The winds of war are blowing on Israel’s borders


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Aangeleverd door Ed Vries

Analysis: The Israeli strike in Syria, the Russian and Syrian responses, and the flare-up in Gaza, are

bringing Israel one step closer to a military collision. The relative calm along the borders in recent

years, which has become a symbol of security stability and deterrence, is gradually wearing out.

 

According to the Syrian army’s announcement, the Israel Air Force attacked the T4 airport, between Homs and Palmyra, a particularly sensitive area

as far as the Russians are concerned, as the Syrian military recently completed a successful attack in the area with massive Russian aid. The airstrike

and the interception of the Syrian anti-aircraft projectile raised the stakes for Israel on the Syrian poker table. We are one step closer to a military

escalation on the Syrian front. Both sides have climbed up a high tree and are unwilling to budge.

 

Israel can’t climb down that tree because, according to its military policy, every show of weakness will harm its interests and give the Iranians a foothold

in the Golan Heights and a pier at the port of Latakia. Such a pier will turn the supply of arms to Hezbollah from a drizzle into a deluge.

 

If the Syrians fail to climb down the tree and continue threatening Israel’s freedom of action against the weapon convoys to Hezbollah,

a clash with the Syrian army—not just in the Golan Heights, but also deep within Syria—will be inevitable.

There is no wonder there is a nervous silence coming out of Moscow. Such incidents could have far-reaching ramifications on the agreement the

Russians are trying to establish in Syria.

The Israeli ambassador in Moscow does not usually get summoned right before Shabbat unless there is unusual concern and anger on the Russian side.

It’s quite possible that the Russians feel there is a gap between what they heard from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his meetings with President

Vladimir Putin and Israeli actions on the ground. This isn’t another operational misunderstanding discussed as part of the coordination between the two

armies, the Israeli and the Russian, or between the two defense ministries. This is a diplomatic crisis.

 

In general, Syria’s decision to launch the improved S-200 model, which the Russians recently sold them, is surprising. The S-200 is a heavy, immobile

anti-aircraft missile, which can reach a range of 300 kilometers, and is not meant for intercepting fighter jets. Furthermore, Russian military experts said

recently that Israel was using electronic warfare systems that completely “blind” the Syrian batteries and disrupt their communication systems.

 

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-03/18/c_136139136.htm