Russia, USA, Israel, Iran and Syria: a continuous struggle to trigger or avoid war

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By Elijah J. Magnier: @ejmalrai

The Syrian defence system shot down by mistake a Russian Ilyushin IL-20M 90924 surveillance plane in Syria with 15 servicemen on board on Monday evening, the day after an Israeli F-16 destroyed an Iranian military cargo plane on the Damascus airport runway killing the second pilot. Simultaneously with the downing of the Russian plane, four Israeli F-16s attacked Syrian and Iranian military targets around the northern city of Latakia. The Syrian air defence system responded against the incoming missiles and hit the Russian plane while in landing position over the Hamymeen military airport. This took place only hours after the signing of a deal between presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan to halt the battle of Idlib and defuse the possibility of seeing Syrian army barracks and military airports destroyed. Who is pushing for a wider war and why are Russia and Iran refraining from responding to the many provocations in Syria?

War drums sounded loudly over the Levant the last few months after Syria and its allies, mainly Russia, liberated the south of the country and directed all military resources towards the northern city of Idlib. This city is under Turkish control but hosts fewer than 2 million inhabitants, of whom tens of thousands are jihadists and heavily armed Turkish proxies. The US and Europe voiced their will to bomb Syria “if chemical bombs are used against the city”. That was a clear invitation for specialised groups in Idlib to stage an attack and give an excuse for US-EU forces to unleash their firepower and destroy the Syrian army’s air power and airports. That is indeed the key to the Russian/Syrian/Iranian lack of reaction to Israel’s many provocations and to the Russian-Turkish deal to suspend the war in Idlib.

Decision-making sources said “Russia was seriously concerned about the US and European intention to destroy the Syrian army in the event of a staged chemical attack. The US had managed to gather behind it a coalition including Britain, France and Germany to bomb Syria, making it very difficult for Russia to react militarily. Putin is aware of US intentions and is not in Syria to start WWIII but to stop the war. But it goes against US interests to see Syria recovering and Russia expanding its control in the Middle East”.

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The Turkish-Russian deal to postpone the battle of Idlib, blessed by the central government in Damascus and arrived at following several Iranian mediations, aims to keep Ankara close to the Moscow-Tehran-Damascus line and to prevent a wider war in Syria. As an example, it took the Syrian army three years to prepare and equip the Shuay’rat military airport and three minutes for the US to put it out of commission for another 3 years. Russia, Syria and Iran would like to avoid any further burden on Syria’s economy and capabilities. Moreover, a weak Syrian Army would give more incentives for over 60,000 – 70,000 jihadists and rebels in Idlib and environs to break siege and move towards Aleppo, widening the war and creating more opportunities for the enemies of Syrian unity to regain strength.

Damascus is happy to calm down the war atmosphere and to give more time for Ankara either to disarm the jihadists, to attack them, or to merge many of them with its proxies. The Syrian government benefits from the deal, if it is respected, by seeing all heavy weapons confiscated by Turkey, as stipulated by the deal, greatly reducing the military capability of jihadists and rebels.

Moreover, what was not announced officially is Turkey’s guarantee that no chemical attack will be staged in Idlib to “provoke” the long-heralded US-EU bombing of Syria.

On Sunday evening Israel fired missiles against an Iranian cargo plane on the Damascus airport runway. The Israeli missiles didn’t aim directly at the plane and hit next to it. But they were close enough to torch the plane and kill the assistant pilot. This was an unprecedented by Israel, the first of its kind against such a target in the 7 year war in Syria.

According to decision makers in Syria, the Israelis had asked Russia to “prevent the flow of weapons from Iran to Hezbollah and Syria”. Moscow answered Tel Aviv: this struggle is not part of its business and  it is not ready to police the movement of weapons from Iran to its allies.

Idem, when Iran asked Russia to force on Israel the cessation of attacks in Syria against its allies and its forces, Moscow gave the same answer: “we are not ready to take part in your struggle with Israel”.

