Russia’s ‘Protective Umbrella’ in Syria Hinders Israel’s Plans

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Published on: Nov 23, 2018 @ 15:09 – Moscow, after the downing of its Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft, has hinted at Israel that the usual state of affairs would not be the same, said columnist Amos Harel of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

According to Harel, Israel did not end the air strikes in Syria, but difficulties arose because of Russia. The changes are visible in the most aggressive tone on the direct telephone line, aimed at avoiding air incidents between Israel and Russia, and the “aggressive behavior” of Russian aviation and the air defense system in Syria, notes the author.

The columnist is also concerned about Russia’s growing interest in events in Lebanon. In his view, in a pessimistic scenario, the same “protective umbrella” that Russia has opened over Syria will also be opened to protect Lebanon, which will further complicate the situation for Israel.

Harel notes that, according to Arab media reports, Israel has not launched air strikes against Lebanon since February 2014.

Playing chess with Hezbollah is one thing, but trying to find out what Russia wants in Syria and possibly Lebanon is a challenge of a completely different scope, the author concludes.

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Russia has recently supplied S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems to Damascus in response to the downing of the Russian aircraft Il-20, for which Moscow blamed Israel.

On September 17, a missile from the Syrian S-200 air defense system shot down an Il-20 Russian aircraft that was returning to its base in Hmeymim, Latakia province. At the same time four Israeli F-16 fighters attacked Syrian facilities in Latakia. The incident resulted in the deaths of 15 Russian military personnel.

Israel for the duration of the Syrian war has continuously attacked Iranian and Hezbollah positions in the country. This has been done consistently despite for many years ISIS and Al-Qaeda being on the doorstep of Israel, demonstrating that the Axis of Resistance (Iran, Syria and Hezbollah) is the only credible threat to the Zionist entity, especially as Sunni extremists focus on killing other Muslims.

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