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Is Russia ready to sacrifice Iran in Syria?
Material posted: Publication date: 26-03-2017
In recent days, the topic of possible changes of Russia's policy towards Iran has once again become widely discussed in the media and commented by various experts and analysts. And particularly acute this discussion gave the recent visit of Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu to Moscow and his talks with Vladimir Putin about "termination" of the military presence of Iran in Syria, alleged in the course of the visit.

In particular, in the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet this topic is discussed under the title "Is Putin intends to "sell" Iran?"

The article says that the Israeli air force on March 16 raided the Syrian territory under the pretext that they need to prevent arms supplies to insurgents "Hezbollah". This was the reason for the retaliation from the air defense units of the Syrian army.

This incident became one of the largest and most serious of the clashes that took place between Syrian government forces and armed forces of Israel from the beginning of the civil war in Syria in 2011. Air strikes by the Israeli air force had suffered only a few days after Putin's meeting with Netanyahu, held last week in Moscow.

They say that the real reason for the meeting was the concern of Israel about the military presence of Iran in Syria.

Israeli officials have for a long time expressed concern emerging in the South of Syria with new anti-Israeli front, the head of which de facto is Iran. From the beginning of the war in Syria the true purpose of Israel was to counter the influence of Iran near its borders. Because of this, as has been reported, Israel has periodically attacked vehicles caravans, armories, and military operational headquarters in the South of Syria in order to cut off lines of communication between Iran and troops of Hezbollah and to prevent the supply of weapons and equipment all along the border from Lebanon to the Golan heights.

Two reasons for the visit of Netanyahu to Moscow

First: the intention of Iran to establish a permanent military base in Latakia (according to Netanyahu). Second: new armed forces "Brigades of the liberation of the Golan", affiliated with Hezbollah, the goal of which is the liberation of the Golan heights from Israeli occupation. These two items are for Israel a kind of "red line", which he will resist in every possible way.

Factors limiting the influence of the Kremlin in Syria

Netanyahu met with Putin to discuss the most sensitive issues. Some analysts interpreted this visit as a kind of tactical gesture, dictated by the great desire of Netanyahu to "alienate" Russia from Iran. An important question here is how Russians are, and to what extent they will actually be able to use their power for the Israelis to achieve their goals in Syria against Iran.

Russia and Israel in the war in Syria were mostly quite cordial relations, trying to respect the strategic interests of each other. For this reason, both sides immediately after Russia started to take part in the hostilities in Syria concluded with each other an agreement, the purpose of which was to prevent military clashes in Syrian airspace. In other words, Russia has preferred to turn a blind eye to those attacks that Israel has committed and is going to do next against Hezbollah in Syria.

However, when it came time in order to prevent the strengthening of Iran's military communications in Syria, the Kremlin, probably, faced with the restrictions that were imposed on him by Israel to influence the Syrian government and the situation in Syria. And then the Deputy Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Mikhail Bogdanov had to say: "Every decision related to the withdrawal by Iran from Syria subordinate military forces, depends on the Syrian government."

This week in the third round of inter-Syrian talks in Astana Iran signs a document stating that he will be the guarantor of the agreement on Syria, with Russia and Turkey.

In this connection it is necessary to say that Russia, though shied away from direct confrontation with Israel, does not want and cannot easily "donate" Iran in Syria!

Throughout history, Russia and Iran have had to become rivals. Now, however, they formed an Alliance, where the unifying factor was opposition to the liberal world order led by the United States. In addition, they have developed common interests related to the preservation of the regime of Bashar al-Assad. And in fact that Iran asked Russia for military intervention in the Syrian conflict.

Further, both countries have invested considerable military and economic means to power of Bashar al-Assad in his confrontation with the opposition resisted. Finally, they were able to achieve these goals, based on the presence of the forces supported by Iran on land and at support of the Russian space forces from the air.

Iran's strategy concerning the Golan heights

In addition to the General interests of Moscow and Tehran in Syria, the arms contracts between the two parties, on the one hand, to add to the coffers of Russia, and on the other, serve to strengthen the military power of Iran.

The Iranian program of action concerning the Golan heights, undoubtedly due to the fact, to induce Israel to launch a military strike. In the case of a new war in Lebanon is highly likely that the coalition exists de facto between Israel and Arab countries on Syria, will immediately lose their force.


Tags: Iran , Russia , Syria

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