Strategic Insight Into The Russian-Israeli-Syrian Triangle

21 NOVEMBER 2021


Strategic Insight Into The Russian-Israeli-Syrian Triangle

OneWorld is publishing the full text of the interview that Andrew Korybko gave to Giorgio Cafiero on this topic, some excerpts of which the latter included in his recent article for Inside Arabia titled “Israel’s Working Relationship with Russia Inside Syria”.

1. What does Russia believe it can get for itself through cooperation with Israel in relation to Syria?

Russia and Israel agreed to a deconfliction mechanism in September 2015 shortly before the onset of the former’s intervention in Syria. The two sides hoped to mitigate the risk of midair incidents since Moscow bombs forces that it and Damascus regard as terrorists while Israel does the same, albeit the latter strikes Syria’s IRGC and Hezbollah allies that were invited into the country but which Tel Aviv regards as latent national security threats. Neither wants to clash with the other since that could dramatically escalate regional tensions. Moreover, Russia and Israel have excellent relations, particularly proven by the fact that Tel Aviv declined to sanction Moscow in solidarity with its Western allies all these years.

Russia officially condemns Israel’s strikes from time to time but hasn’t ever taken any action to stop them, whether directly or indirectly. The second-mentioned observation gained extra credence in recent years after Syria has thus far failed to use the S-300s that it belatedly received from Russia in late 2018 after the incident near Latakia that President Putin described as a tragic chain of circumstances. Even though Russia also officially acknowledges the legality and anti-terrorist purposes of the IRGC and Hezbollah’s presence in Syria, some argue that the Kremlin might discretely be hoping for Damascus to request their dignified but phased withdrawal (in this context, under the duress of Israeli airstrikes) as part of a compromise solution for ending the war.

2. To what extent is Russian-Israel cooperation vis-à-vis Syria problematic for Moscow’s relationship with Tehran?

Russia and Iran both fight against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria, but the first-mentioned mostly does so through the air and via the sharing of tactical intelligence to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) while the second joins the SAA and their shared Hezbollah allies in on-the-ground battles. Moscow and Tehran therefore have the same interest in supporting Damascus, but they seemingly differ over their post-war vision for the country. The Kremlin believes that a series of mutual compromises is needed by all parties of the conflict while the Islamic Republic’s implied stance is that its Arab ally doesn’t necessarily have to concede anything to those whom it doesn’t regard as its political equals.

Even though Russia isn’t directly involved in Israel’s strikes, Iran and Hezbollah might not be happy that Moscow doesn’t ever tip them off when it’s informed of these attacks ahead of time per the reported protocol connected with their deconfliction mechanism. There might also be some questions about why Syria hasn’t yet used its Russian-supplied S-300s that were belatedly shipped to the country after the September 2018 incident for the reported purpose of deterring what was described at the time as further irresponsible Israeli behavior. Since then, Israel has continued to strike Syria, with Damascus only targeting its incoming missiles and not using the S-300s or other anti-air defense systems to strike the attacking jets themselves like many earlier expected.

3. Does Bashar al-Assad’s government believe that Russia can pressure Israel in ways which suit the interests of Damascus?

It’s unlikely that Syria seriously has those expectations, and in the off chance that it did, they’re unrealistic. The power dynamic actually seems to be the inverse: Israel believes that Russia can pressure Syria when it comes to requesting Iran and Hezbollah’s withdrawal. Moscow doesn’t want to take sides since it has great relations with both, albeit of a different nature and strategic impact with respect to advancing its interests, hence why it’s hitherto sat back and passively let everything unfold between them as it has.

Nevertheless, it’s precisely this passivity in spite of occasional condemnations of Israeli strikes that can be interpreted as tacitly advancing Tel Aviv’s interests since Moscow doesn’t do anything to stop its attacks against the IRGC and Hezbollah, not directly nor indirectly as was earlier explained. This leads some to wonder whether Russia discretely prefers for Israeli strikes to function as a form of pressure for getting Syria to request Iran and Hezbollah’s withdrawal as part of a larger regional compromise that the Kremlin might hope to broker.

4. What are Israel’s incentives to work with Russia? Is there any good reason for Israelis to believe that Russia will act against Iranian influence/power in Syria?

There’s a massive Russian diaspora living in Israel that has gradually come to command sizeable influence in society and some parts of the permanent bureaucracy, including the formulation of foreign policy. President Putin is also very well respected in Israel for his resolute opposition to anti-Semitism, fascism, and historical revisionism connected to World War II. Furthermore, as an influential Great Power that’s returned to West Asia with its Syrian intervention and is nowadays considered the kingmaker for resolving that country’s crisis, Israel has every reason to pragmatically expand its relations with Russia, especially since this could give it some leverage to better balance its historical relationship with the US.

Nevertheless, Israelis shouldn’t have any unrealistic expectations about Russia directly acting against Iranian influence in Syria. Doing so would risk undermining Moscow’s anti-terrorist campaign there as well as its bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic which are important for maintaining stability in the South Caucasus, Caspian Sea, and Afghanistan. The most that Russia is seemingly willing to do is “passively facilitate” regular Israeli strikes against the IRGC and Hezbollah by not interfering with them per the reported conditions of the September 2015 deconfliction agreement and speculatively not authorizing Syria to use the S-300s and other anti-air defense systems for targeting attacking Israeli jets (which could escalate tensions), which is still a lot.


South Front

On September 19, the Syrian Air Defense Forces shot down an unidentified unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) over the town of Aqraba, south of Damascus. Pro-government sources claim that the intercepted UAV was likely operated by Israel.

On August 25, two Hezbollah members were killed by Israeli strikes in the same area. These strikes and the incident with Israeli drones in Beirut led to a local escalation between Hezbollah and the Israeli military at the Lebanese-Israeli contact line on September 1. Since then and until September 19, the situation around Damascus and in southern Lebanon have remained relatively calm.

The al-Qaeda-affiliated militant coalition Wa Harid al-Muminin announced that its forces had shelled positions of the Syrian Army near the area of al-Mashari’a. In a separate development, Idlib militants shelled the Abu al-Duhur humanitarian corridor with mortars in an attempt to prevent civilians from leaving the militant-held area.

On September 18, the joint Russia-Syria Coordination Center on Refugee Repatriation announced that work to resettle refugees from the Rukban camp the US-controlled zone of al-Tanf will begin late on September 27. During the last two years, the camp was in a constant state of humanitarian crisis due to the lack of aid, clean water and food. Nonetheless, the US-led coalition and coalition-backed militants sabotaged previous attempts to evacuate civilians from it.

Russia has given Syria a green light to use the S-300 missile defense system against Israeli targets, according to reports in Russian media citing own sources. Reports claim that the Syrian military received permission to use its air defense systems in response to Israeli actions. However, in this case the Syrian side would bear full responsibility for such a move.

Since the start of the week, positions of Iranian-backed forces near al-Bukamal have come under at least two aerial attacks that are commonly attributed by Israel. Some mainstream media speculated that the September 18 strike may have been delivered by the Saudi Air Force. However, this version was immediately denounced by Saudi Arabia itself.


The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) brought down on September 21 a large quad-copter unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) near the separation line with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

Syrian Army Intercepts Armed, Booby-Trapped Drone Near Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights (Photos)

Click to see full-size image

According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the army was able to take control of the hostile UAV and land it once it reached the town of Erneh, 8km north of the separation line. Electronic warfare means were apparently used to control the UAV.

“While inspecting and disassembling the UAV by specialized engineer teams, it became clear that it was armed with submunitions on top of being booby-trapped with a C4 explosive charge, in order to prevent its dismantling and protect its secrets,” a security source told the SANA.

The state-run agency said that the UAV came from the western direction. The SAA controls the entire region, while Hezbollah controls the nearby Lebanese villages. This suggest that the UAV came from the Israeli-occupied areas in northwestern Golan.

Photos of the UAV reveal that it was armed with two small-diameter submunitions, both equipped with a parachute.

