Just last week, Israel allegedly fired three airstrikes at central and northern Syria, and Russia claimed to neutralize the missiles with its aerial defense systems. Moscow claimed to have a military presence where the airstrikes were targeted, and that she has filed a complaint with Washington. While this development cannot be independently verified, it demonstrates Russia’s grievance with Israel over actions in Syria.
But is Russia trying to pick a fight with Israel by thwarting Israeli campaigns in Syria and reporting Israel to the United States?
Analysts believe this is not the case, but it underscores Moscow’s discontent with Jerusalem. The bilateral agreement between Russia and Israel has been idle for some years, with both countries at odds with one another. But one thing seems obvious: Russia is exaggerating with its claims of neutralizing attacks from Israel and reporting Israel to Washington; while Israel’s true accomplishments in Syria cannot be entirely verified because of Israel’s quiet regarding such issues.
Since Washington has not voiced any concerns over the reported airstrikes, Israel is convinced of two things: Russia remains resolute in defending her interests in Syria, and she remains committed to arming Syria for self-defense. Unfortunately for Israel, former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to voice his support for Russia, given his friendship with Vladimir Putin.
Netanyahu who is now the opposition leader in Israel is not totally supportive of the government of Naftali Bennett-Yair who succeeded him. Seizing upon the alleged airstrikes’ neutralization in Syria, he blamed Bennett-Yair for not maximizing the leverage the IDF has in Syrian airspace. He harped that he did better in Syria than the present government and that Russia was not able to restrict Israeli campaigns in Syria when he was prime minister.
But then, while Israel is concerned about Russia’s interventions in Syria, the Jewish republic is also worried that Lebanon might pose some trouble in the near future if they are not fully contained.