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But after the Iranian defence minister promised to supply Syria (Russia refrained from delivering the S-300) with anti-air missiles, capable of endangering the Israeli jets over Syria and Lebanon, Israel decided to move a step forward. This is why Israel decided to bomb any cargo that might improve Syrian capabilities and any weapons factories in Syria developing precision missiles. Nevertheless, according to sources in Syria, Iran has imported enough technology and missiles to its allies so that Israeli jets are not able to damage Syrian missile capabilities nor those of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

“Even if Iran loses 15 cargo planes in Syria, this won’t stop it from providing the necessary help to its allies”, said the source.

A few hours after the Russian-Turkish Idlib deal, Israeli jets fired against a military facility working on developing Syrian military capabilities. Four missiles hit the target and others were intercepted by the Syrian defence system. Nevertheless, a Russian Surveillance plane was also hit by a Syrian missile while manoeuvring for landing 27 km from Banias (where the debris were found).

“Russia has paid a heavy price for its unwillingness to exploit its superpower position in Syria, and for its failure to prevent any external force (US, EU or Israel) from bombing its allies in a theatre under its own control and dominance. In order to protect a perimeter where its forces were deployed, the US attacked and killed hundreds of Syrians in the al Tharda mountains under Obama, and hundreds more in Deir-Ezzour and al-Badiya. By contrast Israeli missiles flew over the Hmaymeen Russian-Syrian airport and the US Tomahawks which hit the Shuay’rat airport travelled over the heads of Russian forces”, said the source which is part of the Russian command in Syria.

The downing of the Russian plane is expected to impose on Israel full coordination and approval for its flights over Syria hours before the strike, in order for Russia to maintain its neutral position. This will also give Syria and its allies the possibility to await Israeli missiles and jets and remove sensitive weapons to limit damage.

Moscow has paid a certain price but Israel has lost advantage, which is to the benefit of Russia’s allies. The Israeli promenade over Syria may not end there, because Israel has never been restricted in “defending its national security”, as Tel Aviv always says to justify any act of war or aggression against another state or group. Israel’s violations of Syrian airspace may not cease completely but will slow down  for a few days, enough to allow Iran and allies to rebuild any capability destroyed.

Iran, Russia and Syria did not stop the battle of Idlib – to avoid a war – in order to be trapped in a new war triggered by Israel or the US. This is what prevents Russia, Iran and Syria from giving the US, Israel and Europe any pretext for triggering a war, at the cost of looking weak in front of the world. These very risky decisions are made to allow Syria to stand on its feet again. They are essential to thwarting warmongers in the US establishment. And they are necessary if the economies of the three countries are to flourish rather than wasting all their resources on a useless war with Syria as its platform.

Proofread by: C.B. and Maurice Brasher

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23 thoughts on “Russia, USA, Israel, Iran and Syria: a continuous struggle to trigger or avoid war

  1. What I wonder is why did the Russians not use the Krasukha-4 EW mobiles to counter the Popeyes, Tomahawks and what else was fired? I find it strange that among so few missiles fired yet not all of them were shot down.

    Has the late professor Keshe of Keshe Foundation that made his EW stuff public including to the Enemy of humanity finally made the Enemy produce weapons capable of jamming Russian EW?