Syrian Army Intercepts Armed, Booby-Trapped Drone Near Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights (Photos)

Click to see full-size image

Syrian Army Intercepts Armed, Booby-Trapped Drone Near Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights (Photos)

Click to see full-size image

Syrian Army Intercepts Armed, Booby-Trapped Drone Near Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights (Photos)

Click to see full-size image

Syrian Army Intercepts Armed, Booby-Trapped Drone Near Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights (Photos)

Click to see full-size image

Last month, two quad-copters equipped with explosive devices attacked a center of Hezbollah in Beirut’s Southern Suburb. The incident was blamed on Israel, which appears to be using such drones in its covert operations.


The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) shot down on September 21 an armed unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that attempted to attack its positions in northwestern Hama.

Local sources said that the UAV was shot down near the town of Jubb Ramlah. The drone was reportedly armed with several munitions.

The UAV was likely heading to attack a large helicopter base of the Syrian Arab Air Force (SyAAF) to the west of Jubb Ramlah. The base has been supporting the SAA’s operations in Greater Idlib for months now.

Syrian Army Shoots Down Armed Drone Near Helicopter Base In Northwestern Hama

Click to see full-size image. Via Google Earth.

No side has claimed responsibility for the failed attack, so far. However, al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) is known for manufacturing and operating this kind of armed UAVs.

The failed attack is a violation of the current ceasefire. Such provocations could force the SAA to resume its ground offensive in Greater Idlib.


Israel’s Latest Strikes in Syria Prove that the US-Russia-Israel Jerusalem National Security Summit Was a Success: Thus Claimed Andrew Korybko



Comment By UP

Contrary to Andrew Korybko’s claim “Israel’s Latest Strikes in Syria Prove that the US-Russia-Israel Jerusalem National Security Summit” was a failure.

A real political analyst should know that Russia is in Syria to fight terrorism, not “Israel”, to help Syria to defend itself, and liberate every inch of Syrian territories. 

Russia never claimed that its part of the resistance axis. Nor claimed that its in Syria to liberate, by force, Palestinian and Syrian territories occupied in 1967 war. The defeated anglozionist empire in Syria is ready to accept the Syrian victory, if Iran Iran and allies leave Syria, and Russia has no means help in that. Most likely Russia told its partners in the “US-Russia-Israel Jerusalem National Security Summit”: If you want Iran’s and allies to leave Syria, you should leave Golan Heights and and accept a Palestinian state in Gaza and occupied west bank,

Moreover, I would draw the readers attention to the following facts:

  1. Resistance axis consists mainly of Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and allies in Lebanon, Palestinian resistance , Ansarallah in Yemen and IRAQI POPULAR MOBILIZATION.
  2. In July war, Syria was not involved directly in confronting the Israeli aggression, because Hezbollah was not in need for such involvement, the same applies to Israeli wars on Gaza.

However, if the Anglo-Zionist Empire dared to attack Iran, Russia shall not fight, but shall provide all means Iran may need to help Iran to defend itself. Sayyed Nasrallah was crystal clear, when he said on Al-quds day:

“The US knows well that any war on Iran will not remain confined to Iran’s borders. The entire region will burn, leading to all US forces and interests in the region being annihilated,”


Israel’s Latest Strikes in Syria Prove that the US-Russia-Israel Jerusalem National Security Summit Was a Success

Global Research, July 01, 2019

There’s no more convincing proof that last week’s historic National Security Summit in Jerusalem between Russia, “Israel”, and the US was a success than the self-professed “Jewish State’s” latest anti-Iranian strikes in Syria, which were more than likely approved  by Moscow in advance as part of its regional “balancing” strategy in pursuit of a “New Detente”.

Israel” carried out several strikes against what media reports allege were IRGC bases in Syria around midnight on 1 July, defying popular expectations that this wouldn’t happen ever again after Russia gave some very high-profile but nevertheless misleading statements about its supposedly “allied” commitment to Iran the week prior. The historic National Security Advisor Summit in Jerusalem between Russia, “Israel”, and the US was widely described as a failure after Moscow defended Tehran’s military presence in the Arab Republic and reaffirmed that the two are “allies”, but that doesn’t tell the full story because Russian Security Council Secretary Patrushev was only talking about their anti-terrorist cooperation in Syria and didn’t mean anything more broadly than that.

The same goes for the Russian Foreign Ministry’s envoy to Asian countries and in particular the presidential advisor on Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov’s promise a few days later that Iran “won’t be alone” if the US attacks it. Alt-Media interpreted this through its members’ typical wishful thinking perspective to mean that Russia was implying a direct military intervention against the US in support of Iran if a conflict were to break out, when in reality he was most likely talking about the political and moral support that the rest of the world would extend to the Islamic Republic in that scenario. Shortly after, a Russian official told Sputnik that “we are open to discussions” with Iran about selling it the S-400s, which was also wrongly reported in the outlet’s own headline as “Russia ready to deliver S-400 to Iran” when it literally only signaled its interest in starting talks about this.

The combination of Patrushev, Kabulov, and the military-technical official’s statements created the false perception that Russia would militarily defend its Iranian “ally”, which is why many people were so surprised when “Israel” just carried out several strikes against its forces in Syria. Not only that, but the S-300s once again failed to respond, confirming that they’re just status symbols worshiped by those who suffer from a “savior complex”. The latest attacks were particularly painful for those who sincerely thought that Russia would prevent this from happening since some of them targeted the Homs Governorate close to where the S-300s are reportedly located in neighboring Hama Governorate’s nearby city of Masyaf, sending the clear-cut message that Moscow won’t let them be used against “Putinyahu’s Rusrael“.

As the shock of what happened begins to set in, the Alt-Media Community would do well to remember that none other than Bibi himself spilled the beans about what was about to happen just days before the strikes took place when he said that “all of us (Russia, “Israel”, and the US) agree on the end goal of getting Iran out of Syria” when briefing his compatriots on the outcome of the National Security Advisor Summit. Many people mocked him at the time and dismissed his comment as nothing more than Zionist boasting, but he was actually telling the truth in hindsight as proven by the fact that Russia once again  “passively facilitated” “Israel’s” anti-Iranian strikes in Syria, shattering the worldview of those who fell for Moscow’s messaging in the days prior. In fact, one can’t help but wonder whether that said messaging was designed to cover up a deal that it struck.

To elaborate, the three quoted Russian officials were uncharacteristically enthusiastic about their support of Iran, which should have immediately been a dead-giveaway to keen observers that something was up. Furthermore, the fact that Alt-Media didn’t report on the entirety of Patrushev’s comments from that event, especially about how “Russia puts special attention on ensuring Israel’s security“, should have been another sign that a perception management operation was in progress. More than likely, Russia wanted to capitalize on the outpouring of global support for Iran after it downed an American drone earlier that week and misportray itself as the Islamic Republic’s loyal “ally” in order to redirect some of the sympathy towards its Mideast policy as well, all of which would make “Israel’s” forthcoming strikes all the more unexpected.

It’s doubtful that Iranian decision makers fell for this perception management operation that was probably mostly targeting the general audience at large and not the strategic one in the Islamic Republic, but then again, Tehran still can’t seem to accept that India has turned against it so it’s theoretically possible that it also didn’t see this coming either. That said, many Iranians have reportedly been killed over nearly the past four years since Russia militarily intervened in Syria and began to “passively facilitate” “Israel’s” strikes there, so it would be strange for them to think that this would change after what Patrushev said at the historic Jerusalem Summit about ensuring “Israel’s” security, which is nothing more than a euphemism for continuing to allow it to bomb the IRGC in Syria.

Given what just took place, there’s no doubt that the National Security Advisor Summit in Jerusalem was a success in more ways than one. Not only did Russia apparently approve — if not coordinate — “Israel’s” latest strikes (and likely the many more that will occur in the coming future) as part of its regional “balancing” strategy aimed at “passively facilitating” Iran’s dignified but “phased withdrawal” from Syria as a quid pro quo for clinching a “New Detente” with the US, but Moscow’s messaging strategy also succeeded in managing international perceptions and obscuring its behind-the-scenes role in the latest attacks. Altogether, all of this works out very well for Netanyahu’s upcoming re-election campaign and it’s predicted that he’ll continue striking the IRGC in Syria with Putin’s tacit approval in the run-up to September’s vote.


