that the US is having its own problems with Erdogan, perhaps regarding Egypt, and they wanted to fire a warning shot across his bow.

Last but not least, this whole affair could be related to some behind the scene tensions between the US and Turkey which we in the open source world know nothing about.

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