    1. As a retired U.S. Marine, a specialist in communications, navigations electronics, and with highest clearances on secure comm, and secure Nav, I can say that as of 97, the U.S. had not been able to surpass the avionics and electronic countermeasures of Russia, except marginally. I doubt much advance has been made since, as most of our monies are spent maintaining a diminishing fleet of aircraft, falling behind in maintenance, and complete irreplaceable, by the planned “F-35 program” due to its expense, and it’s vastly diminished capability, relative to fifth generation fighters currently on line.
      I’ve been in electronics since age six, a mechanic several years earlier, I am extensively educated in physics, quantum and stellar, I design and make tooling and equipment of my own, I ran the “Avionics Shop” I checked into as an E-3 Lance Corporal, in 77, for two years as Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge, for two years before my retirement, taught instructors in the aviation school, avionics, communications systems, navigation systems of the latest, (then) technology, I only taught students when there were issues the instructors didn’t know, because they were antiquated, I wrote the courses, and stepped in when called.
      I’ve known the Syrian Army since my time in Beirut, from August of 82 through spring of 83, When we, some 2500 Marines of the 26th MEU, landed in Beirut, the Syrian Army had a battalion or regiment on the ground on our right. We had the IDF on our left, the Palestinians to our fore, and absent the Syrian Army, it is likely the IDF would have gone ahead with its intent to wage war with the Palestinians, catching us dead in the crossfire.
      I only had a few days around the Syrian Army before they decided things were under control, but they were professional, courteous, they worked hard, as we did, cleaning up the dead, and trying to make liveable conditions in the city, after the Palestinians were transported back to the territories, by our predecessor MEU, and the IDF had no reason to stay, but I met a few Syrians one on one, they were no less professional, courteous, open, welcome, than any other soldiers or Marines I’ve ever met in ports of call, and their entire purpose there was to ensure Israel didn’t wage war in Beirut, and utterly destroy the city, and assume control over the whole of Lebanon.
      For those ignorant, Hezbollah is the rightful, natural Militia which raised up in Lebanon, against the recurring invasions of Israel, and Israel’s attempt to gain plenary control over it, to close “a cushion the Palestinians used”, when the IDF went hard at, and goes hard at the rightful residents of “British Mandate, Palestine”, the 80% of Israel, no Zionists. For those who aren’t aware, the Zionists used IED’s against the British, trying to manage the peaceful transition of Palestine, from wartime footing, to peace, after the world war. The Zionists, supported by the U.S., forced the Brit’s to leave or continue be bombed, and the Zionists declared a “Jewish Nation” on the basis of having bought almost a fifth of “Palestine”, and refusing to live in an “Arab nation”, they assumed control by force, caused a Pan-Arab attack, and only because they were defended by our own air support, controlled the field at the end.
      The U.S. is an “unlawful combatant” in Syria, as is every force other than Syrian defenses, Russian forces, invited, Iranian forces, invited, and Hezbollah, welcomed, because they fight a common enemy, Zionist Israel, the offensive supporter of the terrorists currently remaining in Syria. If it were in my power to do so, I would get myself to Syria, as soon as possible, and offer my best and most in the aid of Syria, Russia, in the lawful, rightful defense of a Sovereign Nation, invaded by my government, using terrorists it armed, funded, provided heavy weapons for, and has constantly supported against some seven years of constant attack. I love my Country, America, but this government isn’t ours, it isn’t under the Constitution, it is fascist, it is a criminal, by international accords, all signed by representatives of America, and ignored by the Bolsheviks who currently control the government, as they did in the Soviet Union, by fear, intimidation, and hiding, waiting to burn any who break their rules of engagement.
      The U.S. empire needs be broken now, before the heedless bastards start a world war, because they can’t have what they want, they’ve expended all they have, and are hoping to recover, but are balanced on “their last legs”, at the precipice. My prayers are with Syria, their President, (I knew his father, second hand), all those who fight for Syrian Sovereignty and Security, and I call down God’s wrath on all those offending the Lord Almighty. This is pure evil, there is no good in any of the forces arrayed against Syria, and currently Iran, and those forces should be expunged, eviscerated, destroyed post-haste.
      When Thieves break into your house, your Castle, you have every right before God, to put them out, however it takes, and their lives have value only if their evil is done in the light of day, and one can stop them without killing.
      What the U.S. has done, is steal into Nation after Nation, in “the dark of night”, and by this, The Lord has said, “their lives are in their own hands, it is rightful they die in the night, if they do this by night”. We were established as “A Nation Under God”, when we established our Constitution, and federal Government. A Nation under the Name of God is twice damned, if it turns against God, once for rejecting The Lord of Creation, and once for the Evil it set off on, the reason it rejected God. We are that Nation, and we have earned our place in God’s eyes.
      I pray God sets things to right, shortly, returning the American occupied land to Syria, and driving U.S. forces out, alive or dead. I wish I could have empathy for those who fight in Syria, but if they don’t fight for Syria, they are evil and the enemy, even if by ignorance, We established a Nation of Sovereign Citizens, with the duties of “sovereigns”, which include the duty of determining “just, or unjust war”, and acting accordingly. It’s not God’s fault so many Americans refuse to live as Sovereign, and thus hand their consent to the Fascists. It is by their own hand.
      Semper Fidelis,
      John McClain
      GySgt, USMC, ret.
      Vanceboro, NC, USA

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  3. The author mentions: “Moscow has paid a certain price but Israel has lost advantage, which is to the benefit of Russia’s allies”.