Note to readers: please click the share buttons above or below. Forward this article to your email lists. Crosspost on your blog site, internet forums. etc.

This article was originally published on Eurasia Future.

Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.

Featured image is from @Ibra_Joudeh/Twitter

Moscow’s Strategy: To Win Everywhere, Every Time

Moscow’s Strategy: To Win Everywhere, Every Time

Moscow’s Strategy: To Win Everywhere, Every Time

Important events have occurred in the Middle East and North Africa in recent weeks that underline how the overall political reconfiguration of the region is in full swing. The Shia axis (Axis of Resistance) continues its diplomatic relations and, following Rouhani’s meeting in Baghdad, it was the turn of Adil Abdul-Mahdi to be received in Tehran by the highest government and religious authorities. Among the many statements released, two in particular reveal the high level of cooperation between the two countries, as well as demonstrating how the Shia axis (Axis of Resistance) is in full bloom, carrying significant prospects for the region. Abdul-Mahdi also reiterated that Iraq will not allow itself to be used as a platform from which to attack Iran:

“Iraqi soil will not be allowed to be used by foreign troops to launch any attacks against Iran. The plan is to export electricity and gas for other countries in the region.”

Considering that these two countries were mortal enemies during Saddam Hussein’s time, their rapprochement is quite a (geo)political miracle, owing much of its success to Russia’s involvement in the region. The 4+1 coalition (Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria plus Hezbollah) and the anti-terrorism center in Baghdad came about as a result of Russia’s desire to coordinate all the allied parties in a single front. Russia’s military support of Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah (together with China’s economic support) has allowed Iran to begin to transform the region such that the Shia axis (Axis of Resistance) can effectively counteract the destabilizing chaos unleashed by the trio of the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

One of the gaps to be filled in the Shia axis (Axis of Resistance) lies in Lebanon, which has long experienced an internal conflict between the many religious and political currents in the country. The decision by Washington to recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel pushed the Lebanese president, Michel Aoun, to make an important symbolic visit to Moscow to meet with President Putin.

Once again, the destabilizing efforts of the Saudis, Israelis and Americans are having the unintended effect of strengthening the Shia axis (Axis of Resistance). It seems that this trio fails to understood how such acts as murdering Khashoggi, using civilian planes to hide behind in order to conduct bombing runs in Syria, recognizing the occupied territories like the Golan Heights – how these produce the opposite effects to the ones desired.

The supply of S-300 systems to Syria after the downing of the Russian reconnaissance plane took place as a result of Tel Aviv failing to think ahead and anticipate how Russia may respond.

What is surprising in Moscow’s actions is the versatility of its diplomacy, from the deployment of the S-300s in Syria, or the bombers in Iran, to the prompt meetings with Netanyahu in Moscow and Mohammad bin Salman at the G20. The ability of the Russian Federation to mediate and be present in almost every conflict on the globe restores to the country the international stature that is indispensable in counterbalancing the belligerence of the United States.

The main feature of Moscow’s approach is to find areas of common interest with its interlocutor and to favor the creation of trade or knowledge exchange. Another military and economic example can be found in a third axis; not the Shia or Saudi-Israeli-US one but the Turkish-Qatari one. In Syria, Erdogan started from positions that were exactly opposite to those of Putin and Assad. But with decisive military action and skilled diplomacy, the creation of the Astana format between Iran, Turkey and Russia made Turkey and Qatar publicly take the defense of Islamist takfiris and criminals in Idlib. Qatar for its part has a two-way connection with Turkey, but it is also in open conflict with the Saudi-Israeli axis, with the prospect of abandoning OPEC within a few weeks. This situation has allowed Moscow to open a series of negotiations with Doha on the topic of LNG, with these two players controlling most of the LNG on the planet. It is evident that also the Turkish-Qatari axis is strongly conditioned by Moscow and by the potential military agreements between Turkey and Russia (sale of S-400) and economic and energy agreements between Moscow and Doha.

America’s actions in the region risks combining the Qatari-Turkish front with the Shia axis (Axis of Resistance) , again thanks to Moscow’s skilful diplomatic work. The recent sale of nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia, together with the withdrawal from the JCPOA (the Iranian nuclear agreement), has created concern and bewilderment in the region and among Washington’s allies. The act of recognizing the occupied Golan Heights as belonging to Israel has brought together the Arab world as few events have done in recent times. Added to this, Trump’s open complaints about OPEC’s high pricing of oil has forced Riyadh to start wondering out aloud whether to start selling oil in a currency other than the dollar. This rumination was quickly denied, but it had already been aired. Such a decision would have grave implications for the petrodollar and most of the financial and economic power of the United States.

If the Shia axis (Axis of Resistance), with Russian protection, is strengthened throughout the Middle East, the Saudi-Israel-American triad loses momentum and falls apart, as seen in Libya, with Haftar now one step closer in unifying the country thanks to the support of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, France and Russia, with Fayez al-Sarraj now abandoned by the Italians and Americans awaiting his final defeat.

While the globe continues its multipolar transformation, the delicate balancing role played by Russia in the Middle East and North Africa is emphasized. The Venezuelan foreign minister’s recent visit to Syria shows how the front opposed to US imperialist bullying is not confined to the Middle East, with countries in direct or indirect conflict with Washington gathering together under the same protective Sino-Russian umbrella.

Trump’s “America First” policy, coupled with the conviction of American exceptionalism, is driving international relations towards two poles rather than multipolar ones, pushing China, Russia and all other countries opposed to the US to unite in order to collectively resist US diktats.


South Front

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham leader Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani received a shell fragment wound to the head in an explosion in Idlib city on February 18 and was evacuated to a hospital in Antakya in the Turkish province of Hatay, Russian state media reported on February 19 citing a Turkish medical source. According to the report, the terrorist group’s leader is in a coma.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) has not commented on these claims so far. The terrorist organization is currently the most influential “opposition group” within the Idlib de-escalation zone. It controls about 80% of the area despite the fact that it’s formally excluded from the ceasefire regime.

If Abu Muhammad Al-Joulani is in fact severely injured, this may open an opportunity for Turkish proxies to reclaim at least a part of the area in the Idlib de-escalation zone from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham. Then, they would be able to continue pretending that there are still some moderate rebels in the area. This is in the interests of Ankara. Some experts already speculated that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization may have staged this incident in an attempt to bring the situation in Idlib under its control.

In the countryside of Damacsus, pro-government forces seized a large number of weapons and ammunition, including hundreds of Grad rockets and a large number of US made anti-tank missiles and Israeli 128 mm rockets, in the framework of the ongoing security operation in the area.

On February 19, Israel’s Image Sat International company released a fresh satellite image showing positions of the Syrian military’s S-300 system in the area of Masyaf. According to the provided image and the company’s assessment, three of four S-300 launchers are “probably” operational.

Previous satellite images of Masyaf were released by the same company on February 5. This was the first image showing S-300 launchers in an upright position. Therefore, it was suggested that the Russia-supplied system was becoming operational.

While the ISIS-held pocket in the Euphrates Valley is still not fully eliminated, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have already started preparations for a new round of Syria standoff. Recently, the group released a new statement in which it:

  • claimed that it will work to eliminate existing ISIS cells;
  • described Turkey as an occupier, but declared readiness to resolve the issues with Ankara via negotiations;
  • said that it’s ready for the establishment of a safe area in northeastern Syria under “international supervision”;
  • said that it’s ready for negotiations with Damascus, but that the Syrian government should take into account the SDF’s specificity and recognize the “self-declared and effective autonomy in the northeast”;
  • and in which it vowed to recapture Afrin.

The content and working of the statement shows that the SDF is no longer expecting a rapid and inevitable US forces withdrawal from the war-torn country. So, it has once again hardened its stance towards other key players and started speaking in the language of ultimatums.

