Iran looks on as Israeli arrogance forces Putin’s hand

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By Elijah J. Magnier – @ejmalrai

Russia has decided to send to Syria its S-300 VM system and has started delivering the Krasukha 4 radar systems jammer and other related military equipment. These installations indicate the low level of relations between Moscow and Tel Aviv. Israel’s capacity to destroy the new Russian system in Syria is not at issue. Israel may find a way to do so. Nevertheless, any such move will be a direct challenge to Russia’s superpower status.

Russia has repeatedly shown strategic patience: when two of its planes were shot down (first by Turkey in 2015), when the US launched 59 cruise missiles above its head, and when the US bombed Syrian positions and Russian contractors in Deirezzour. The latest of many Israeli provocations risks making Russia look weaker than it is. In this way, Israel has forced Russia to make an aggressive response.

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Radar screen from Russian AD in Syria showing Israeli AF F-16 (yellow circle) lurking​ behind RuAF Il-20 (green) https://twitter.com/aldin_ww/status/1044283545613717504

The Russian decision to deliver these advanced missiles system, capable of neutralising any enemy target with a range of 200 km, doesn’t mean Syria will start operating them tomorrow and will thus be able to hit any jet violating its airspace and that of Lebanon. Russia is known for its slow delivery and will have to be in control of the trigger due to the presence of its Air Force in the air together with that of the US coalition.

Israeli arrogance pushed president Vladimir Putin to come out of his comfort zone in taking this decision. The Russian command expressed its anger bluntly when describing Israel as “highly ungrateful”. It seems Russia has helped Israel extensively during the years of its presence in Syria (since 2015) at the expense of the “axis of the resistance”, including Syria. Russia’s goal has been to keep a balance between this axis and its relationship with Israel.

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Russia’s quandary is the difficulty of maintaining such a balance in this complicated conflict. The US has taken a clear stand behind Israel. Russia was also trying to align itself with Israel, despite the fact that Tel Aviv – a military state with a government – is not interested in balance. Israel’s most recent behaviour amounts to downgrading and mocking Russia’s position as a superpower.

Israel’s politico-military leadership was not embarrassed to inform Russia only one minute before its attack on the Latakia warehouse manufacturing spare parts of the Syrian M-600, the equivalent of the solid fuel precision missile Fateh-110. Moreover, Tel Aviv misinformed Russia’s Hmaymeem coordination centre, claiming that the Israeli attack would come from the east. The Russian command instructed the IL-20 to move west and land at the airport to avoid being caught in a crossfire. But the Israeli F-16 jets arrived from the west and not the east, leading to the downing of the IL-20 and the death of the 15 Russian servicemen.

Russia’s efforts at a balanced position have met with Israeli abuse. President Assad told his Russian homologue – during their last conversation – that Israel, under the pretext of hitting Hezbollah arms convoys, is destroying the Syrian army’s infrastructure, preventing it from recovering. Prime Minister Netanyahu has been undermining Putin in punishment for the neutral stand the Russian president has been trying to adopt.

Israel’s aggressive posture led it into a tactical mistake. It is now faced with a strategic crisis as its condescension pushes Putin to arm Syria further. But the most serious decision is not the long-delayed delivery of the S-300 VM but the decision to close Syrian airspace and prevent any hostile jet from violating it. In this regard, Russia may not be able to avoid direct confrontation with the US, whose forces (including the UK and France) are occupying the al-Tanf crossing between Syria and Iraq as well as the province of al-Hasaka and part of Deir-ezzour.

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The S-300 VM can protect the Syrian coast, including Aleppo, Homs and Damascus. This would be enough to protect the Syrian government and the Iranian presence in the Levant. This would in turn definitely push Israel to escalate, and even to use its F-35 stealth fighters to avoid being intercepted by the Syrian air defence system. But this would be yet another direct challenge to Russia.

The “Axis of the resistance” is watching from afar and has decided not to intervene in order to avoid any involvement with Putin’s decision. They see his move as positive and a first step away from the Russian president’s neutral stand. The move is accordingly unwelcome to “ungrateful” Israel.

The Russian decision wasn’t born from the void but from cumulative Israeli actions to cripple the Syrian army’s capability when Russia has been trying to rebuild it. Putin’s decision goes beyond the relations of Israel and Moscow. There is a regional-international war going on in the Levant. All weapons are being used in the Syrian-Lebanese-Iranian theatre with the exception of outright nuclear bombs.

The “Axis of the resistance” is watching carefully and reaping benefits from US and Israeli mistakes. However, the last chapter in this war has not been written. Syria will ultimately be left with al-Hasaka and al-Tanf to liberate, both occupied by US forces. The Syrian war remains full of surprises, and dangers may multiply at any moment.

Proofreading by:  B.C.

American Herald Tribune

Published here: https://ahtribune.com/world/north-africa-south-west-asia/syria-crisis/2499-iran-israeli-arrogance-putin.html

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8 thoughts on “Iran looks on as Israeli arrogance forces Putin’s hand

  1. ADDENDUM

    Following up on the law of change, surprising news this morning announced the US is withdrawing their Patriot missile systems from Jordan, Kuwait, and Bahrain. The reason? Officially, they will be redeployed since the new focus is the on the dangers from Russia and China. The real reason? Any guess is as good as mine; however, if they had any intentions to remain in the region for long time, they would be buttressing their defenses, instead of scaling down, particularly on air defenses. The announcement comes a few days after Russia announced is deploying S-300 missile systems to Syria. Coincidence? Curious minds want to know. Another reason might be embarrassment, since the Patriot system has been plagued with shortcomings from the beginning.