    So the author assumes that Israel is not an ally of Russia but Syria and Iran are allies, if I am reading correctly.

    But this makes no sense because Russia has “friendly” and good diplomatic, economic, social and military relations with all these countries, including Israel.

    So either Israel, Iran and Syria are all allies or……Israel, Iran and Syria are not allies.

    In any case, however you want to define the relationship, Russia has agreements with all of these countries based on pragmatic (realpolitik) mutual interests which is combined with “friendly” diplomatic relations. In these agreements Russia has agreed to some mutual boundaries:

    – Israel is allowed to bomb Syria and Iranian forces inside Syria
    – Russia will help Syria to liberate some areas and back the Syrian military
    – Iran is allowed to work in Syria
    – Syria is allowed to counter Israeli aggression, but on its own
    – Turkey is allowed to control some parts of Syria
    – US is allowed to control some parts of Syria
    – etc. etc.

    The West, Israel, Iran and Syria all know about these agreements and have accepted these agreements, whether they like to or not.

    This is the reality on the ground. Russia is playing a balancing act according to what it sees is in its interest. This is done by slowly working its way towards influencing the situation in the Middle-East while trying to avoid major incidents. Losses are calculated as part of this plan. In order to gain influence and determine some of the outcomes, some sacrifices need to be made…this is a simple cost-benefit analysis.

    So from what we can overtly see out in the open, is that there is no reason to call Iran an ally of Russia, while calling Israel not an ally of Russia. According to the friendly diplomatic ties and agreements Russia has with both countries, either both are allies or both are not allies (partners in mutual interest). This is my conclusion and I believe it is close to the view of Andrew Korybko.

  4. Is everyone certain it was an “accidental” shot down by the SAA AD ?? What about the French warship firing missiles simultaneously as the IOF F15’s . . I would have thought that the S200 would have “friend or foe” type recognition capabilities, enabling it to abort hitting a plane from the same country. Or am I just dreaming that such technology exists.

    1. Such technology at least in the west is called IFF and surely the Russians have it just like the Syrians do but have the Syrians programmed theirs with Russian IFF, I have no idea if it works.

  5. The Syrians officially claim that their AA did not hit the Il 20. Why you adopt the opinion of CNN and Putin?

  6. If Magnier is correct, that Iran can supply Syria with S-300 equivalent anti-aircraft missiles sufficient to prevent an attack, than Iran, Syria and Lebanon need to work toward autonomy between them and Russia. Otherwise, the end result could be Turkey and USA divide up the north-half of Syria and Russia establishes dominion over the south-half.

  7. “…And they are necessary if the economies of the three countries are to flourish rather than wasting all their resources on a useless war with Syria as its platform.”

    Which is the correct strategy to counteract what has been the GWOT, a war of attrition against Muslim/Arab countries, or any country in the world for that matter, that has traced an independent, sovereign, self-determining course from the US/Europe, or oppose their land carrier Israel. A war, any war, or a conflict of any magnitude, from low to high intensity, is the warmongering policy that keeps the mil-ind complex churning weapons and ordnance, which need to be used accordingly to satisfy the law of demand and supply, before they become obsolete and unusable. The US congressmen who push for war against Iran, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, etc., etc., etc., get their PAC money from the mil-ind complex, and their votes from the workers that make the weapons. Their job is to find, create, invent, wars. Their long-life tenures as congressmen depend on that.

    Russia knew from the beginning of its intervention in Syria, they didn’t have the strategic capability, yet, to fight an open war against the US/NATO. However, Syria has been a great testing ground for the Russian army R&D and will continue to be as long as the conflict continues. Russia has been playing catch up after the demise of the Soviet Union, and Putin’s primary task has been to rearm and prepare the Russian army for a conflict of any proportion. They are not ready yet, might be by 2025, however, their intervention in Syria was necessary to contain the expansion of the West by proxy to Russia’s vulnerable underbelly, the Caucasus, from where most of the takfiris of Russian origin come from. Against all odds, Russia’s intervention in Syria turned the tide against the takfiri hordes, in Syria and Iraq, and stopped the West/Israel expansionist plans through the creation of a caliphate. Even when Russia has made it clear it is in Syria to protect its strategic interests, its presence in Syria has provided an umbrella for the Axis of Resistance to become stronger, while playing a delicate balancing act.