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South Front

On February 5, Israel’s ImageSat International company released satellite images showing positions of the Russia-supplied S-300 air defense system in Syria’s Masyaf. The released image shows 3 of the 4 launchers in an upright position and the fourth covered by a camouflage net. This was the first satellite image showing the launchers in an erected position since their arrival from Russia in October 2018. This may indicate that the system is about to become or has already become operational.

Earlier, Russian media reported that the S-300 system will become combat ready in March 2019 after Syrian S-300 crews would finish their training. However, it is possible that the training course was intensified because of a tense situation in the region.

On February 7, the Russian state-run TV network RT reported citing military sources that Iranian forces preparing to move their weapons supply center from the Damascus international airport to the T4 airbase in the province of Homs. The T4 airbase is currently being used by Iranian forces for operations involving unnamed aerial vehicles.

At the same time, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper released a satellite image showing the alleged positions of Iranian forces in Damascus airport and also claimed that the forces are preparing to withdraw to the T4 airbase.

Iran provides very little details on its operations in Syria. However, even if these reports are confirmed, this would not mean that Syria and Iran are limiting their military cooperation. Iranian positions in the Damascus International Airport area have been repeatedly targeted by the Israeli Air Force since the start of the conflict. So, the redeployment of Iranian forces may be an attempt to de-escalate the situation in the countryside of the Syrian capital.

On February 7, the 1st division of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) ambushed a group of ISIS fighters in the Damascus desert killing at least 6 of them. According to a military source, the group was likely carrying out a reconnaissance operation in order to prepare for terrorist attacks.

The 45th Brigade of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) launched 50 rockets at positions of ISIS around the town of al-Baghuz al-Fawqani in the middle Euphrates River Valley. According to the PMU, the strikes were aimed at preventing ISIS terrorists from entering Iraq.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are currently finalizing their operation against ISIS in the area. However, a large number of terrorists still control a chunk of the SDF-besieged area.

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آذار شهر ساخن إقليمياً… فيه تتجمّع الاستحقاقات

يناير 24, 2019

ناصر قنديل

– تبلّغ المعنيون في لبنان والعراق أن عليهم ملاقاة شهر آذار بحكومات مكتملة، لأن الآتي صعب وخطير والتطوّرات الإقليمية ستكون شديدة السخونة، حيث التسويات صعبة ومعقدة، والحرب المفتوحة غير واردة، والمعادلة الأميركية الإسرائيلية تنطلق من استحالتين. الاستحالة الأولى هي التعايش مع تنامي محور المقاومة وتماسكه وامتلاكه المزيد من أسباب القوة الجغرافية والعسكرية والتسليحية، بصورة تجعل أي تسوية ترسخ الانتصار السوري بصيغة توازناته الراهنة خطراً مباشراً لا تستطيع «إسرائيل» تحمّل تبعاته، أما الاستحالة الثانية فهي العجز عن منع هذا المشهد الدراماتيكي بمواجهة جذرية مباشرة تستند إلى استخدام القوة العسكرية، وهو ما كان متاحاً في ظروف أفضل قبل معركة حلب أو قبل معركة الغوطة أو قبل معركة جنوب سورية. وبين هاتين الاستحالتين يجري ما يُسمّى عسكرياً التقرّب المتبادل إلى خط الاشتباك في «المناطق الحرام»، أملاً بأن يلعب التقرّب دور الردع عن تقرّب مقابل. وهذا يعني الرهان أن يكون آخر خطوة تقرب للجانب الأميركي الإسرائيلي من دون أن تقابلها خطوة موازية من محور المقاومة، فترتسم قواعد الاشتباك الجديدة عند هذا الحد من التقابل وجهاً لوجه من دون الدخول في المواجهة.

– اللحظة التي ستصل فيها الخطوات المتقابلة تبدو مقبلة في آذار، وموعد النقلة الأخيرة التي سيبنى عليها التوازن شبه النهائي هي تلك التي سيفرضها تبادل الخطوات بعد أقلّ من شهرين. ففي آذار ستكون المهلة الأخيرة لتبلور البدائل العسكرية التي ستخلف الانسحاب الأميركي من الحدود السورية التركية، لأن الأكيد أن نيسان هو شهر الانسحاب، فهل ستذهب تركيا للمخاطرة باللعب بالنار وتقع في الفخ الأميركي وتتسلّم من واشنطن مواقع حدودية تضعها خارج مسار أستانة مع روسيا وإيران وتعيدها إلى ما قبل معركة حلب، وتواجه خطر الوقوع في مواجهة كبرى عملت المستحيل لتفاديها، أم تلتزم نصائح الرئيس الروسي بالعودة إلى اتفاق أضنة الذي كان ينظم الوضع الحدودي بين الدولتين السورية والتركية، مع عرض الرعاية الروسية هذه المرّة، وفي آذار موعد الانتخابات الإسرائيلية المبكرة التي فرض موعدها الفشل في حرب غزة الأخيرة، ويريدها نتنياهو تجديداً لزعامته ويضع العمليات داخل الأراضي السورية عنواناً لتحقيق هذا الهدف، ويجعل إيران ومواجهتها عنوان حملته الانتخابية. وقد جاءه رد الجنرال قاسم سليماني، الذي وعد نتنياهو بردّ مقبل يقطع عليه حلم العودة إلى رئاسة الحكومة. وفي آذار كما قالت صحيفة كومرسانت الروسية نقلاً عن مصادر عسكرية ستكون شبكة صواريخ الـ«أس 300» التي سلّمت لسورية قد وضعت قيد التشغيل. وقد سمعت «إسرائيل» كلام الدبلوماسي السوري الدكتور بشار الجعفري من منبر الأمم يطرح معادلة مطار تل أبيب مقابل مطار دمشق، ومعلوم أن كلام الجعفري تمهيد جدّي للمعادلة التي قال رئيس أركان جيش الاحتلال إنها فرضية لا يمكن تجاهلها. فلدى سورية ما يسمح لها بترجمتها، والجعفري لا يلقي الكلام على عواهنه.

– معادلات الردع تتحضر لاختبار ساخن لترسم قواعد الاشتباك الجديدة، وآذار موعد غير بعيد، والرهان الأميركي على مواجهة من طرف عنوانها الحرب المالية مع تبريد الجبهات العسكرية التي ثبت أن اليد العليا فيها لخصومها، سيبقى حلماً غير قابل للتحقق. فمحور المقاومة وقادته يعرفون نقاط قوتهم ونقاط ضعفهم، كما نقاط قوة وضعف معسكر أعدائهم، وما قد يفاجئ الإسرائيليين أن المواجهات المقبلة قد يحين أوانها بينما تكون أميركا منشغلة بالحريق الذي أشعلته في فنزويلا والذي قد يمتدّ إلى كل أميركا الجنوبية.

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Disparity of security necessities among allies America, Turkey, Europe, and Israel تفاوت مقتضيات الأمن بين الحلفاء: أميركا وتركيا وأوروبا و«إسرائيل»

Disparity of security necessities among allies America, Turkey, Europe, and Israel

يناير 15, 2019

Written by Nasser Kandil,

It is surprising that some analysts in the world and the region accept to consider the decision of the US President’s withdrawal from Syria as an expression of the mood of Donald Trump. The issue is not in discussing the presidential powers constitutionally; rather it is the ability of the President to deal practically alone with such decision. The US debate about the benefit of the military presence in Syria is neither new, nor governed by considerations related to Syria alone. The principle of the withdrawal from the whole Asian mainland was in circulation in the US decision-making centers for ten years after Baker Hamiliton report 2006 and after the decision of the President Obama in 2010 to withdraw from Iraq in 2011 and the deadline to withdraw from Afghanistan in 2013, which was extended twice to 2016 and to the end of 2018 according to the requirements of the war on Syria and the new bets to win it.

