Analysis: Russian Silence Might Signal ‘Tacit Consent’ by Kremlin to Israeli Strikes in Syria
Russia’s silence following reports that the Israeli Air Force bombed an arms depot and a Hezbollah-bound weapons convoy in Syria on Wednesday might signal “tacit consent” to such actions as long as they do not harm the Kremlin’s interests, a military reporter for the Hebrew news site Walla wrote on Thursday.
The reported IAF strike, Walla’s Amir Bohbot noted, indicated that Israel would “not hesitate in face of a tactical threat — even if this means getting very close to Russia’s sphere of operations in Syria.”
“The main message of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Russian President Vladmir Putin, if Israel was in fact responsible for the strike, was that Israel has red lines and will not permit the arming of Hezbollah,” Bohbot wrote.
The IAF has reportedly carried out numerous strikes in Syria in recent years to prevent the transfer of advanced weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon. Both the Assad regime and Hezbollah are backed by Iran.
On Wednesday, IDF Brig. Gen. (res.) Yosef Kuperwasser — a former director-general of Israel’s Ministry of International Affairs and Strategy — told The Algemeiner that Iran was quickening the pace of its arms shipments to its proxies in the region due to its fear that after Donald Trump assumes the US presidency in January, its room to maneuver in Syria will be greatly hampered.
Following Russia’s entry into the Syria fray last year, the Israeli and Russian militaries established a coordination mechanism to avoid unnecessary friction.
Netanyahu has met with Putin four times since the Russian military intervention in Syria began and the two have also spoken by phone on many other occasions.
However, despite its efforts to avoid a clash with the Jewish state, Russia has been “continuing to tighten its cooperation with the axis of evil — Syria, Iran and Hezbollah,” Bohbot wrote. “One can assume that when Russian and Iranian officers and Hezbollah commanders sit around the table to coordinate militarily, they share information about Israel.”