The Israeli raid on Syria
Putin’s Russian roulette.
March 18th, 2017
On the dawn of Friday, March 17th, 2017, several fighter jets belonging to the Israeli Air Force have carried out a swift attack on some unidentified targets inside the Syrian territories.
According to an Israeli military source, the Hebrew fighter jets raided a Syrian air base near Palyrma, jsut liberated from the grip of the Sunni Wahhabi terrorist Islamic State (Daech). As usual, the justification for that raid, is the arm supplies for the pro-Iranian Lebanese terrorist Shia group, Hezbollah.
Well!!! to that extent, this is business as usual in the Middle-East, this incident wasn’t the first and won’t be the last.
Nevertheless, what is unusual this time, is the fact that the Syrian air defenses reacted and launched -apparently- SA-5s soviet era missiles towards the Israeli jets. Immediately and for the first time in such an attack, the Israeli air defense shield known as “Arrow”, was successfully activated and managed to destroy the incoming Syrian missiles.
What is interesting is the timing of this new kind of direct military “warfare” between the State of Israel and Syria since 1982. The timing I’m pointing to is related to the visit made by the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Moscow, just few days before the raid, where he met with the powerful Russian leader Vladimir Putin, the man who controls much of the scene in the Middle-East and controls especially the Syrian land, sea and surely airspace.
Bibi wouldn’t have triggered such an attack without having good… very good reasons and of course excellent intelligence about the business taking place within the Syrian airbase. Meanwhile, Putin is now the game Master and he knows that the Iranians are eager to exploit the Russian military triumph against the Islamic State by all means. One of the Ayatollahs and the Revolutionary Guard’s dreams, is to equip the Hezbollah fighters with sophisticated weaponry taking advantage of their existing on the Syrian soil, near the Golan Heights and in the shadow of the Russian presence. The Iranians are clever in all what it has to do with the Machiavellian and opportunists manoeuvers, and they dare to test both Putin and Bibi from time to time… But they also lose on their betting on this front.
The Kremlin’s master isn’t that easy to play with, he’s a real Russian bear, no one should mistake his abilities once he is in control of everything especially in the Middle-East. Netanyahu, understands this very well from the beginning and he knows that if he needs to take action against the Iranians in Syria he has to request an urgent meeting with Putin and present the proofs of all his claims and then get the green light to act.
Of course Vladimir Putin waits also for something in exchange, but this time the price was surprising and breathtaking for the Israelis, it was the forced testing of the “Arrow” missile shield through the launch of a relatively weak defense system…weaker than the S 300 and S 400. The Israelis are proud that their shield intercepted successfully the Syrian defenses, but deep inside they understand now that the game won’t be easy anymore as it was before. This time a soviet era missiles were used, the next time who knows what would be the missile used when the Israelis would have to act against any targets inside Syria? And the most interesting question is who really will be operating the “Syrian” air defense batteries? And if the Israelis wish to avoid this kind of “risky” confrontation in the future, what kind of price should they offer to the Master of the Kremlin?
Vladimir Putin has literally engaged the Israelis now into the “Russian roulette” game. Sure, they could “easily” eliminate any Iranian-Hezbollah targets with Moscow’s prior green light, but…
*The picture above: An Arrow II missile interceptor is displayed in front of journalists at an Israeli air defence command in the Palmahim military base south of Tel Aviv May 12, 2011. REUTERS/ Nir Elias