Monday, September 21, 2015

In Moscow, Presence Of IDF Generals Sends Message Of Urgency

In Moscow, presence of IDF generals sends a message of military urgency

In a sign that it has not taken last week’s movement of the Russian military into Syria lightly, Israel sent not one but two members of the IDF General Staff with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Moscow Monday, in an effort to hash out the precarious relationships between Israel, Russia, Syria and Hezbollah.

Both IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot and Military Intelligence Head Maj. Gen. Herzl “Hertzi” Halevi are accompanying Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the movement of Russian troops into Syria with Russian President Vladimir Putin and his advisers.

The presence of either one of these generals on this trip would be notable in itself. That both are traveling with Netanyahu is meant to demonstrate to both the people of Israel and the government of Russia the gravity of the situation on Israel’s northern border and the IDF’s intention to keep up airstrikes on high-priority Hezbollah targets in Syria.

Israel has admitted to targeting several Hezbollah and Syrian weapons facilities and convoys in the past several years, and it has been assumed that the Israel Air Force has carried out many more, despite officials’ refusal to claim responsibility.

Most such attacks have been against so-called advanced weapons systems — missiles and artillery guns, rather than rifles and grenades.

Putin, however, complicated Israel’s strategies vis-a-vis Hezbollah and Syria when he announced that the Russian military would be moving into the war-torn country, setting up in the port city of Latakia.

Satellite images already show Russian-made artillery guns and SU-30 combat planes in the northwestern Syrian city.

The presence of Russian soldiers in the country is an added obstacle for the IDF, which must now continue to prevent Israel’s enemies from obtaining dangerous weapons, without causing an international incident by killing an ally’s soldiers.

In 2013 and 2014, Israel was suspected of having carried out airstrikes on weapons sites in Latakia. With Russian military now present in the city, similar attacks may be more difficult to carry out.

Though the Israeli government has not released an itinerary for Monday’s trip, Eisenkot and Halevi will likely meet with their Russian army counterparts to address two related issues: preventing Hezbollah from obtaining Russian-made weaponry and Israel Air Force strikes against the advanced weapons systems already in the possession of the Iran-aligned militia.

Though some of Hezbollah’s arsenal comes from Iran, several of its deadliest weapons — the Kornet anti-tank missile, which has been deadly in combat against Israeli Merkava tanks, and the Katyusha rocket, which rained down on Israel’s northern cities during the Second Lebanon War in 2006 — come from Russia.

Though many of these weapons systems were intended for Syria, some have nevertheless ended up in the hands of Hezbollah, according to Nadav Pollak, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Some of the systems sold by Russia include anti-aircraft guns and surface-to-air missiles, which could be devastating to Israel’s air superiority in a future conflict with Hezbollah, Pollak said.

As head of intelligence, Halevi will likely present information to the Russian military, showing how these Russian-made weapons end up in the hands of Hezbollah, Pollak explained.
In addition to attempting to prevent further such transfers, Netanyahu, Eisenkot and Halevi will also discuss Israel’s plans to destroy those advanced systems the terrorist organization has already acquired.

Netanyahu will tell Putin that Israel won’t accept restrictions on its response capabilities in Syria, Cohen said.

On Sunday, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Yukiya Amano, arrived in Iran for talks on the nuclear agreement, as part of what appears to be an attempt by the UN nuclear watchdog to evaluate whether Iran ran a military nuclear program in the past.

Amano is expected to meet with various Iranian nuclear scientists for answers on this very subject. On December 15, ahead of the lifting of crippling economic sanctions on Tehran, he is slated to present the world with definitive answers that will determine whether Iran complied with the terms of a nuclear deal signed on July 15. But the Islamic Republic is not waiting for a green light from Amano or the international community, and is working under the assumption that the sanctions will be lifted.

Since the deal was signed, Iran has significantly increased its financial support for two of the largest terror groups in the region that have become political players, Hamas and Hezbollah. 
In the years before the deal was signed, the crippling sanctions limited this support, which had significantly diminished along with Iran’s economy. But Tehran’s belief that tens, or hundreds, of billions of dollars will flow into the country in the coming years as a result of sanctions relief has led to a decision to boost the cash flow to these terror organizations.

The increased Iranian financial support for Hezbollah in the wake of the deal is not unrelated to other political developments in the region. The growing sense of security in Iran with regard to its political status has also been bolstered by a Russian decision to increase its involvement in Syria, and may be what drove Iran to send hundreds of members of its Revolutionary Guard Corps to play an active role in the Syria fighting. Iran, along with Hezbollah and Moscow, has decided to dispatch sizable forces to the Syrian front in the past few weeks to prevent the collapse of Bashar Assad’s regime.

Today, Iran is the main, and likely only, power attempting to build terror cells to fight Israel on the Syrian Golan Heights, in areas under Assad’s control. This does not mean that the Syrian president is aware of these attempts or green-lighted them. But for Israel, that does not matter. Tehran is investing more effort and money after the nuclear deal to carry out attacks against Israel from the Golan, even under Assad’s nose.

As regards the Palestinians, in the past two months, Iran has sent suitcases of cash – literally – to Hamas’s military wing in Gaza.

[Note: Syria isn't specifically the biggest threat to Israel at the moment - the threat comes from Hezbollah/Hamas as Iran is funneling their new cash flow to the terrorist groups]

The Syrian army is in no position to open up an additional front, and Moscow's main goal in its involvement in Syria is to defend that country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the outset of his meeting on the outskirts of Moscow Monday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Putin's comments, issued in a statement released by the Prime Minister's Office, came after Netanyahu said that the purpose of his visit to Russia was to discuss with Putin the “increasingly complicated situation” on Israel's northern border.

“Over the last number of years, and even more so over the last few months, Iran and Syria are arming the radical Islamic terrorist organization Hezbollah with advanced weaponry that is directed at us, and has already been fired at us,” Netanyahu said alongside Putin.

In parallel, Netanyahu said, Iran – under the cover of the Syrian army – is trying to “build a second terrorist front against us from the Golan Heights.”

Netanyahu said that Israel's declared position is to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hezbollah and also prevent a new front on the Golan.

Putin, in response, said that Russia's actions in the region are “always very responsible.” He said that he is aware that Israel has been fired upon from Syria, and has condemned that, but added that those weapons were locally produced. With that, he said that he understood Israel's concerns.

The Russian president said that he never forgets that there are a “great many” immigrants from the former Soviet Union living in Israel, and that this is something that has special significance for Israeli-Russian relations.

Netanyahu pointed out that in all the contacts between him and Putin, when they agreed on issues as well as when they disagreed, the dialogue was always conducted openly and “with mutual respect.”

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Caver said...

Really?!?!? Guess we all knew the closer we got the crazier it would get, but a multinational organization like the UN to appoint SA as head of the Human Rights commission at the same time they're advertising internally for more blade swinging executioners......well, that Kool Aid must be some powerful stuff.

Seriously, it has to be spiritual blindness.....that or the world is marching with a different dictionary and set of objectives than we can ever understand.

Words continue to fail.

foretastes said...

Yes, talk about delusion. And this isn't even the God sent one. I can only imagine how insane it will be.

Mrs.C said...

"electromagnetic arenas"? Just they'll end up on horses...

"Israel, Russia to coordinate in air, sea, and electromagnetic arena"

"According to Israeli assessments, the Assad regime currently controls 25 to 30 percent of Syria, consisting of Damascus and the Syrian coastline, where the regime’s minority Alawite support base is centered."

"Islamic State is making gains in Palmyra, northeast of Damascus, and is now better positioned to mount an assault on Damascus, according to the source. "