A former Israeli general believes that the Russians should stay in Syria, because it will still allow the Israelis to cry wolf and stir up the whole world and especially their great ally, the United States. A Middle East political expert believes that the disputes between Russia and Israel will ultimately lead to the retention of Assad in power.
Adnan Abou Amer, Middle East analyst, published an article on February 24 on the Arabi 21 website about Israeli-Russian relations.
At the beginning of his article, Adnan Abou Amer referred to the recent remarks of Israeli General Eli Ben Meir, a former Israeli intelligence officer: “The Israeli Prime Minister is in favour of maintaining relations between Israel and Russia since Russia remains and will remain in the region and its presence means the multiplication of problems in the Middle East. This pushes Israel to protect its national security without even asking the Americans about the change in relations between Moscow and Tel Aviv.
In an article published by the Israeli daily Maariv, the Israeli general wrote that Israel’s neighbouring regions were the scene of very delicate and unprecedented developments that could have either devastating or productive impacts on Israel.
“Relations between Russia and Israel should deepen given the military and political developments in the region, including the restoration by Damascus of Syrian sovereignty, the alliance between Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and the militiamen they support, the liberation of the territories that were under the control of Daech and other opposition groups and finally Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw his troops from Syria,” Ben Meir stressed.
According to Eli Ben Meir, “tensions between Turkey and Syrian Kurds are another source of threat to Israel, as is the influence of Iran and Hezbollah on the Syrian government”.
The Israeli general pointed out that Russia and the United States had failed to prevent or restrict Iran’s establishment in Syria. “However, they were able to hinder Iran’s activities so that it would have to slow down the pace of its actions. On the other hand, Israel’s strikes have weakened Iran’s and its allies’ ongoing efforts in Syria and prevented them from continuing their actions,” he added.
“Everything Israel has done so far is far from preventing Iran from achieving its objectives. On the other hand, the mixed disputes between Israel and Russia and the time lost before both sides reach an agreement give a boost to Iran’s activities in the region.
The author of the article then lists what events he believes are causing tensions between Tel Aviv and Moscow: “the destruction of a Russian aircraft over Syrian territory by Israel, the delivery of S-300 missile defence systems by Russia to the Syrian army and Russian interference in the upcoming elections in Israel through manipulation of public opinion on social networks”.
He concluded that the disputes between Moscow and Tel Aviv would lead to the continuation of the Assad government.
“Russia will need to know that Israeli-American relations, being very close, could frighten it,” he said.