March 20, 2017 – Fort Russ News –
Commentary by Gudrun HARRER in Der Standard, translated from German by Tom Winter –
|The airstrikes were done with F-16s, like this one.|
The latest Israeli-Syrian confrontation raises many questions about Israel’s air-raids in Syria.
Such airstrikes have been repeated since 2012: Israeli policy is to prevent Hezbollah, which is fighting on the side of the Assad regime in Syria, from having highly developed weapons in Lebanon. So the Israeli military strike in the night hours Friday would not have been exceptional.
But timing and changing circumstances raise questions. This time, Assad answered with (old Russian) ground-to-air missiles against the Israeli jets, and Israel used its Arrow rocket defense system over the Jordan Valley (parts of the Israeli rocket went down in Jordan).
This is a big deployment, which Israel could not keep silent, as usual in their Syrian actions. The escalation is, so to speak, official. Nobody believes though, that Assad wants to draw Israel into a conflict, however. [Translator comment: As if Israel is not already in the conflict!] This would be suicidal.
But what role is Russia, the real boss in Syria, playing? Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to President Vladimir Putin now lies more than a good week in the past. Their relationship is described as excellent – as is the Israeli-Russian military coordination about preventing the “accidents.”
But this time the Russians are angry and are letting it be known. Did they even nod assent to the Syrian decision to shoot back? Did Israel want to send a signal to Moscow that, with all the love for Putin, Israel will not tolerate Iran and its deputies in Syria?