The absolute American consensus on refusing the engagement in a military confrontation with Russia and Iran led to the thinking of how to manage the failure in wars between narrow equations, their first aspect is the turning into a boxing bag that receives blows respectively without a decision to go to war, while their second aspect is the withdrawal, imposing sanctions, and linking the engagement into settlements with conditions that meet the US interests. This aspect is more effective than the military presence according to many in Washington. Since the Battle of Aleppo and the fall of the bet on the Turkish disruption of the geographical expansion of the Syrian army supported by Russia, Iran, and the resistance forces the US decision of withdrawal has become ready, but it was delayed by another bet entitled Saudi-Israeli bilateral that is militarily capable of blowing in Syria and Yemen, and able to launch a political qualitative path entitled ending the Palestinian cause through the deal of the century that besieges Iran and the resistance forces in order to make a settlement with Russia that ends with the exit of Iran and the resistance forces from Syria as a condition for its stability and the Western involvement.

With the emergence of the limited Israeli ability to protect the aggressive interventions on Syria after the Russia decisions to deploy the S-300 missiles network, the development of the Syrian ability to combat the Israeli raids, the abject failure of Saudi Arabia in the war on Yemen and its turning into a burden militarily and politically, the fall of the bet on the credibility of the success of the deal of century in finding a Palestinian partner, the emergence of a collective Palestinian will to refuse it, and the expansion of the popular and military Palestinian resistance movement and its imposing new equations, America had to decide to stay militarily face –to-face against Russia, Iran, and Syria in protecting the project of the Kurdish secession, although this project provokes a crisis with Turkey, the Atlantic ally of Washington, but it wants to protect the Israeli desire to barter the US withdrawal with the Iranian withdrawal.

The years of war led by Washington on Syria and its failure led to disparity in the requirements of security between it and its allies. Europe’s understanding of the concept of security starts with the issue of the displaced and the threat of its targeting through the infiltration of terrorists groups from the burning Middle East, while it ends with the concern about any open confrontation with Iran, whether through its military repercussions or its risks to the energy market. Europe did not hesitate to talk publicly about the US policies as a source of concern, whether through the withdrawal from the nuclear understanding with Iran or in managing the Palestinian cause. Turkey tried to search for new positioning that expresses its privacies; it found in Astana path its target through the cooperation with Russia and Iran and what was called by the Turks as the “Third option”. Therefore, the Turkish role in Syria was linked with a ceiling entitled “the concept of the national security” that considers the American –Kurdish relationship the first danger.

Washington lost its European and Turkish allies, while it stoke to its Saudi and Israeli allies. It found that it has to pay costly bills with imminent benefits, the most prominent of which is the American security which starts from Afghanistan. The American intervention was not as tactical as the American presence in Syria. Moreover, the condition of the Iranian cooperation with the requirements of the American security in Afghanistan in ensuring a secure withdrawal is governed by a political equation that was set at the Russian-Chinese- Pakistani- Iranian- Afghani meeting three weeks ago and which was related to the abandonment of the insistence on the Iranian withdrawal from Syria. This led to a set of American decisions under the title of a new concept of the national security that is not governed by the Saudi and Israeli ceilings, rather it sees that the security of Israel and Saudi Arabia is something and the concept of security according to Saudi Arabia and Israel is something else. The Yemeni settlement was the most prominent outcome of these decisions, because it means the acceptance of Iranian gains in the Gulf. This step has been followed by the withdrawal from Syria under the title of handing over the security in the Asian mainland to Russia to ensure the security of Israel and Saudi Arabia which differs from the concept of security to Israel and Saudi Arabia, this will be illustrated later maybe through the withdrawal from Iraq, and then American strict administration of the  negotiation on settlements and lifting of sanctions  and the moving to fight from inside the political and economic structures resulting from settlements.

It is a new stage in the crystallization of the new concepts of security, where the West is no longer a west and the Atlantic is no longer the Atlantic, rather they are separated issues according to interests, where Europe as Turkey has privacies and where Iran as a European and Turkish necessity it turned into American necessity in Afghanistan despite the Saudi and Israeli reservations. It is important to understand the speech of the Turkish President about the turning of the challenge of the American sanctions on Iran into an opportunity for negotiations between them and where Turkey is betting on playing a role of mediator in.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

تفاوت مقتضيات الأمن بين الحلفاء: أميركا وتركيا وأوروبا و«إسرائيل»

ديسمبر 21, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– من المستغرب أن يرتضي بعض المحللين في العالم والمنطقة، إلا لاعتبارات التوظيف السياسي، النظر لقرار الرئيس الأميركي بسحب قواته من سورية، كتعبير عن مزاجية وانفعالية دونالد ترامب، فالمسألة ليست في مناقشة حدود الصلاحيات الرئاسية دستورياً، بل في قدرة الرئيس عملياً وواقعياً على التصرف منفرداً بقرارات بهذا الحجم، والنقاش الأميركي حول جدوى البقاء العسكري في سورية ليس وليد اليوم، ولا تحكمه حسابات مرتبطة بسورية وحدها، بل إن مبدأ الانسحاب من البر الآسيوي برمته ملف مطروح في التداول في دوائر صنع القرار الأميركي منذ أكثر من عشرة أعوام، بعد تقرير بايكر هاملتون عام 2006، وقرار الرئيس أوباما في عام 2010 الانسحاب من العراق عام 2011 وتحديد موعد الانسحاب من أفغانستان في 2013 الذي جرى تمديده مرتين لعام 2016 ثم لنهاية العام 2018، وفقاً لمقتضيات الحرب على سورية والرهانات الجديدة للفوز بها.

– الإجماع المطلق أميركياً على رفض الدخول في مواجهة عسكرية مع روسيا ومع إيران، يحصر البحث الأميركي في كيفية إدارة الفشل في الحروب، بين معادلات ضيقة، قطبها الأول التحول كيس ملاكمة يتلقى الضربات تباعاً دون قرار حرب، وقطبها الثاني الاحتماء وراء الجدار، وهذا يعني الانسحاب، وبناء جدار العقوبات وربط الانخراط بالتسويات التي تزيلها بشروط تلبي المصالح الأميركية، وهو جدار أشد متانة وفعالية من جدار الوجود العسكري، بنظر الكثيرين في واشنطن، ومنذ معركة حلب وسقوط الرهان على التعطيل التركي لمسار التوسع الجغرافي للجيش السوري مدعوماً من روسيا وإيران وقوى المقاومة، صار قرار الانسحاب الأميركي على الطاولة، والذي أخّره رهان آخر عنوانه ثنائية سعودية إسرائيلية مقتدرة عسكرياً في الضرب بقسوة في سورية واليمن، وقادرة على إطلاق مسار سياسي نوعي عنوانه إنهاء القضية الفلسطينية عبر ما سُمّي بصفقة القرن يحاصر إيران وقوى المقاومة. والهدف لهذه المعادلة المفترضة الذهاب لتسوية مع روسيا تنتهي بخروج إيران وقوى المقاومة من سورية كشرط لاستقرارها، وارتضاء الدخول الغربي على خط التسوية فيها.

– مع ظهور محدودية القدرة الإسرائيلية على حماية التدخلات العدوانية على سورية بعد القرارات الروسية بتوضيع شبكة صواريخ الـ»أس 300»، وتبلور القدرة السورية على التصدي للغارات الإسرائيلية، وظهور الفشل الذريع للسعودية في حرب اليمن وتحولها عبئاً عسكرياً وسياسياً، وسقوط الرهان على صدقية نجاح صفقة القرن في إيجاد الشريك الفلسطيني، وتبلور إرادة فلسطينية جامعة في رفضها، واتساع حركة المقاومة الفلسطينية الشعبية والعسكرية وفرضها معادلات جديدة، صار على أميركا أن تقرّر البقاء عسكرياً للوقوف وجهاً لوجه امام روسيا وإيران وسورية في حماية مشروع الانفصال الكردي. وهو مشروع يثير أزمة موازية مع تركيا الحليف الأطلسي لواشنطن، وذلك فقط لحماية الرغبة الإسرائيلية بفرض مقايضة الانسحاب الأميركي بالانسحاب الإيراني.

