Russia controls the game..Iranian positioning in Syria renews Israel’s fears

Iran was unable to deter Israel from launching strikes in Syria, not because it is unable to do so, but rather for fear of exacerbating the conflict on a scale that would allow American intervention in a comprehensive war that might witness an attack on its nuclear sites.

Occupied Jerusalem- Israeli analysts and researchers unanimously agree that Iran constitutes the greatest strategic threat to Israel’s national security, through the escalation of the threat of its military positioning and attempts to establish militias and forces in Syria, similar to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

According to Israeli research centers and strategic assessments, Tel Aviv views with great danger the growing power of Tehran and its ability to attack Israel with booby-trapped drones and long-range missiles from Iraq, Yemen and Gaza, as well as from Syria.

Israeli concerns do not stop at conventional weapons, booby-trapped drones, and Iranian missile platforms in Syria. Rather, fears have penetrated the digital space and the virtual world, as Tel Aviv sees – in the cyber war (electronic intrusions) launched by Iranian hacker groups against Israeli civilian and military targets – a threat to its national security. In addition to the Iranian nuclear project, which Israel considers an existential threat.

These fears come at a time when the Israeli Air Force renewed its attacks on targets and sites belonging to Iranian militias in Syria, after suspending the raids for two months. The attacks came after the Sochi summit that brought together Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Former Israeli military reinforcements in the Golan (Al-Jazeera)

Close to the Golan

The Israeli journalist specializing in Arab affairs, Yoav Shtern, believes that the unprecedented escalation by Tehran, with drones and anti-missiles, against Israeli targets, reflects the frantic race that Iran is waging to break the restrictions imposed on it in order to strengthen its military presence in Syria.

Regarding the indications of the escalation of the Iranian threat in Syria, the Israeli journalist says to Al-Jazeera Net, “This confirms the continuation of Iranian attempts to support, support and keep the Assad regime in power, and in addition to this declared goal, it is working to achieve its hidden goals to develop its military capabilities and establish militias loyal to it on Syrian territory.”

The journalist suggested that Iran would seek at this stage to reproduce the Lebanese experience by establishing and supporting Hezbollah, as it seeks to establish its own military militias and groups loyal to Hezbollah on Syrian territory and at the ceasefire line in the Golan, so that these forces would become a strategic threat to the Israeli depth.

Restrictions restrain Israel

In this atmosphere, Tel Aviv finds itself, says Shtern, “in an undeclared state of emergency because of its rejection of Iranian measures, and work to thwart them and destroy military capabilities.”

However, there are restrictions that prevent Israel from continuing to launch attacks and raids on targets and sites in Syria. The Israeli journalist says, “Russia has the final say on what is happening in Syria, and therefore Israel is subject to the wishes and interests of Moscow, which also does not unleash Tehran on Syrian territory.”

The journalist believes that the Sochi summit, which brought together Putin and Bennett, established a new stage of coordination between Tel Aviv and Moscow in the Syrian territories, in the sense of forming a deterrence situation for the various players in the Syrian arena, and giving Tel Aviv a green light to undermine the Iranian role, but without causing a complete destruction of Tehran’s military capabilities in Syrian Arab Republic.

An Israeli-Iranian military escalation in SyriaPrevious Israeli bombing of sites in Syria said to be Iranian (Al-Jazeera)

Russia controls

Despite the escalation of Iran’s threat and the strengthening of its military position in Syria, Shtern refuses to reduce the attacks and raids attributed to Israel in Syria, saying, “Otherwise, the Iranian presence and influence in Syria would be greater than what it is now.”

He explained that Russia is the one who determines the balance of the game on Syrian territory, and will remain in control of matters, and will not allow any party, whether Iran and the regime, or even Israel, to bypass the balance equation and upset the balance of power and the state of deterrence.

Shtern concluded by saying, “What concerns Iran through its presence in Syria is the formation of a military force that constantly threatens Israel, in order to deter the Israeli army from attacking and direct raids on the sites of the nuclear project in Iran.”

thwarting Iranian deepening

And Prof. Ephraim Kam, a researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University who specializes in Iran, agrees, who confirmed that what matters to Tehran, in its presence on Syrian and Lebanese lands, is the constant threat to Israel and its deterrence from carrying out any raids on its nuclear facilities.

Cam explained, to Al Jazeera Net, that the Iranian regime considers Israel a serious threat, which is the second most important threat after the American. Thus, Tehran considers it important to deter Tel Aviv from harming its assets and influence in the Middle East. Meanwhile, Israel refuses to accept deterrence and threats, and confronts Iranian attempts to position itself and entrench itself.

The researcher at the Institute for National Security Studies reviewed the essence of the main confrontation between Iran and Israel, which has centered in recent years in the Syrian arena and on its outskirts, where the Israeli targets of armed militias and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have been repeated.

Kam believes that Israel aims from these attacks to disrupt and disrupt the Iranian position in Syria, and thwart Tehran’s attempts to build and deepen its new military capabilities in Syria.

Israel shocked that its plane was shot down in SyriaAn Israeli plane was shot down in Syria in 2018 (Al-Jazeera)

limited responses

The Israeli researcher believes that Tehran has not been able to deter Israel from continuing its attacks in Syria, despite the heavy losses and heavy damage inflicted on the forces loyal to it there.

“It is true that the Iranians have the ability to respond and strike Israel to deter it, especially by using Hezbollah’s missiles and Iran itself,” he says, adding, “But this is really little.”

Kam adds, “Iran has so far fired missiles at Israeli targets in a few cases. This is not a coincidence. It reflects a cautious Iranian approach, so that the conflict does not deteriorate on a large scale, which may lead to America enlisting on Israel’s side in a comprehensive confrontation, and perhaps to attack on Iranian nuclear sites.

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