The joint Russian-Syrian patrols…a message to Tel Aviv? Or to draw Washington’s attention?

Military analysts in Israel do not rule out that the Russian move at the ceasefire line in the Golan was caused by the tension between Russia and America over the Ukraine file; Moscow seeks to remind Washington that there are other burning arenas in the Middle East, and also has a message for Tel Aviv to interfere with Washington and put pressure on the Americans over the Ukraine file.

Occupied Jerusalem – Moscow – The joint Russian air-military maneuvers with the Syrian regime forces, opposite the ceasefire line in the Golan Heights, carried veiled messages to Israel, which it views as a “not positive” development.

Senior Israeli political and security leaders are finding it difficult to understand what prompted Moscow to report on the joint air maneuvers with Bashar al-Assad’s army.

The course of the first air maneuver between the Russian and Syrian pilots extended along the heights of the Golan Heights, and then along the southern border to the Euphrates River in the east, and over the northern regions of Syria.

It included exercises that simulated the control of the Russian and Syrian pilots over the airspace, and provided air cover to the ground forces. The Russian crews also carried out attacks on ground targets.

In light of the hidden Russian messages from these activities, the political level in Tel Aviv believes that Moscow wants, through these joint maneuvers, to send a signal to the Americans about another burning arena in the Middle East.

These maneuvers come in order to pressure Israel to influence Washington on many files that affect Russia, especially the Ukraine file, according to the website of the Hebrew newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.

Russian military technicians at the Hmeimim Air Base in Latakia Governorate, which is the base of the Russian Air Force in Syria (European)

Israeli incursion against

In contrast to the Russian-Syrian maneuvers, the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, Aviv Kohavi, revealed, on Wednesday, that the Israeli army had carried out a ground incursion into the borders of a neighboring country, referring to Syria in a mission he described as “moral”, and it was carried out with the approval of the highest political and security levels in Tel Aviv. Aviv.

Kohavi’s statements, which were reported by the official Israeli television “Kan”, followed leaks from the Israeli army, and published by foreign media, about the activities of Israeli special forces deep in Syrian territory, claiming to “prevent any security threat from Iran or armed organizations loyal to it, such as Hizb allah”.

With the exchange of messages through land and air maneuvers, behind the scenes coordination continues between Israeli and Russian officers, regarding the presence of armed organizations and the Iranian military position in Syria, and the two sides are holding consultations in order to “calm souls” and prevent tension on both sides of the ceasefire line in the plateau Golan.

Amid these “calm” efforts, and consultations to prevent escalation, Israeli officials said that the Israeli military attacks in Syria “will not stop” as a result of the joint Russian military maneuvers with the Syrian regime, according to what was reported by Israeli Channel 12.

Israel attacks in Syria

And the military correspondent for Yedioth Ahronoth (Ynet), Yossi Yehoshua, believes that the Israeli military and political leadership seems confused about the joint Russian maneuvers with the Assad regime off the Golan, in a message that understands that Israel exaggerated its raids inside Syria, despite The common interest of Moscow and Tel Aviv to keep the Iranians away from Syrian territory.

Yehshua explained that Israel is looking into whether Moscow decided to change its undeclared policy that allowed the Israeli Air Force to work to limit Iran’s military presence in Syria and gave it the possibility to intensify its attacks in recent months; These are the attacks that thwarted a plan by the “Quds Force” to establish “Hezbollah 2” in Syria, according to Israeli security assessments.

The military correspondent does not rule out that the Russian move at the ceasefire line in the Golan was caused by the tension between Russia and America over the Ukraine file; As Moscow seeks, through joint maneuvers, to remind Washington that there are other burning arenas in the Middle East, and it could also be a message to Tel Aviv to interfere with Washington and put pressure on the Americans over the Ukraine file.

Russian military exercises with the participation of more than 10,000 soldiers near the border with Ukraine, whose crisis is reflected in other arenas in the Middle East (Anatolia)

Messages to Israel

In Moscow, the Russian media’s great interest in joint maneuvers with Syria was remarkable, placing it in the context of the tense atmosphere between Moscow and the West, which may develop to the point of reactivating the non-European fronts that constitute arenas of conflict between the two sides, amid actual fears of a large-scale conflict in Eastern Europe.

Clearly, the media in Russia focused on what is behind the joint Russian-Syrian patrols, whether it was just a symbolic display of force in the Syrian airspace, or a message to Israel that the Syrian airspace is now closed.

The writer on Middle East affairs, Alexander Sitnikov, said that the announcement of the start of joint air patrols in Syria was not good news for both Washington and Tel Aviv, adding that Israel in particular must be concerned about the maneuvers that were not previously announced, and the Israeli side was not informed It may have a negative impact on Russian-Israeli coordination on Syria.

But the military expert, Viktor Litovkin, told Al Jazeera Net that the Russian procedure must be understood in the context of Moscow’s insistence on carrying out the mission of its forces in Syria, which is to help government forces eliminate armed groups, and at the same time neutralize external interference represented by the military presence of the United States. and Turkey.

As for Israel, Litovkin believed that the tense situation in Syria, although it threatens the possibility of a “sudden” firefight between the Russian and Israeli armies, yet the two sides, even in this case, will look for ways to solve and stop them, in order to prevent escalation.

Why does Russia want America to withdraw from Al-Tanf in southern Syria?Russian soldier in southern Syria (Al-Jazeera)

Increasing cooperation with Syria

For his part, an expert on Russian-Arab relations, former diplomat Vyacheslav Matuzov, pointed to the statement of the Russian Defense Ministry, which stated that the joint air maneuvers will be periodic. He said that the Syrian crisis has entered a new turning point, as a result of which Moscow will work to expand its military presence as additional messages of support to Damascus.

At the same time, according to Matuzov, Moscow confirms its tendency to raise the level of cooperation between the two countries, not only in the war against armed groups on Syrian territory, but also in preparing to confront the entitlement of the presence of US and Turkish forces on Syrian territory.

In an interview with Al Jazeera Net, the Russian diplomat pointed out that Moscow realizes that the attacks launched by Israeli warplanes on various sites inside Syria were not only targeting the Iranian presence there, but rather to embarrass Russia in front of Arab public opinion, and to show it that it is unable to protect the Syrian forces in front of these attacks.

He stressed that the goal of the Russian military presence in Syria is to assist the regime forces in their operations against the armed opposition, while at the same time preventing the outbreak of a large-scale war between Syria and Israel.

But he did not rule out that Moscow would, at some stage, resort to supporting Syria with its most advanced defense systems, to give its forces the possibility of striking the launching points for Israeli attacks on it.

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