Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will arrive in Moscow in the coming days to meet with Vladimir Putin. It is already known that the main topic of the talks is the strengthening of the positions of Iran, the main military and political opponent of Israel.
Benjamin Netanyahu will arrive in Moscow after the death of the Russian Il-20, which occurred on the night of September 17-18. And although the plane was shot down by means of Syrian air defense, the Russian Defense Ministry immediately blamed it for the Israeli side, which conducted dangerous maneuvers over the province of Lattakia. The Free Press was the first publication in Russia that uncovered the most likely target of an Israeli attack – this is Syrian President Bashar Asad, who was just about to fly to Moscow from Khmeymim military airfield.
Israel has long perceived the Syrian sky as its own. Israel explains its aggressive actions as an attempt to resist Iran, which today is Syria’s largest military and political ally. Suffice to say that, according to Israeli intelligence, at least 2,000 fighters from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Complex, up to 8,000 fighters from the Lebanese Hezbollah and about 10,000 Shiite fighters from Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan are operating in Syrian territory.
Israel, almost unable to inflict tangible strikes on Iranian territory (above which the “Iron Dome” air defense system is deployed), attacks Iranian military targets in Syrian territory. In particular, in May, Israel carried out the largest military operation in Syria since 1973 (when the Doomsday War took place): a synchronized attack on 50 airfields, weapons depots, reconnaissance sites and other Iranian targets.
Against this background, the delivery of Russian S-300 complexes to Syria (Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu reported to the president that they would take 49 units on combat duty) actually makes invulnerable to Israeli attacks not only Syrian targets – but also Iranian ones. This is what worries Israel most of all, whose prime minister is urgently moving to Moscow (we note that after the death of the IL-20 and the accusations of the Russian Defense Ministry, he did not do this).
All parties will have to negotiate with Russia. Senior researcher at the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor Mikhail Roshchin said:
– Mikhail Yuryevich, Israel, even long before the beginning of the civil war, conducted special operations in Syria – it suffices to recall the murder of the head of the special services of Hezbollah Imad Mugniyah in 2008. Why, in general, Israel considers itself entitled to directly intervene in the affairs of Syria?
– Israel has long been fighting Hezbollah. In this regard, nothing new has happened. But after the start of the civil war in Syria, Israel felt that his hands were completely untied, and he could do everything in Syria — and especially in her airspace — that she wanted.
And so it was, until the Syrian army was able to control much of Syrian territory. Today, the situation has changed dramatically, and this raises the question that the former self-rule of the Israeli air force in the skies over Syria must be put an end to.
Russia, as one of the two main allies of Syria, made it clear that Syrian air defense will be equipped with new modern means.
– All the more close interests of the Syrian military establishment and the interests of Iran are integrated. True, the Israeli publications write about the existence of a certain split between President Hassan Rouhani and the head of the special services, Qasem Suleymani, supporters of, respectively, “soft” and “hard” ways in foreign policy. Which of these routes, in your opinion, will prevail in Iran in the case of Syria, given the growing pressure from Israel?
– Iran is an old ally of Syria. In the days of the Shah in the period before the Islamic Revolution, Iran had the strongest army in the Middle East. After the first turbulent years of the revolution, the Iranian armed forces gradually regained their fighting power. They underwent excellent hardening during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980–1988 and in recent years, participating in the struggle against extremists in Syria.
Israel today has no allies in the region who would declare it out loud. Indirectly, these are a number of Arabian monarchies, starting with Saudi Arabia, well, of course, the main geopolitical ally, the United States, has not gone anywhere. Incidentally, we should not forget that under Barack Obama, relations with the Israeli leadership left a wishing ray
our … Now under Donald Trump, they are seriously strengthened, especially after the withdrawal from the United States of the agreement on the Iranian nuclear dossier and the transfer of the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Often overlooked, but it was these Trump’s actions that changed the political configuration in the Middle East and led to the strengthening essentially allied relations between Iran and Russia and further rapprochement between Russia and Iran. The anti-Israeli and anti-Zionist rhetoric in Iran has not disappeared anywhere, but I would not say that some tough rumors were heard from Tehran to the beginning of hostilities against Israel. Quite the contrary: Jerusalem has consistently called for air strikes against nuclear facilities in Iran in recent years. After signing the agreement on the Iranian nuclear dossier, the hawk’s rhetoric subsided somewhat, but has now resumed. I think Russia could act as an intermediary for indirect contacts between Iran and Israel. The time for complete freedom of arms in Syria for Israel has come to an end, and there, reluctantly, but they are beginning to realize this.
- Israel during the civil war in Syria even provided humanitarian aid to the Syrian military: there were food supplies, even the treatment of the wounded. At the same time, the Israelis are not suspicious of obvious sympathy for Bashar Assad. Double standards again? – Despite difficult relations with Assad, and especially with his father, Israel is more interested in keeping the current Syrian regime in power. This is a secular regime that takes into account the peculiarities of the Syrian poly-confessional society. The real armed opposition in Syria today is represented mainly by either extremists or Kurds, that is, an ethnic minority. The new government in Damascus (although this is now a purely hypothetical opportunity) would create unpredictable risks for Israel and would inevitably lead to an aggravation on the Syrian-Israeli border. Russia, in my opinion, leads today a successful and skillful foreign policy in the Middle East, which leads to frighten our opponents. And in this regard, we must recall the positive role of Russia as an intermediary between Syria and Israel, which is able to find points of mutual understanding between both countries. And they certainly are, since both sides are interested in peace and stability. Iran in Syria will certainly maintain its presence in the coming years, and here Russia could also play a moderator role: it is obvious that we seriously listen to our opinion in Tehran.
– Iran today throughout the Middle East Spreads support for Shiite armed groups. Including in Yemen, where in a long-term civil war the number of victims goes to tens of thousands. At the same time, all attention is focused on Syria, but what will happen to Yemen?
– The troops of the international coalition led by Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen on March 25, 2015, and since then there has been a war with the government of the Hussites who control most of North Yemen. The coalition, which has great superiority in military power, has not yet been able to achieve decisive success and even come close to the capital of Yemen, Sana’a. Since spring, the coalition has unsuccessfully tried to take the main port in the north of the country, Hodeidah, but despite the loud reports of the Saudis, the Hussite forces are still successfully defending the city. As a result of the war, the country again actually split into North and South. The real capital of the forces supporting the coalition today is Aden, but we must remember that not so long ago it was the capital of South Yemen (until May 22, 1990). In the south, the majority of the population are Sunni, in the north – the Shiites, whose interests today are represented by the Hussite government. And it is quite natural that Iran supports its co-religionists.