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Syrian imbalance: why Israel is interested in continuing the war in Syria
Material posted: Publication date: 27-06-2017
Israeli air force strikes on Syrian government targets, although the state officially recognizes only attacks on positions of the Lebanese movement "Hezbollah". Military activity tel Aviv has caused discontent from the Russian side — the Ambassador of Israel was invited to the foreign Ministry after the bombing of the surroundings of Palmyra forces of the IDF. For what purpose Israel is developing aviation on the offensive in Syria and listen to the opinion of Moscow, RT talked to experts.

The Israeli military in the night of Wednesday, struck again on Syrian territory. This is reported by Israeli media, citing the Syrian opposition. It is clarified that the Israeli air force bombed the area of Jebel-Casion, on the South-Eastern foot of which is Damascus. There, next to the capital, located an artillery battery of the Syrian army, as well as radar and antenna, through which the broadcasting state television Syria.

The F-15 Israeli air force
Earlier, Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu said that tel Aviv would continue the air strikes on convoys, providing detachments of the Lebanese Hezbollah in the Syrian territory.

The Hizbollah
However, Israeli strikes on Iranian and Lebanese groups fighting with the "Islamic state" in Syria*, not a new phenomenon. After in 2013 the Lebanese group Hezbollah declared its involvement in the Syrian conflict on the side of official Damascus, the Israeli air force regularly produce combat sorties in Syria. The main purpose of these attacks is Hezbollah and Iranian military support to government forces SAR.

For example, in may 2016 in the vicinity of Damascus, as a result, surgical air strike had killed the head of intelligence services of "Hezbollah" Mustafa Badr al-DIN. Although the official leadership of the "Party of Allah" (so translated the name "Hezbollah") did not name the specific perpetrators of the death of Mustafa Badr al-DIN, the Lebanese media have linked his death with the actions of Israel.

A few days after the funeral of Badr al-DIN Hezbollah announced the reduction of its presence in the SAR. "Not to drown in the Syrian swamp", the Lebanese movement has concentrated its troops in the Damascus area and its surroundings, but withdrew its forces from Aleppo and other provinces.

The presence of Hizbullah in Syria are not satisfied with not only Israel, but also Turkey. In addition, the output units of the Shiite Iran and Hizbollah from Syria is one of the main conditions put forward by the Syrian armed opposition at the talks in Astana. March 16, 2017, the representatives of Iran, Turkey and Russia discussed the question of a gradual withdrawal of the Iranians and the Lebanese movement from Syria.

It is the conclusion, according to Netanyahu, "Iran and its close" from the cap was one of the topics raised during the meeting with Vladimir Putin in Moscow on 9 March. Consent Hezbollah to leave Syria had to reassure tel Aviv.

However, on 17 March, the Israeli air force again bombed Syria and were fired in reply from anti-aircraft installations. According to Damascus, the Syrian gunners managed to shoot down one of the four planes. The Israeli side is categorically denied, claiming that all the cars returned to base unharmed, and missiles s-200 fired from the Syrian territory, was shot down by the Israeli missile.

Anti-aircraft missile system s-200
© Wikipedia Commons
It should be noted that this is not the first such incident. In September 2016, the number of Syrian mass media spread information about the destruction of the aircraft of the Israeli air force in the governorate (territorial unit of the SAR. — RT) Quneitra. Then, tel Aviv has denied the information about the destruction of his plane.

The head of the Israeli defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has threatened to destroy the Syrian missile complexes, if Damascus once again use them against the Israeli military aviation.

"If the next time the Syrian air defense system is attacking Israeli planes, it will be destroyed in this matter there will be no compromise," — said the Minister.

