Israel, Putin and Assad

On Friday, 17 March 2017, the middle East, there are unthinkable events. First, Israel first recognizes that carried out the raids on military bases Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The government of Jerusalem has always maintained a very reserved position regarding the civil war in a neighbouring state, did not make any statements enclosed in a cocoon of incredible wordless diplomacy, as if Israel had nothing to do with what is happening in Syria. And now Israel for the first time declares carrying out air raids in Syria (a little bit later we understand why), but has not said everything that happened previously: on-going for four years, from January 2013, the bombing campaign abroad, at least 44 missions, none of which were officially confirmed (exact calculations are difficult to conduct, because we are talking about covert operations, some of them could be held without witnesses, but they definitely took place: “the secret campaign of bombing” is an oxymoron).

Only once, on 7 December 2016, the defense Minister of Israel Avigdor Lieberman addressed the ambassadors of the European Union, arguing that the air mission of Israel to Syria are carried out in order to block the throwing of the “difficult and chemical weapons” the Lebanese grouping “Hezbollah”. This gives an indication that, according to Israel, the Assad government continues to hide chemical weapons in violation of the agreement reached in the summer of 2013. However, the Minister of defence — the person gusty, and his words are heard rarely.
Second, on Friday, March 17, the Israeli strike deep into Syria. Usually fighters are limited to flights over the mountains of Lebanon and dropping special bombs, Spice 1000 that for tens of kilometers plan in the air before reaching its target. This is usually enough, most often under such attacks get military bases located near the Syrian capital of Damascus, about 60 kilometers from the border. However, this time bomb cannot reach its target, as it is beyond their reach (100 km), and four aircraft are sent to the route passing to the North under the control of Hizbollah, the Lebanese city of Beck, penetrated 300 kilometres deep into Syria’s airspace and strike at the military airport T4, located near Palmyra, recently for the second time wrested from the hands of ISIL terrorists (declared a terrorist organization and banned in Russia — approx. ed.). More specifically, it happened on the evening of March 16.

The base of T4 in a period of two weeks was in the power of the terrorists, it was also a haven for Russian soldiers, hastily fled from Palmyra in December. Within a few weeks, she was Russian-the Syrian garrison on the border between the Islamic state and Syria. Perhaps the Iranians and the Lebanese group Hizbollah expect that the base is too far away for bombing Israel, or that its location near the city-a monument of art of Palmyra too symbolic to make her a target for air strikes (it enjoys a privileged position in comparison with other cities of Syria, quickly razed to the ground). It is known that public opinion quickly his verdict: “If you are not for Assad, then you are behind ISIS”. Perhaps, Iran and Hezbollah rely on the fact that the Russian presence must cool Israel.

According to sources, the Israeli journalist Ron Ben-Yishai, a specialist in this area, on the basis of T4, the Iranian military is passed to the members of the group “Hezbollah” ballistic missiles “Scud” model D, the most accurate of the entire series. Other sources clarify that the jets strike the convoys leaving the base, not the base itself, to avoid possible casualties among Russian soldiers. If you think that the Israeli government adheres to a neutral position on the war in Syria, keep the following in mind: it followed the transport of weapons in those moments when it was done. Even when Israel claims that the Assad government still has chemical weapons, he may rely on reliable information. The last time Israel was attacked so far from the border with Syria on 6 September 2007, when fighter jets destroyed a nuclear reactor, the existence of which Damascus denied. The UN report made in 2011, confirmed its existence.

Why Israel recognizes this RAID? Because for the first time the Syrians have responded to a fire having started, at least four rockets of a class “earth-air” against four fighters. The missiles are Russian-made s-200 better known by the NATO classification as the SA-5 (NATO is a military organization, which, among other things, analyzes and maintains records of weapons manufactured in Russia. Some think this Alliance is “obsolete”), and they had just returned from Russia after the upgrade. The government of Damascus, as if he wants to show the world their new military capabilities, thanks to the partnership with Russia. To knock down one missile SA-5, Israel is also the first time resorted to the Arrow missile system, protecting the country from ballistic long-range missiles. There is a system of “Iron dome” (Iron Dome) destroying in-flight artisanal rockets of Hamas in the Gaza strip, and the Arrow system, which does the same thing on a larger scale. In its application have never been necessary. Israeli missile strikes Syrian missile directly at the radar, watching for Syria. This is one of the most militarized airspaces in the world: in Jerusalem run siren for air alarm, and the fragments of the explosion reaches the Jordan, therefore at this stage to deny that the RAID would be ridiculous.

In the same Friday, Russia called the Israeli Ambassador, newly arrived in Moscow, despite the onset of the eve of the Sabbath: so the situation has caused considerable fury or anxiety. 9 March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Moscow for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin to Express dissatisfaction with the presence of Iran in Syria. Whatever was said at those talks, a week later arose the need for them to continue. And while Syria said in a television broadcast that she shot down one Israeli plane and damaged a second, which is not true (the shown image of the wreckage but not the plane, and missiles). Some commentators have said that Russia called on Israel to halt air operations, but it was either false information or the Israelis have ignored this requirement. Sunday, March 19, and Monday, March 20, they held two more air RAID — this time, however, near the Lebanese border (i.e. to carry them out was much easier).

An Israeli drone struck the car of the leader of Pro-government militias in the Golan heights. It is a national defense militia formed by the Syrian government, together with the Iranian experts conducting counter-revolutionary tasks. Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari said that “the game has changed, and now Israel is a thousand times will think, before you strike again”. Defense Minister Lieberman, speaking on army radio, the Israeli said: “next time Syria opens fire on Israeli planes, we will not hesitate to destroy their entire air defense”. Sunday March 26, the Syrian government raises the stakes: “If Israel again will cause an airstrike, we launch missiles “Scud” and can strike at Haifa”.

