The Achievements of Israel's Shadow Campaign in Syria

(JNS) Yaakov Lappin - As part of Israel's shadow war in Syria aimed at preventing Iran from installing advanced weapons and military bases there or transferring weapons to Hizbullah, an Israeli airstrike hit targets south of Damascus on July 22. Lt.-Col. (ret.) Orna Mizrahi, a senior research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, told JNS that the main purpose of Israel's campaign "is to delay the next war, while also reducing enemy military capabilities, and creating deterrence while also creating more comfortable conditions for Israel at the start of any potential future war." Mizrahi, a former Deputy National Security Adviser for Foreign Policy at Israel's National Security Council, said the IDF's campaign has "pushed away problematic elements from the Syrian Golan near Israel and damaged Iranian entrenchment abilities in Syria. It reduced the arms flow to Hizbullah and forced the Iranian-Hizbullah axis to change working methods." With regard to Russia, "Israel has tried to walk a fine line....In the past, the assessment here in Israel was that Russia permitted Israeli strikes because of the tension that exists between Russia and Iran over who controls Syria. In this context, it was very comfortable for Russia that Israel worked against Iran, thereby boosting Russian influence in Syria and making it more significant than Iranian influence." While this could change, "I think that Russia has no interest in creating friction with Israel when it is so heavily engaged in Ukraine....Russia views Israel as a regional military power that has to be taken into consideration, and which can harm it. Hence, they hint that Israel should act differently in Syria, but they do not take significant military or diplomatic steps to make Israel stop its campaign."

2022-07-28 00:00:00

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