Tense relations with Russia ‘restrict’ Israeli operations in Syria

publication date:
May 04, 2022 7:36 am GMT

Update date: 04 May 2022 7:50 am GMT

Israeli circles fear the impact of the current diplomatic tension between Russia and Israel over the war in Ukraine on military coordination and cooperation between the two countries in Syria. This could lead to an obstruction of Israeli military activity.

Israeli-Russian relations were strained last month after Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid accused Russia of committing war crimes in Ukraine.

Lavrov said in his statements that “German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had Jewish blood despite his campaign of genocide against Jews.” He also aggravated the tension on Tuesday by accusing Israel of supporting “neo-Nazis”. in Ukraine.

complex scenarios

Israeli estimates point to complex scenarios of coordination between Tel Aviv and Moscow in the coming period regarding operations in Syria, with warnings about the possibility of the Israeli Air Force’s inability to strike a military target in Syria if the crisis between the two countries escalates further.

A report by Israeli newspaper “The Jerusalem Post” said that “tension between Russia and Israel will affect the latter’s operations in Syria”, noting that “Tel Aviv may not have the same freedom to operate in Syria”.

The report states that “Tel Aviv and Moscow have had friendly understandings regarding Syria since the Russian military intervention in the Syrian war in 2015,” noting that the relationship at the time of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was managed in a “complex and careful” manner. way.

The report adds: “This does not mean that Netanyahu’s handling of the Russian issue has always been successful. “, noting that with the new tensions between the two countries, one wonders if there are consequences for their wider relationship.

According to the report, “the current Israeli government has attempted to continue temporary settlement in Syria, and the Israeli Air Force has continued its airstrikes”, noting that Tel Aviv’s loss of security measures in place with Moscow in Syria would be a strategic problem for the Israeli Air Force.

joint work

According to the report, Israel is currently facing several scenarios regarding the relationship with Russia in the Syrian file, indicating that the first scenario is “that everything remains as is, and that military and security coordination between the two countries will continue”.

The report states that “Israel and Russia can work on the Syrian dossier regardless of the two countries’ different views regarding the war in Ukraine,” noting that this is based on the presence of common interests between them in other locations.

The report adds: “Russia wants good relations with Israel, and can mean one thing and do another, and Moscow generally does not want to get rid of these relations which it has been working on for years, and it also faces to obstacles in Ukraine. and does not want tensions on Syria, which means he can be motivated not to change his position on Syria.

new point of view

The Hebrew newspaper’s report puts forward another scenario, stating that “Russia could change its vision of Iran’s role in Syria”, noting that there is essentially a clash between Moscow’s vision and Tehran’s different vision of the Syrian file.

The report points out that “although Iran and Russia want the United States to leave Syria, however, Moscow wants to gradually strengthen the Syrian government, while Tehran wants to fill every power vacuum with its own militias and get rid of Syria,” he said.

Give Iran the freedom to operate in Syria

The third scenario, which could raise Israeli concerns, is that “Russia changes its point of view a little and encourages Iran to enjoy greater freedom to operate in certain parts of Syria, and to allow Iranians to transfer more missiles to Syrian territory,” according to the report.

He added: “Russia can allow Iran to strengthen its air defenses in Syria and give it a blank check to operate near the Russian air base in Hmeimim.” This will make it difficult for Israel to bomb Iranian targets in Syria.

According to the report, according to the fourth scenario, “Russia can help Syrian air defenses, especially since it supplied the Syrian army with the S-300 system after an incident in which Syria shot down a plane Russian,” noting that Moscow could give Damascus more intelligence as well.

other options

The report outlined other options for Russia over differences with Israel, represented in Tel Aviv’s further embarrassment over Israel’s operations in Syria by statements of condemnation and tough stances at the United Nations and in other international forums.

The report believes that “Russia can go further and start selling weapons to Iran and also supplying the Syrian army with new types of weapons, in addition to helping it deal with Israeli airstrikes. “, according to his estimates.

According to the report, these are the main scenarios that could occur if Russia begins to feel that it must allow tensions over Ukraine to affect relations with Israel, adding: “Moscow believes that the current Israeli government is more close to the West and the administration of US President Joe Biden.

“But Moscow also understands that things may change in Tel Aviv and that a new government may come to power,” he said, noting that Russia may wait to see if there are new Israeli elections. and then do something to try to get what she wants. from Tel Aviv.

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