– بعد سنوات الحرب التي قادتها واشنطن على سورية، ترتب على الفشل ظهور تفاوت في مقتضيات الأمن بينها وبين حلفائها، سواء أوروبا التي باتت نظرتها لمفهوم الأمن تبدأ بقضية النازحين وتمر بخطر استهدافها عن قرب من تسلل الجماعات الإرهابية من الشرق الأوسط المشتعل، وتنتهي بالقلق من أي مواجهة مفتوحة مع إيران، سواء بمترتباتها العسكرية إذا حصلت، أو بمخاطرها على سوق الطاقة، ولم تتردد أوروبا بالتحدث علناً عن النظر للسياسات الأميركية كمصدر قلق، سواء بالانسحاب من التفاهم النووي مع إيران أو بطريقة إدارة الملف الفلسطيني، بينما ذهبت تركيا تبحث عن تموضع يعبر عن خصوصيتها، ووجدت في مسار أستانة ضالتها المنشودة، بالتعاون مع روسيا وإيران وما يسميه الأتراك بالخيار الثالث، وربط الدور التركي في سورية بسقف عنوانه مفهوم للأمن القومي يرى العلاقة الكردية الأميركية خطراً أول.

– خسرت واشنطن حليفيها الأوروبي والتركي وبقيت متمسكة بالحليفين السعودي والإسرائيلي، ووجدت أن عليها دفع فواتير باتت مكلفة مع استحقاقات داهمة، أبرزها الأمن الأميركي الذي يبدأ من أفغانستان، حيث التدخل الأميركي لم يكن تكتيكياً كما هو حال البقاء الأميركي في سورية، وحيث شرط التعاون الإيراني مع مقتضيات الأمن الأميركي في أفغانستان بتأمين انسحاب آمن تظلله معادلة سياسية ظهرت في الاجتماع الخماسي الروسي الصيني الباكستاني الإيراني الأفغاني قبل ثلاثة اسابيع، يرتبط عضوياً بالتخلي عن وهم الإصرار على انسحاب إيراني من سورية، فرأينا حزمة قرارات أميركية عنوانها التموضع على خطوط مفهوم جديد للأمن القومي لا يتبع السقوف السعودية والإسرائيلية، ويرى أن أمن «إسرائيل» والسعودية شيء ومفهوم السعودية و»إسرائيل» للأمن شيء آخر، وكانت التسوية اليمنية العلامة البارزة في هذه الحزمة، وما تحمله من تقبل لفكرة تحقيق مكاسب إيرانية في الخليج، وتبعتها خطوة الانسحاب من سورية بصورة موازية ومشابهة، والعنوان هو تسليم الأمن في البر الآسيوي لروسيا بما فيه ضمان أمن «إسرائيل» والسعودية بغير مفهوم «إسرائيل» والسعودية للأمن، وهو ما ستوضحه المراحل اللاحقة، ربما بالاستعداد للانسحاب من العراق، وبعدها إدارة أميركية أشد صعوبة للتفاوض على شروط التسويات ورفع العقوبات، والانتقال للقتال من داخل البنى السياسية والاقتصادية الناشئة عن التسويات.

– هي مرحلة جديدة في تبلور مفاهيم جديدة للأمن، لم يعد فيها الغرب غرباً، ولا الأطلسي أطلسياً، بل محاور منفصلة وفقاً لحسابات المصالح في كليهما، حيث لأوروبا كما لتركيا خصوصيات، وحيث إيران كضرورة أوروبية وتركية تتحول في أفغانستان ضرورة أميركية، رغم التحفظات السعودية والإسرائيلية، ولعله من المهم قراءة كلام الرئيس التركي عن تحويل تحدي العقوبات الأميركية على إيران إلى فرصة للتلاقي بينهما بمفاوضات تراهن تركيا على لعب دور الوسيط فيها..

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ماذا يقول العدوان الإسرائيلي الأخير؟


ديسمبر 27, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– قبل أن تهدأ أصوات الصواريخ، كانت الدوائر الإعلامية العليا في كيان الاحتلال تسرّب رواية موحدة لكل من جيروزاليم بوست والواشنطن بوست ومجلة النيوزويك، مضمونها أن الغارات الإسرائيلية، استهدفت قياديين كباراً من حزب الله تبين لاحقاً أنهم سافروا على متن طائرة إيرانية من مطار دمشق قبل الغارات بدقائق، بينما كانت مصادر عربية تروّج لإشاعة عن اغتيال قائد فيلق القدس الجنرال قاسم سليماني. وبالتوازي كانت رواية أخرى مناقضة تماماً يروّجها آخرون، عنوانها أننا على أبواب حرب تستعدّ لها إسرائيل ربما تكون الغارات أولى طلقاتها، هي ثمرة ما بعد الانسحاب الأميركي من سورية، كأن رواية تريد أن تقول لقيادة المقاومة وسورية لا تغضبوا فالغارات كما وصفها جنرال إسرائيلي لم يكشف اسمه للقناة العبرية الثانية، تقدير خاطئ ، وكما وصفها جنرال آخر خطأ جسيم لأنها قد تجرّنا إلى حرب لا نتحمل تبعاتها . وبالمقابل رواية أخرى تريد أن تقول لجمهور المقاومة وسورية، لا تفرحوا فالانسحاب الأميركي ليس نصراً بل بداية كارثة مقبلة فتهيأوا للأعظم، ومَن يعلم ما تم في الأقنية الدولية الخاصة ليلاً لتفادي اشتعال الجبهات يعرف لمن الكلمة العليا في الحرب.

– في حالة الفراغ الاستراتيجي لدى أميركا و«إسرائيل ، صارت الاستراتيجية مجرد تصنيع مناسبات للحرب النفسية، وصارت الحرب والجيوش وأدواتهما مجرد آلة لصنع الخبر، وليس لتغيير وقائع الميدان. فالحرب النفسية والإعلامية صارت الميدان الوحيد المتاح لمحاولة تغيير قواعد المواجهة بالرهان على تغيير تموضع الناس على جبهات النزال. وهذا هو الحال الأميركي الإسرائيلي، كما وصفناه في قراءة مغزى الإدارة الإعلامية لمعركة الأنفاق التي خاضها نتنياهو بعيداً عن كل شروط الحرب، بمفهومها العسكري، والنتائج الميدانية للغارات واضحة بكونها فشلاً كاملاً، إلا بمقدار توفير منصة للمروّجين لأكذوبة الحرب المقبلة ليطلقوا أكاذيبهم. أما في الميدان فعندما تعترف إسرائيل بأنها استخدمت طائراتها الحديثة الـ إف35 ومعها صواريخها الذكية جي بي 39، وعندما تقول وزارتا الدفاع والخارجية الروسيتان أن الطائرات الإسرائيلية استظلت بطائرات مدنية فوق الأجواء اللبنانية للاحتماء من صواريخ الدفاع الجوي، ورغم كل ذلك تنتهي الغارات بتحقيق نتائج عسكرية صفر، والنتائج الفعلية لا يمكن إخفاؤها، ولا تحتاج لتبرير الغارات عندها لسيل التسريبات عن عملية خاصة جداً، وعن الدعوة لانتظار إعلان لاحق عن معلومات خطيرة جداً.

