On the Syrian front — another aggravation. February 10, Israel twice carried out air strikes on Syrian territory lost in the attacks the F-16 aircraft. The first time the purpose of the aircraft was Iranian management structure of the UAV, located in Syria. The second time — directly to the air defense of the army of Bashar al-Assad who opened fire on the enemy. This clash is complicated by the situation in Russia, since Israel is considered an ally of the US and enemy of Iran is our key partner in the Syrian conflict.
February 10 evening, a telephone conversation between the Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The parties discussed the worsening situation in the middle East.
The bloodiest week
The UN high Commissioner for human rights Zeid RA’ad al-Hussein officially declared that last week in Syria was one of the bloodiest since the civil war began in 2011 — from air strikes killed at least 277 civilians. Al-Hussein compared Syria with a kind of “funnel” into which are drawn all the new external force.
Indeed, on Saturday the Syrian territory to attack Israel, who has previously distanced himself from the massive use of military force. According to the commander of the Israeli air force Brigadier General Tomer Bar, the Israeli operation in Syria was the largest since 1982 (when, recall, Israel went to war with Lebanon… which culminated in the creation of the movement “Hezbollah” is now the worst enemy of the Jewish state).
Early Saturday morning the Israeli air force shot down an Iranian drone, which, according to official information, have invaded Israeli airspace from Syria, from where he was running. Israel reacted most harshly, hitting 12 of Syrian and Iranian military targets (all in Syria). Among them, the control of the UAV in the desert of HOMS, where, according to the Israeli version, and launched the drone.
Carrying out one of the combat missions of the Israeli F-16 was shot down by a missile, the two pilots ejected. A car fell in a field near the village Harduf. Immediately after the incident, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held an emergency meeting with his military chiefs. He, in particular, stated that Israel wants peace but will defend itself “against any attack on us or any of Iran’s attempts to establish itself in Syria.”
Israel asked Russia for help
The position of the different countries involved in the Syrian conflict, for mutual attack Iran and Israel was very different.
The US state Department has taken the habit of saber-rattling, completely supporting Israel: moreover, Washington has once again signaled that curbing the influence of Iran — one of the goals of the campaign in Syria.
The representative of Israel to the UN Danny Danon asked the UN security Council with a demand to condemn Iranian “provocations,” and the establishment of Tehran’s military bases on the territory of Syria.
And only the Russian foreign Ministry has shown the wisdom expressed in the official communiqué “a serious concern” and urged all parties to the conflict to exercise restraint. Moreover, diplomatic sources told reporters (and this writes the authoritative edition of YNet News, coming in Hebrew) that the Israeli government appealed to Russia with a request to influence the Iranian government to prevent a new “provocation”.
To do this will seem difficult, because Iran has entrenched itself in Syria already thoroughly — today it is one of the main bridgeheads of the official Tehran in the middle East. Iran sent to support the regime of Bashar al-Assad’s military advisers, volunteer militia, as well as hundreds of fighters from the “Quds” elite special forces of Islamic revolutionary guard Corps conducting operations abroad. Iran has supplied Syria with thousands of tons of arms and ammunition. And even with this aid it is not limited to: in Syria on the side of Assad fighting soldiers of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah, which is supported by Tehran.
Moscow was forced to remain in Syria for a long time
To comment on the worsening situation in Syria, the “Free press” turned to our resident expert on the Middle East, research associate of the national strategy Institute, editor-in-chief of the scientific journal “the Muslim world” Rais Suleymanov.
“SP”: — Rais Ravkatovich, the fact of the destruction in the Syrian sky, and Israeli military aircraft — doesn’t the fact that Syria turns into a “black hole” that sucks in all the new powers?
— The surprising emergence of Israel no. He is concerned about the growing influence of Iran and the possibility of Syria military bases in Tehran. Because in the middle East for Israel, Iran is perceived as the main source of threats to its security (the Arab countries, even such as Saudi Arabia, these are not perceived), then Israel will do everything to weaken the ability of Iran to gain a foothold in neighboring Syria.
“SP”: — the Official Damascus said that Israel, making attack on Syrian territory, allegedly supports terrorists acting.
— We should not think that Israel really supports terrorists: it’s all interpretation of official Damascus. The Kurds can still be perceived if not as friends then at least force in strengthening the position which Israel is interested. But “Islamic state” * – not exactly an ally of Israel. Therefore, the actions of Israel in Syria is a preventive measure against Iran.
“SP”: — Israel’s Interference will affect the course of the war?
— I don’t think that now because of these raids Israel something will change seriously in the war itself. In Israel understand that it will end, and Syria, it is likely to be the fate of postwar Germany, then there is a section in the control sectors of different countries. And if against the fact that some part of Syria is controlled by Turkey and Russia, Israel doesn’t mind, here is a consolidation of Iran in Syria is a threat to him. Hence, these point action.
“SP”: — You mentioned that Russia can claim control over part of territory of Syria. In General, how do you assess the prospects of participation of our country in the Syrian campaign?
— Watching what is happening in Syria war, which in time has already lasted longer than world war II, the participation of our country it seems to me sometimes very surreal. Judge for yourself: we officially entered the war in Syria in the fall of 2015, but until then supported the legitimate government of Bashar al-Assad, and not only diplomacy but also arms — that is, Russia has de facto participated in the war in Syria.
At the beginning of 2016, it was announced that Russia its objectives in Syria has made ISIS dealt a blow from which it now will cease to exist. And one explanation for the start of official military campaign in Syria was the fact that Russian troops are going to defeat the terrorists on the distant frontiers that they have not appeared at home.
However, the terrorist attacks in 2017 in Russia showed that the militants penetrated to us, and a lot of them. And the very “Islamic state”, though they suffered defeats in Syria, was still strong. And then it turns out that our country turns out to be anywhere and was not going to leave Syria. Though at first it was stated that the troops have been withdrawn.
At the end of 2017 once it was said that all Russia has fulfilled its task, display their military of Syria. However, our military is still in Syria continue to fight the cases of their heroic death proof. And ISIS continues to control part of Syria.
The question is: well, what is the result? Russia withdrew from Syria? In Syria, at peace? It is obvious that Russia is gone, and peace in Syria is not.
“SP”: — And after all this comes amid increasing attacks in Russia: January began with two attacks on the base Hamim and Tartous, then there was a mortar attack on our trade mission in Damascus and shot down the su-25M…
— I have two versions which achieve the organizers of these attacks.
The first possible goal is for Russia to leave Syria. Second, on the contrary, the opposite the first is to make sure that Russia is mired in Syria, as his time in Afghanistan. All these attacks on the military bases and the trade mission is such a demonstrative slap in the face. And to leave Syria after that, then, to recognize themselves as losers. Care will be perceived as an escape. This will clearly hurt the national pride of the Russians and the image of Vladimir Putin, who used to always come out the winner.
Accordingly, playing on such ambitions, it is possible to ensure that Russia continued to participate in the war. This is particularly advantageous Bashar al-Assad, because Russia’s withdrawal from Syria for him the path to defeat.