Sunday, July 25, 2021

Has The U.S. Given Russia The 'Green Light' Against Israel?

Will Russia try to close Syrian airspace to further Israeli airstrikes?

Is Russia sending a message to Israel or to the US, or is someone else trying to create 

controversy? What is the goal of Iran here – or the Syrian regime or other regional powers?

Russia could be moving to pressure Israel to stop airstrikes in Syria. Reports began to surface this weekend, beginning with an article at London-based Asharq al-Awsat that cited a “well-informed” Russian source.
The report was carried in Turkey and other media in the region with interest. According to these reports, Russia might even strengthen the Syrian regime’s air defenses.

What do the reports say? The Russian source hinted at the possibility of “closing Syrian airspace” to Israeli planes, Asharq al-Awsat reported. This comes in response to allegations that Israel has “intensified their raids in the past two days against Iranian and Hezbollah sites in northern and central Syria.”
Russia released two statements in the wake of a raid “targeting a research center in the countryside of Aleppo, and the other on a site for Iranian forces to be stationed in Al-Qusayr, near Homs,” the report said.

“This is directly related to the talks that were launched with the United States following the first summit that brought together presidents Vladimir Putin and Joe Biden last month,” the Russian source told the Arabic website, adding that “Moscow was calculating its reactions in the past because Tel Aviv [Jerusalem] is coordinating all its movements with Washington, while the Russian communication channels with Washington were cut off, and it appeared, from the current contacts with the American side, that Moscow obtained confirmation that Washington does not welcome the continuous Israeli raids.”

The report highlights a complex puzzle. “The Israelis felt that the air defenses in Syria had been activated, and the fact that practically all the launched missiles had been destroyed, indicates a fundamental change in the mechanisms for dealing with this file and that Israel’s aviation has not since entered the Syrian airspace and is carrying out attacks from the ground,” the report said. Russia supposedly provided the Syrian regime with “modern air defense.”

The source went on to claim that Russia’s demands might involve closing off “all possible targets” inside Syria. The author notes that in the past, Moscow did not object to attacks on Iranian targets in Syria. It has “run out of patience,” the article said, but then also quoted the Russians as saying they are actually not impatient. This hints that high-level talks with the US have some impact on the issue of staying silent about Israeli airstrikes.

But it is not clear from the article what is really going on. Why Moscow would reveal to a newspaper that it heard the US does not “welcome the continuous Israeli raids” is curious.
This “impression left space for Russia to act more freely in supporting Assad forces in Syria with more advanced anti-missile systems and know-how, to make them more capable of shooting down Israeli armaments,” the report said.

A Turkish media said: “Israel has been targeting Iran-linked military targets in the war-torn country’s regime-held areas with airstrikes without entirely acknowledging doing so. The Israeli strikes have also been repeatedly criticized by the Syrian regime ally Russia.”

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