– إذا كان المراقب مجرداً من أمرين، حال الرعب من كل شيء يخصّ إسرائيل ، وحال الحقد على كل مَن يقاومها، سيسهل عليه أن يقرأ أن أشد العمليات العسكرية الإسرائيلية فضائحية في الفشل هي هذه الغارات، كما التي سبقتها من حدود الجولان المحتل، كما محاولة إثارة الفرصة وتحريك المنصة عبر الحدود مع لبنان للعب السياسة وليس لخوض الحرب. فقد باءت محاولات استكشاف إمكانية الاختراق لمنظومة الدفاع الجوية السورية من زوايا مختلفة عدة بالفشل الذريع، ومن دون النجاح في استكشاف مقدرات الـ«أس 300 ومواقع تربيضها، والتي كانت ستقوم بمهامها لو عجزت المنظومات التي تم استخدامها عن القيام بالمهمة، ولن يكون صعباً على المراقب المتجرّد أن يلاحظ أن إسرائيل في حال ارتباك استراتيجي مريع، وأن الانتخابات المبكرة ليست إلا من ثمارها ولن تحلّ عقدتها، وأن الانسحاب الأميركي ليس خطة حرب مضمرة، وأن النفوس المهزومة لن يشفيها ألف انتصار لتقرأ في كتاب الحرب، وأن كلام مواقع إسرائيلية عن صاروخ أرض أرض سوري سقط قرب حيفا وأدى إلى اندلاع حرائق، وسحب هذا الكلام لاحقاً بقرار من الرقابة العسكرية، يستحق التمعُّن، وأن ما يروج عن غض نظر روسي متفق عليه، كالكلام عن خطورة الإعلان عن إطلاق الرئيس الأميركي ليد الرئيس التركي في سورية، ليست كلها إلا بضاعة كاسدة لا يشتريها ولا يتداولها إلا ضعاف النفوس.

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Israel Strikes Syria. S-300 Is Not Employed

December 26, 2018

Late on December 25, the Israeli Air Force carried out a missile strike on targets in the Damascus International Airport area. According to reports, Israeli F-16I jets launched at least 16 missiles from Lebanese airspace.

The Syrian media stressed that the Air Defense Forces (SADF) had intercepted most of the hostile missiles, but acknowledged that at least 3 Syrian servicemen had been injured in the incident. The SADF also fired several missiles at Israeli jets involved in the strike. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed that they had employed their own air defense systems to protect the jets.

The Syrian side did not use the S-300 air defense system delivered by Russia to repel the airstrike. Syrian personnel have not yet finished the necessary training. According to experts, the Syrian S-300 system will be put on a combat duty in the second half of January or in early February 2019.

The recent Israeli strike came a day after the Russian Defense Ministry announced that 150 servicemen of one of the surface to air-missile regiments of Russia’s Central Military District had returned from Syria.

On December 25, Syrian Army soldiers, backed up by Russian servicemen, entered the village of Arima west of the town of Manbij, a stronghold of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Previously, Arima was controlled by the SDF. However, its current status is unclear. Pro-SDF sources claim that the village will be jointly controlled by the SDF and the Syrian Army. Pro-government sources claim that the village was handed over to the government.

Local sources claim that this move is the first stage of the implementation of a broader agreement, which may son be reached between the Damascus government, Russia and the Kurdish-dominated SDF.

Since the US decision to withdraw its troops from Syria and the resumption of Turkish threats to launch a new military operation against Kurdish armed groups in northern Syria, the SDF has desperately been seeking a new protector from Ankara. The Damascus government and Russia are one of the options considered by the Kurdish leadership. Another option is to hope that the remaining US personnel and French troops will be able to prevent a Turkish offensive along the entire contact line between the SDF and the Turkish military.

Meanwhile, Ankara continued its military build-up in Turkish regions bordering with northern Syria. Recently, a batch of Leopard 2A4 battle tanks  were reportedly sent to the area.

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Israel complains Hezbollah evades airstrikes in Syria by flying Russian flag – report

BEIRUT, LEBANON (4:45 P.M.) – The Israeli defense officials allegedly complained to their Russian counterparts in Moscow this week that Hezbollah was flying the Russian Federation’s flag above their bases in order to evade airstrikes.

According to the Russian-based Kommersant publication, Hezbollah has been flying the Russian flag over their installations in the Homs and Idlib provinces, as well as the Syrian desert.

“Israel complained to Russia that its flags were spotted atop compounds and military convoys belonging to Iran and its allies in Syria,” Ynet News reported, sourcing the Kommersant article.

Ynet News said they reached out to the spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF); however, no response was given.

While these claims may be true, the installations referenced in the Idlib and Hama province have a large Russian military presence.

In particular, the Abu Dhuhour Airport in southeast Idlib is primarily used by the Russian military and Syria’s Tiger Forces.

The Hama Airport and other installations in the province also have a large Russian presence, especially near the Tartous Governorate’s border.

Since the accidental downing of the Russian IL-20 reconnaissance airplane, Israel has refrained from launching any airstrikes deep inside of Syria’s territory.

The reason for Israel’s hesitation has a few theories, which include the delivery of the Russian S-300 to Syria and the strained ties between Tel Aviv and Moscow.

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Ankara stalls the Sochi agreement while Washington builds new military bases in Syria: some thoughts on the recent developments

December 13, 2018

by Aram Mirzaei for The Saker Blog

Three months have passed since the Sochi areement on the so called Idlib demilitarized zone. The terms of the deal were that all jihadist rebels labelled as terrorists by all parties to the deal were to be evacuated out of the area. This responsibility would lie with Turkey due to Ankara’s clout among the jihadists. But so far there are no signs of jihadists leaving. As a matter of fact things are looking very much similar to the so called ceasefires brokered by Washington and Moscow, where jihadists used the ceasefires to rearm and regroup, only to launch new attacks and kill more Syrian soldiers and civilians the very next day. Let’s not also forget last months chemical weapons attack on Aleppo by the jihadist rebels. Ankara has essentially done nothing to prevent these jihadists from conducting daily attacks across the so called demilitarized zone and have on numerous occasions been called out by the Syrian government for their failure to implement the deal.

It could be argued that these ceasefires have always served to benefit at least one side of the warring parties, acting more like pauses for each side to lick their wounds and/or rotate troops. In the past, Washington used them to save their beleaguered jihadist proxies in Aleppo as the Syrian Army and their allies were about to break the deadlock after 4 years of battle.

But Moscow and Damascus have also used these ceasefires to their own advantage. When the Turkish-Iranian-Russian brokered ceasefire of last year was implemented, the Syrian Army were given a golden opportunity to move their troops and focus completely on the Islamic State threat, allowing the Syrian Army to recapture swathes of territory. This latest ceasefire came as a result of Ankara’s urging. The situation before the Sochi agreement was very tense, with the Astana process in danger as Syria and her allies were preparing themselves for a final blow on the last jihadist strongholds in the northern parts of the country, a move that Turkey has vehemently rejected and vowed to stop.

At the same time, Washington and its cohorts were preparing a new false flag chemical attack in Idlib to blame on Syrian government forces, creating another pretext for defending their beloved jihadists. As the situation was getting out of hand quickly, with Ankara even plotting to assist Washington with strikes against Damascus, Moscow saw no choice but to put the planned offensive on hold and enter the Sochi agreement with Ankara.

At that moment, it was the right decision for Moscow to make. Things were getting out of hand and needed to be de-escalated. But the poor way this agreement has been handled by Ankara must have the people over in Moscow thinking what their next move should be. Should they give the green light for a new Syrian Army offensive and risk confronting Turkish forces or has Ankara been bluffing all the way to the negotiations table?

Israel steps out of line

The costly mistake that the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv committed on September 17, when they caused the downing of an Il-20 ELINT reconnaissance plane, killing all 15 Russian servicemen on board, changed the situation on the ground. Thinking that it was business as usual, this act of aggression did not come without consequences for Syria’s enemies as this prompted Moscow to arm Syria with the fearsome S-300 missile system. Since then, Zionist warplanes have not entered Syria to attack Syrian and allied forces despite both Tel Aviv and Washington’s initial dismissal of the S-300 system as a non-threat to their air forces.

This begs the question; if the S-300 is a non-threat to their “superior aircraft”, then why have they been so vocal about their opposition to Moscow supplying the S-300 to Iran and Syria? If this system is so useless as they portray it, what does Washington have to fear? Indeed supplying the S-300 missile system to Syria has to be considered as greatly improving Syria’s ability to defend her airspace more efficiently. Should Israel attack Syria once more, they better be prepared to face a more powerful air defence this time.

With the air threat reduced (and Israeli warplanes in danger), Washington is intensifying its presence on the ground. Recently several US representatives, including Mike Pompeo have made it abundantly clear that Washington will remain in Syria until “Iranian forces have withdrawn”, which essentially means until regime change has been achieved. But getting “Iranian forces” out of Syria might not be Washington’s only headache.

