Why Israel Should Be Worried about Russia's Role in Syria

(War on the Rocks) Nadav Pollack - Giora Eiland, who was the national security advisor under Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, told me that Hizbullah will need to take into account the Russian interest of maintaining peace with Israel and might therefore avoid provoking the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said curtailing the Islamic State's advance toward western Syria will be another benefit for Israel. But, overall, it appears that Russia's involvement will be a net negative for Israel. During the Second Lebanon War, in 2006, Hizbullah targeted Israeli tanks with an array of advanced anti-tank missiles. Most of them were Russian-made and had been sold to Syria, yet somehow ended up in Hizbullah's arms depots. Russia's growing presence in Syria will limit Israel's ability to cope with these arms shipments to Hizbullah. Given the advanced Russian surface-to-air missiles recently installed in Syria, Israel would need to think hard before ordering an attack deep inside Syria. For Israel, an assertive Russia that looks to revive its relations with Arab countries mainly through military exports and nuclear energy cooperation should be troubling. The writer, a former analyst for the government of Israel, is a fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

2015-10-09 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive