Many speculations and comments were made about the “positive result” and the “secret deal” allegedly taking place at the meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week in Moscow.
The Israeli media called the visit “successful”, like the other last visits (three in the last six months). However, Russian sources say the opposite, despite the allusions to the positivity, which Putin spoke about. These hints were exaggerated and interpreted by Netanyahu as an “achievement.”
Russian diplomats briefed the Syrian leadership on the outcome of Netanyahu’s visit, indicating the positive moments Putin provided to his Israeli guest:
The Russian President warmly welcomed the Prime Minister of Israel and stressed the good relations between the two leaders. He said that he recognized the 1974 line, which the government of Damascus has respected for more than 40 years.
Putin said that he “understands Israel’s fears about the Iranian military presence in Syria.”
Putin told the guest that any discussion about the presence of Iran in Syria will be postponed until terrorism is defeated in Syria throughout Syria.
Putin told Netanyahu that he was informed by the Iranians that they are not interested in staying in Syria as soon as the danger for the Syrian government disappears and all Syrian territory will be liberated – to the last inch.
Sources in the Syrian leadership said that the Russian president “made it clear to the Prime Minister of Israel that the discussion of his problems was postponed until the closure of the issue related to terrorism”. “If the terrorists hide in an area controlled by Israel (the occupied Golan Heights), we (Russia and their allies) will destroy them one by one,” the source said.
Putin reminded Netanyahu that “the allied forces are fighting side by side with Russian troops operating throughout Syrian territory. Therefore, Moscow is not in a position to ask the allies of Damascus to fulfill the demands of Israel and take care of their problems, especially when it is known that Tel Aviv helped Al-Qaida and other jihadists and supported the “regime change,” but could not achieve it. ”
Sources believe that “Israel is watching the military formations of Hezbollah, the Iranian advisers and their allies spreading throughout Southern Syria during the battle in southern Syria. They are deployed in a provocative format to show their presence and send a clear message to Israel that its threat is not taken seriously. Israel requests that Hezbollah and Iran stay 80 km or even 10 km from the borders of the Golan Heights, which was never discussed with the Syrian government, but circulated only in the media. Therefore, Damascus is not interested in providing any kind of guarantee to Israel or taking care of its fears connected with Hezbollah or the presence of Iran helping the Syrian army on the battlefield anywhere in Syria. Damascus decided to start a battle in the south without reference to any international agreement (between Putin and Trump). ”
President Bashar al-Assad did not initiate a provocation to ask Hezbollah to increase its military presence in southern Syria, but he gave Hezbollah a significant gift: containers with ATV TOW for $ 60,000 apiece, ATGM Milan and others “Trophies of war” collected during the battles in southern Syria in gratitude to their allies who helped the Syrian army during the long years of the war. The countries of the West and the Persian Gulf supplied a significant number of weapons to jihadists and insurgents for 7.5 years of the war. This weapon passed from al-Qaeda to ISIS, and now to Hezbollah.
On the same day, Putin hosted an Iranian special envoy, Ali Akbar Velayati, representing the leader of the Iranian revolution in his Novo-Ogarevo residence near Moscow, who announced Russia’s $ 50 billion investment in Iran’s oil and gas sector (meaning a total investment of 50 billion dollars the target bar). A real slap before the meeting with Trump, who withdrew the Joint Comprehensive Action Plan for a Nuclear Transaction with Iran (JCPOA). This shows how firm is Russia’s commitment to Iran and the fact that its presence in Syria is a strategic relationship. For Netanyahu it is clear that he is not Putin’s “Golden Boy”, he counts on close American-Israeli relations and Israel’s importance for the United States.
He claims that he lost the war against Assad, and therefore he tries to get as little damage as possible from the way out of the war. Netanyahu, perhaps, relied on a meeting in Helsinki between Trump and Putin, who agreed to the observance of the 1974 treaty and the line bordering the occupied Golan Heights. However, the position of the Syrian government does not support such an agreement, and its message is very clear: Iran will not leave Syria if Israel does not withdraw from the occupied Golan Heights.
This equation means that the conflict between the “axis of resistance” and Israel enters a new phase. This can only be the beginning. Of course, as there is a dead end in this respect, Israel continues its attempts to bite the Iranian proxy in Syria, and Iran continues to strengthen Hezbollah and its influence in Eastern Syria, ensuring the work of the Tehran-Beirut bridge, reinforced by the growing political influence in Lebanon and Iraq. Of course, the requirements to Iran “just go away” can not be accepted by Tehran, who is one of the winners of the Syrian war. Therefore, it is quite understandable that the Golan issue will be raised as one of the requirements of Damascus and Tehran to Israel, which will be publicly voiced.