    According to Sputnik News, the Patriot batteries have already been deactivated, and will be transported to the US in October.

    https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201809261068346315-us-missile-systems-pullout/

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-pulling-some-antiaircraft-and-missile-batteries-out-of-mideast-1537954204?mod=hp_lead_pos5

    Also, Sputnik News article mentions Trump’s no-laughing-matter speech at the UN, asking OPEC to increase their contributions in their defense. Is this another Mafia-style “I-will-not-protect-you-unless-you-pay” scheme, similar to his “withdrawal” from Syria, which prompted the Saudi satraps to fall on his bluffing trap, offering to foot the bill if they stayed? The announcement comes from the US Central Command, a lot more credible source than anything coming from Trump.

    @ KING KONG

    “The latest version of the S-300 id (sic) perfectly capable of seeing the JSF, although reportedly not the F-22…”

    Tons of gigabytes have been written on the US F-22/F-35/JSF/B-2 Spirit stealth capabilities v Russia S-300/S-400/EW detection and jamming powers. Depending on who you read, US fighters/bombers can penetrate at will Russian defenses, or they are an impenetrable wall. The debate goes on, as both sides continue to improve their stealth and detection potential.

    Lone Wolf

  2. The latest version of the 300 system id perfectly capable of seeing the JSF, although reportedly not the F 22.
    This puts an enourmous stress on Israel, deserved as an agressor state.

  3. “…However, the last chapter in this war has not been written. Syria will ultimately be left with al-Hasaka and al-Tanf to liberate, both occupied by US forces. The Syrian war remains full of surprises, and dangers may multiply at any moment.”

    Long term, I wouldn’t worry about the multiple US military bases in Syria. US interest in staying in Syria is focused on Iran, a convenient launchpad just in case “boots on the ground” are needed to spearhead an operation in any direction, preferably against Syria or Iran, but they could also work as a fifth-column for Israel in case of open conflict with Hezbollah, Syria, Iran, or the “Axis of Resistance.” The official line, however, continues to be “defeating ISIS,” as stated by “Mad Dog” Mattis a day or so ago, and to aid “Syrian Democratic Forces in defeating the terrorist group and training local security forces to protect areas already purged of the group.” We all know their real purpose is to continue to develop proxy forces in the ME to fight their wars on the cheap.

    True, “dangers may multiply at any moment,” but history counts with a strong ally, the immutable law of change. Elections happen in the US every four years, military leadership changes, Congress moves from one warmongering party to another, and as Syria regains its footing and total control of its territory, the purpose of the US for staying in Syria will fade away. Syria should focus on recovering the rest of its territory, including Idlib, consolidating its gains, go back to as normal a life as possible within the circumstances, and surround the US bases into isolation. Ejecting the US from Syria will be a political and diplomatic effort, not a military offensive, even though military measures will be needed to keep them in place. The US will not be able to remain in a Syria that has obtained political, diplomatic, and historical legitimacy before the world.

    The infamous S-300 will help Syria regain that legitimacy, if the Russians are true to their word this time. So far, anyone has been able to bomb Syria at whim, helpless as Syria is and has been with the obsolete, Soviet-era S-125/S-200s. Sergei Shoigu, Russian MoD, looked as serious as a heart attack when he announced the new dispositions in Syria, by orders of the “President of Russia.” He wanted to leave no doubt the orders came from the top, since the Israeli downing of the IL-20 was a slap on the face of Putin, making mockery of the Russian efforts to keep a neutral, balanced approach to the multiple hostile forces that crisscross the region. Of course, the Israelis will be whining and wailing and cajoling all the way to Moscow for the next two weeks, promising to behave as per the agreement with the Russians, which they have violated time and again. We will hope the Russian-Jewish criminal wolf-pack will not succeed in sweet-talking their chutzpah into Putin ears.

    Former bouncer hatemonger Lieberman, now Israel’s MoD, threatened back in April to destroy any S-300 batteries in Syria. The Russian army replied attacking the S-300s would be “catastrophic for all sides.” The Israelis are desperate, but they are not as stupid as they look to try Russia’s resolve. They might make stupid mistakes, like trying to hide behind a Russian plane to attack Syria, while being recorded by Russian radars at Hmeimim Air Base, then denying it, insulting the Russians’ intelligence, in addition to the injury of losing 15 airmen. Netanyahu just announced they will continue to attack “Iranian targets” in Syria, in coordination with the Russian army, under new terms to be established by representatives of both armies. This statement could be a face-saving maneuver, allowed by the Russians to avoid further humiliation on the Israelis. As Sun Tzu counsels, “never push an enemy into a corner, always allow a way out.”

    The S-300s will drastically reduce the Israelis airspace for offensive operations against Syria, plus their integration with the Russian S-400s, and the state-of-the-art electronic jamming, will create a de facto A2/AD bubble, a no-fly zone whose penetration will require real stealth, which the most advance Israeli/US planes, the F-35, do not possess. The rumor is the Russians will provide Syria with 6 to 8 S-300 batteries, stationed to protect what could be strategic targets, however, their mobility is a great asset that can put them anywhere in Syria. This Russian move is what they call a “game-changer.” We will certainly hope Syria will stop being a doormat for the evil empire/NATO, and their bastard child Israel. As for what would happen in the future is uncertain, but I agree with Mr. Magnier that “dangers may multiply at any moment.”

    Lone Wolf

  4. The West wasn’t expecting Putin’s standing up to israel, now their on the back foot with an ill informed leader and Iran having an opportunity to exert itself militarily the west will bow down till after November when it will be all gloves off to impeach Trump then if that is either successful or not the West will begin a rapprochement.

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