The Iranians are reported by the Kuwaiti newspaper full of poison and unchecked the message that Israeli jets can fly in Syrian airspace, as allegedly received from Russia the data about the system ciphers the air defense of Syria. In fact, the system “sees” the Israeli planes, but recognizes them as friendly. This is part of a mutual game of disinformation that the military powers of the Middle East every day, waging against each other.

Airstrike on a military base T4 is pushing to crisis point the whole complicated agreement between Jerusalem, Tehran, Damascus and Moscow, is based on the principle of “see — not see, pretend not see.” Will try to explain. In the near future between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon will begin a third war, after the last one, interrupted without any final result in July 2006. Israel has expanded its military doctrine in the event of renewed conflict. It provides for stringent punitive measures for those places where Lebanese militants are launching rockets and shells, is an area located on the Litani river patrolled by, in particular, the Italian “blue helmets” after 2006.

Punitive measures are also provided for the military command in Beirut. The doctrine provides for the destruction of the infrastructure of Hizbollah with bloody bombing. After it was announced in the headlines of some Newspapers appeared the expression “to pulverize”. Therefore, Hezbollah and its Iranian sponsors decided to take advantage of the Syrian chaos, to expand the front and launch points of rockets on the Golan heights, scattered on the border between Syria and Israel, as also reported by local journalists. Ron Ben-Yishai writes in the newspaper “Yediot Ahronot”: “Hizbollah and the Iranians are more or less exhausted the potential of Lebanon for the establishment of operational bases in the fight against severoitalyanskogo front and the civilian community. So they need a new front on the Golan to drop his missiles on Central Israel and other attacks on Northern land and against the inhabitants of the areas adjacent to the border”.

Such attempts were already made in 2015, but then an Israeli drone flew some three kilometers into Syrian airspace, was in the convoy carrying Iranian General who were there for a visit (he probably forgot to turn off lying in his pocket mobile phone, triggered as a pointer location), and killed Jihad mughniyeh, son of the legendary military leader Imad who was killed in Damascus in 2008. Now Hezbollah and the Iranians repeat their attempts, but this time they intend to turn the whole Syria into a platform for the next conflict. It touches even the fact that remains of Palmyra (in order to understand the situation, you can see which aired on Syrian TV interview with son of Khaled al-Asad, a famous archaeologist, the hero who chose to die at the hands of members of the “Islamic state”, refusing to leave the city and its priceless works of art. So his son says that the destruction of Palmyra is not the result of the invasion of militants of al-Baghdadi, a vast and dangerous conspiracy of Israel. Now let us remember the aforementioned game of misinformation). Ben-Yishai calls these air raids and rocket duels in Syria, “the battle of the next war”, a battle that will decide who gets the winning position, when the conflict comes, and it is considered inevitable.

Russia has no strategic interest in the confrontation with Israel, but at the moment it can’t do in Syria without the Iranians. From the moment in June 2015, General Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian strategist operations across the Middle East, flew to Moscow to ask for help in the war in Syria, and has achieved as a result of the intervention of the Russian air force, helicopters, artillery, and Russian special forces, Putin cannot leave the territory in the role of losers. However, in order to win, one aircraft is not enough, need people directly on-site, you need to send real fighting infantry against armed Sunni groups, besieging the city and the hills of Syria, that is (as learned from its mistakes in Iraq, the Americans) need to endure many losses. But this question does not even arise, it does not exist, because Iran supplies troops, and when the regular troops there, there are thousands of foreign Shiite fighters trained by Iranians (only one Afghan brigade Fatemiyon sent to Aleppo, 18 thousand people).

Putin really would be difficult to involve people in Syria. Now, at minimal, almost ghostly, Russia had to endure too heavy losses. During the battle of Palmyra, which began on January 29, when mine blasting both feet off the Russian General Peter Milyukhina (he directed operations in the area of the military base T4), killed four were with him soldiers. As stated in the published on March 22, the investigation Reuters (carried out with the participation of the families of the Russian military), Moscow hide his losses: from the end of January, she said only about five killed, in reality, their 18, because in most cases in Syria involved in the contract (that is, not regular troops), and other cases, the information glossed over. But in 2018, elections will be held and, given the present atmosphere of discontent, we should think about withdrawal from the Syrian territories (however, Putin has already declared two partial decommissioning action in Syria). The agreement with the Iranians is clear: we send planes and military advisers, and you send the cannon fodder. When in may 2016, the head of military operations of Hezbollah in Syria, Mustafa badreddin tried to Express disagreement with an Iranian General Soleimani in connection with the fact that he was losing too many people, and the Lebanese movement uses too many resources during a meeting tete-a-tete at the airport in Damascus, the Iranians ordered his bodyguard to kill him. At least, so say to the Israelites: that might be true, but perhaps this is again a game of misinformation.

On Tuesday, March 21, the head of Mossad Yossi Cohen said that the main source of the threat to Israel is Iran. Every year sounds the same, you say, everyone knows that Israel puts Iran on the list of their enemies. But the most important words of the head of the Mossad is what they are not told, what we can only guess. Try to Express what is not said Cohen: gangs of Sunni extremists are not worrisome to Israel, as Iranian military presence that turns into a military platform, being directly at its borders and build the fence on the Golan heights. The first armed army knives, they have cameras, they cut each other in the struggle for the Caliphate. The second is the systematic, organized, and far more low-key approach, military commanders, academia, ballistic missiles and suspended nuclear program. Iran has allies in Syria. And his most important ally is Vladimir Putin’s Russia.