    Russia (finally) delivered the S-300 to Iran, while refusing to provide the same to Syria, placating Israel’s fears for their air force. Iranians have developed their own version of the S-300, but they have also proven to be masters of reverse engineering (remember the RQ-170 Sentinel drone?), and by now they might have their own improved version of the Russian S-300 ready for export, to Syria and Hezbollah. Israel lost the strategic battle against the Axis of Resistance, and is increasingly losing the battle for airspace, hence their fear to contain Iran’s improvement of Syria’s air defenses. Israel endless provocations against Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah, aim at giving the US/NATO a pretext to bomb Iran and Syria back to the stone age. Russia (and China), are militarily incapable of preventing that from happening, short of opening a regional war, which will be fought in Syria, Iran, Lebanon, and possibly Iraq, or a holocaust of greater proportions. A regional conflict will reverse all the gains made so far in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Iran, will tax the economies of these countries beyond survival, and will set back their development fifty, a hundred years. They will become failed states.

    The postponement of the battle for Idlib, though seen as a reverse to the SAA cruising Syria one victory after another, could be a good moment for a pause. The SAA need to consolidate their gains, rebuild their divisions, take appraisal of its forces, rearm and prepare for a better moment to employ its rested forces. “War,” said master Clausewitz, “is the continuation of politics by other means.” Putin has shown again and again, a masterful application of that principle, balancing diplomacy and strength, giving in to get his way. After all, he’s a judo master. Those who have been following the (ongoing) battles in Suwayda and Al-Safa, can extrapolate that to Idlib, and visualize how difficult it would be to dislodge an enemy that has been in that governorate for years. The Syrian army has gained some necessary time to recover, rearm, rest, and recuperate, a well-earned R&R&R&R.

    The statement issued by the Russian MoD after the downing of the plane, laying the blame “squarely on Israel,” shows the Russians will not allow their forces to be targeted, or be used as cover for attacks on Syria. They will tighten the screws on Israel, which will reduce even more Israel’s airspace capabilities. Now the Russian S-400 long-range surveillance radar, which covers half of Israel, will be locked on their assess every time an Israeli war plane takes off. Israel is desperate, it’s been supporting a losing proposition, fighting for a delusional “Greater Israel” which can be no more, and its only way out, is the hope for a cataclysmic war against Iran, Syria, Hezbollah, the Axis of Resistance. As long as Putin is at the helm, US/Israel/NATO hope for a regional or total war will remain just that. We hope.

    Lone Wolf

  8. Little correction :”The US had managed to gather behind it a coalition including Britain, France and Germany to bomb Syria, making it very difficult for Russia to react militarily.”
    Exclude Germany from that, only the CDU/CSU were willing to go kinetic, while the Social Democrats vowed not to, because it is undeniably illegal under German Basic law.
    While vows by the Social Democrats are usually not to be taken overly seriously, THIS time they actually fired, errr promoted, the American puppet leading the inland intel agency “Verfassungsschutz”, Hans Georg Maaßen. That is not to be underestimated, and a very sore loss for the Deep State in the bigger scheme of things.

  9. Sadly, I’m afraid the Russian/Iranian/ Hezbollah restraint would not deter the Zionazi/Wahhabeast terrorist plans to destroy Syria. They want to destroy Iran. They want to destroy Russia, as Hitler did. They want to destroy life in Earth.

  10. Thank you for your very valuable insight, Elijah J Magnier. It is extremely difficult accessing reliable information here in New Zealand where we are limited to little more that AP releases.
    Kind regards
    Marie Velenski

    1. I hope Elijah doesn’t mind Marie but if I may I’d like to suggest a couple of other sites that you might like to check out. Make no mistake though . . . Elijah is, IMHO, THE pre-eminent Middle East conflict reporter !!
      You could check out “Moon of Alabama”, “The Unz Review” & “NEO The New Eastern Outlook”

      I think you will find plenty to keep you informed far more than the MSM served up to us in NZ

      Cheers – Kris in Ch-Ch

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