Avigdor Lieberman
© Gili Yaari
"Why Israel was faced with the Syrian army? For Israel when the Syrian army-Hezbollah is unacceptable, and they are afraid of the strengthening of the group, noted in an interview with RT chief researcher of the Centre for Arab and Islamic studies, Institute of Oriental studies Irina Zvyagelskaya. — Strange as it sounds, but Hizbollah and Israel have made mutual deterrence. The beginning of a new war would lead to many casualties on both sides. Furthermore, Israel fears that the group will border with the Golan heights, and the prospect of its exit from Syria while too far — this is unlikely to happen before the end of the war."

The Golan heights

Maintain control over the Golan heights is for Israel a matter of strategic importance. Experts say that the settlement of the situation in Syria would allow Damascus to direct efforts to reclaim lost in the 1967 territories.

Recall that the fertile lands of the Golan heights was part of Syria in the years 1944-1967. According to the results of the six day war border area came under Israeli protectorate. Damascus continues to consider the Golan heights, illegally annexed and leaves no plans to return them.

It is possible that the intensification of the Israeli military in the SAR due to the plans of the Iranian Islamic revolutionary guard Corps (IRGC) to create a special brigade for the liberation of the Golan heights from the "occupation." In an interview with the Russian news Agency Sputnik navipress Secretary of the Iraqi Shiite group "Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba", supported by the revolutionary guards, Seyed HaShem Mousavi. According to him, the Iraqi Shia will participate in the liberation of the Golan, if it receives a request from the Syrian government. According to The Independent, the IRGC and "Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba" already took up positions in the vicinity of the disputed heights from the Syrian border.

According to Irina Zvyagelskaya, the IRGC plans to conquer the Golan heights is not to be.

"To recapture the Golan heights impossible, most likely, Israel will control that area long enough and the only thing that can change this situation — some kind of peace agreement in the long term," — said the expert.

However, the situation in the disputed region continues to deteriorate. March 19, according to Arab media reports, Israel struck again in the governorate of Quneitra in the area of the Golan heights. Precision strikes by the Israeli air force destroyed the car, which drove supporters of the Assad government.

"It is possible that using some incident, Israel army enters the southern buffer zone, which is adjacent to the Golan heights, to make there territory on the basis of the settlements loyal to the Israelis of Druze living in the area," — said in an interview with RT expert of the Middle East Institute and the Russian Council for international Affairs Sergei Balmasov.

The beneficiary of the war


Measures of a diplomatic nature, Russia has made certain guarantees of security for Damascus. Foreign powers left, at least for a time, attempts to destroy by force the regime of Bashar al-Assad and concentrated on the fight against terrorist groups. Israel does not insist on the overthrow of Assad, but the military activity of the Jewish state could further destabilize the already complicated situation in the region.

On 20 March the Ambassador of Israel in Russia Harry Koren was summoned to the foreign Ministry of the Russian Federation in connection with the Israeli air strike on the government army in the vicinity of Palmyra, where the Russian military conducted demining work.

Previously, the call Koren at the foreign Ministry, the newspaper the Jerusalem Post has tied up with the Israeli bombing of Syrian positions on March 17. Neither Russian nor Israeli diplomats not to disclose details of the conversation, noting only that it was about the situation in Syria.

Irina Zvyagelskaya said that Moscow is dissatisfied with the actions of Israel — the interests of the two countries do not coincide.

And there is no certainty that Israel will succumb to the admonitions and change your tactics. The Israeli authorities are determined to pursue an independent from the opinions of third countries policies and not expect to hear someone else's point of view, the expert believes.

The fact that the Syrian war into Israel's hands, and he will make every effort to maintain the status quo. Of tel-Aviv's actions are not directed against the regime of Bashar al-Assad and against the normalization of the situation in Syria.

"Israel is as interested in the fact that the continued Sunni-Shiite opposition to his opponents destroyed each other. While this conflict has not been completed, Israel is not threatened. Israeli air strikes on Shiite militias there, the scales began to lean to the side of the Shiites. It evens out the chances of the opponent, and the war continues," — summed up Balmasov.


* "Islamic state" (ISIS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia.

Tags: Iran , assessment , Syria , Israel

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