Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Moscow to “test the stand of Russia and its allies in Syria on their intention to go to war if Israel bombs Syrian and Iranian objectives in the Levant”. Netanyahu is seeking some answers related to the reaction of Russia and its potential participation or non-participation in a possible intermittent battle in the midst of war (as Israel prefers to call such interventions,”a battle between wars”). This tactic, an Israeli specialty, might take the form of Israel bombing the Russian S-300 surface to air missiles batteries delivered to the Syrian army as a bulwark against any future Israeli aggression.
“Iran and Syria informed their Russian ally that any significant military hit by Israel that threatens their national security will be answered immediately and on a disproportionate level”, said a source among top decision makers in Syria.
The last Israeli violation of Syrian sovereignty was a provocation against an empty soft target in Quneitra by Israeli ground artillery. That was considered a childish gambit by Netanyahu, who is considered by his allies – according to the source – as lacking military expertise and knowledgeable only on the political level.
According to the source within the top leadership in Syria, “Israel would like to delay the American withdrawal from Syria by triggering a battle but not a wider war. Targeting Syrian and Iranian military objectives after a clear warning from both countries could boost the Israeli Prime Minister’s chances in his forthcoming election campaign only if we don’t respond. If the trio Syria-Iran-Hezbollah decides to respond with a wider war against any Israeli attack, and this is what has been agreed on by all parties concerned, Netanyahu will most likely diminish his own prospects of winning another term”.
“The Israeli Prime Minister will look weak if he doesn’t respond. And if he does, he will be facing destructive battle on many fronts. At first, Syria will respond but if Iranian and Hezbollah forces deployed within the Syrian Army are hit, then the battle will widen depending on how far Netanyahu wants to go. In this latter scenario, Netanyahu’s chances of re-election are expected to be very slim, once precision missiles start falling in the heart of Israel. Israelis today consider any war-adventure by the Israeli Prime Minister as unnecessary. In this event, the support Netanyahu gathered at Warsaw summit will be thrown out of the window”, said the source.
Israel has the military capability to neutralise and hit the Russian S-300, the air-to-air anti-aircraft and missiles system. The Syrian-Iranian alliance does not rely on this system as a key component to confront Israel. Although Hezbollah did not have either the S-300 or even S-200 anti-aircraft missiles during the last war imposed by Israel in 2006, it managed to achieve a balance of power against the almighty Israeli air force and military machine.
Today Syria has precision missiles with a rich Israeli bank of objectives to work on when the Resistance axis decides to respond without need of Russian approval. This is why it is important to understand that Russia and its allies don’t necessarily have the same stand and reaction. Moscow enjoys good relations with Israel it wants to maintain, and does not want to be part of the permanent Israeli-Syrian-Iranian-Hezbollah conflict. Neither are the latter three forces ess lconcerned about the good Russian-Israeli relationship. Moscow’s forces in Syria – according to the source – are welcome to count the missiles exchanged over their heads in the Levant if Israel wants war.
If Russia stays out for fear of being dragged into a war in which America would intervenes in favour of Israel, the axis will have no objection. “US forces have been already in a state of permanent war against these three forces for many years”.
“Washington has had a direct share in all the Israeli wars on Arab countries since the sixties of the last century to the last war on Hezbollah in 2006. Its forces have been overtly present in Israel for a long time and participate on the ground in the Syrian war. Therefore, this axis has no fear of US involvement. As to the question: What is Russia’s position on this? This is a Russian affair that we do not want to interfere with, just as Russia does not want to interfere in the conflict between us and Israel”, said the source.
Nothing new is expected out of Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow. It is most probably a media-election campaign event because most of the Israeli Prime Minister’s time is currently devoted to his re-election. The equation is very simple: if Netanyahu wants to test the Syrian response, he will get an undesirable and unexpected battle. If he wants a wider battle, he will get war on multiple fronts.
Syrian leaders believe that Trump will ultimately withdraw from Syria. The plan to restore full control of the Syrian territory occupied by the US forces doesn’t depend on an American President under heavy pressure from an administration which wants the troops to stay. Sooner or later the US will have to go. Syria is relying on its strength and the strength of its allies, especially now that the danger to Syria is declining day by day. The option of starting a battle and expanding its perimeter really depends on Netanyahu, who has the initiative. If Putin can convince him not to play in the Syrian arena, this would bea Russian achievement. But the Resistance axis is not counting on such an outcome; its members are instead arming their missiles.
Proof-read by: C.B.