A new front is about to be opened

Meanwhile Ankara is mobilizing its forces for a new operation aimed at the US-backed “Syrian Democratic Forces”. Responding to this escalation, Washington intensifies its presence in the north-eastern parts of Syria too.

If one is to believe the latest reports, Ankara has mobilized 14000 “rebels” for an operation in SDF territory. Defense Department spokesperson Cmdr. Sean Robertson was quick to condemn this move.

“Unilateral military action into northeast Syria by any party, particularly as US personnel may be present or in the vicinity, is of grave concern,” Robertson said on Wednesday when asked about Turkey’s announcement. “We would find any such actions unacceptable… coordination and consultation between the US and Turkey is the only approach to address issues of security concern in this area.”

It remains to be seen what Ankara will make of this US threat and how Washington would respond if Ankara starts the operation. Anarchy still rules large parts of Syria. With no end to the ruthless fighting in sight, what does the year 2019 hold for Syria?

Netanyahu between tunnels and sea gas نتنياهو بين النفق والغاز البحري

Netanyahu between tunnels and sea gas

ديسمبر 12, 2018

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Perhaps, it is surprising that the government of the occupation entity and its prime minister decided to focus on Lebanon which is the most dangerous front, after the developments of the confrontation in Syria and Gaza were not at their favor. Thinking of the war on Gaza was the priority that was declined after last month’s tests and the emergence of the cornet and the heavy and accurate missiles in the possession of the resistance there. And the sporadic escalation through the air raids was the best choice on the Syrian front before the positioning of S-300 missiles network which can lead to uncontrolled confrontations in case the fall of Israeli planes. Furthermore, the emergence of technical integration achieved by the Syrian army regarding the components of its air defense enahnced the ability of deterrence without resorting to reveal the secrets of S-300 and its positions. So does the front of Lebanon become easier for escalation?

While keeping up Netanyahu’s campaign toward the north tunnels the analysts in the occupation entity agreed on four things. First, Netanyahu is at the political and judicial tunnel, and the campaign is just a way to preoccupy the public opinion and media with what is a security danger. Second, Israel is unable to get involved in any war on Lebanon and it tries to avoid any confrontation, otherwise it could have control on the tunnels far from media and got through them to beyond the borders of Lebanon and carried out security actions against Hezbollah or it could blow them up inside the Lebanese and Palestinian territories. Third, the campaign of tunnels is a tactical one to start the negotiation with Lebanon on two practical tunnels namely UNIFEL and the US Embassy and which is under the responsibility of Lebanese parties that are not in conformity with the resistance and some of them feel hostile against Hezbollah, therefore, the Israeli threat can be employed in pressures that if they did not affect Israel directly they can confuse Hezbollah and behold it the responsibility of the threats on Lebanon and that is enough in itself. Fourth and the most important, relies on the certainty of the entity’s leaders that the negotiation which started on the security across borders will pave the way for demarcating the land and sea borders. As much as the occupation can make formal concessions regarding the land borders, it will strive to resolve the sea borders, because it is related to gas issue which the entity’s leaders are doing their best to make progress in its investment and development.

It is not possible to ignore the progress made by the Israelis in the investment of gas, as well as the success of the efforts of the Lebanese internal disruption in finding a temporal difference between Lebanon and Israel that lasts for two years and maybe more in the light of the efforts of disrupting the government, as it is not possible to ignore the Israeli need for stability in the gas issue. According to the international companies which are responsible for the exploration, extraction, and pumping the legal stability has become a condition for the current stages of investment, and for the European investors whom Israel is seeking to attract in a strategic pipeline project that pumps the Israeli gas to Cyprus, Greece, and Italy as a first stage.

It is striking that the Israeli harassment which will change its titles under the ceiling of avoiding escalation is arranged through Gulf coordination that is expressed by the Emirati funding of the study of the gas pipeline to Europe, knowing that the value of the announced funding is 100 million dollars. Lebanon is not far from the Gulf eyes directly or through Lebanese parties.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

نتنياهو بين النفق والغاز البحري

ديسمبر 7, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– لعله من المستغرب أن تقرّر حكومة كيان الاحتلال ورئيسها المأزومان من تطورات المواجهة في غير صالحهما على جبهتي سورية وغزة الاستدارة نحو لبنان، حيث الجبهة التي يجمع قادة الاحتلال ومن بينهم بنيامين نتنياهو على اعتبارها الأخطر، فالتفكير بالحرب مع غزة كان هو الأولوية التي تراجعت بعد اختبارات الشهر الماضي وظهور الكورنيت والصواريخ الثقيلة والدقيقة بحوزة المقاومة هناك، والتصعيد المتقطع عبر الغارات الجوية كان الخيار الأمثل على الجبهة السورية قبل توضيع شبكة صواريخ الـ»أس 300» التي تجعل احتمال الانزلاق نحو مواجهات تخرج عن السيطرة مع خطر سقوط طائرات إسرائيلية، ومع ظهور الدمج التقني الذي حققه الجيش السوري بين مكوّنات دفاعه الجوي بما يحقق قدرة الدرع من دون كشف أسرار الـ»أس 300» ومواقعه، فهل باتت جبهة لبنان أسهل للمناوشة والتصعيد؟

– يجمع المحللون في كيان الاحتلال وهم يواكبون حملة نتنياهو نحو أنفاق الشمال على أربعة أشياء، الأولى أن نتنياهو في النفق السياسي والقضائي والحملة متنفس له لشغل الرأي العام والإعلام بما هو خطر أمني، والثانية أن «إسرائيل» كلها في نفق العجز عن حرب مع جبهة لبنان، وتسعى لتفادي أي مواجهة وإلا لكانت ومن دون إعلام وإعلان وضعت أيديها على الأنفاق وتوغّلت عبرها إلى ما وراء حدود لبنان ونفّذت عبرها أعمالاً أمنية ضد حزب الله، أو قامت بنسفها داخل الجغرافيتين اللبنانية والفلسطينية، والثالثة أن حملة الأنفاق تكتيكية لإعادة تحريك التفاوض الذي يملك مع لبنان قناتين عمليتين هما اليونيفيل والسفارة الأميركية، والذي تتولّاه لبنانية جهات لا تتطابق مع المقاومة في نظرتها وبعضها يشارك في العداء لحزب الله ما يجعله يتلقف التهديد الإسرائيلي لتوظيفه في ضغوط لو لم تكن متصلة مباشرة بما يزعج «إسرائيل»، لكنه سيستعمله فيما يسهم بإرباك حزب الله وتحميله مسؤولية المخاطر على لبنان. وهذا كاف بذاته. أما الرابعة وهي الأهم، فتستند إلى يقين قادة الكيان بأن التفاوض الذي يبدأ حول الأمن عبر الحدود سينفتح على قضايا ترسيم الحدود البرية والبحرية، وبقدر ما يمكن للاحتلال أن يقدّم بعض التنازلات الشكلية التي تطال الجدار في الحدود البرية، فهو سيجهد لحسم الحدود البحرية لاتصالها بملف الغاز الذي تضع قيادة الكيان ثقلها للسير بخطط الاستثمار والتطوير في مجالاته ومفرداته كافة.

– لا يمكن تجاهل المدى الذي قطعه الإسرائيليون في استثمار الغاز، ونجاح مساعي التعطيل الداخلي اللبناني بإيجاد فارق زمني بين لبنان و»إسرائيل» يمتدّ لسنتين، وهو مرشح للزيادة في ضوء مساعي تعطيل الحكومة، كما لا يمكن تجاهل الحاجة الإسرائيلية للاستقرار في ملف الغاز، خصوصاً أن الإسراع في الاستقرار القانوني صار شرطاً للمراحل الراهنة من الاستثمار بالنسبة للشركات العالمية التي تتولى التنقيب والاستخراج والضخ، وكذلك بالنسبة للمستثمرين الأوروبيين الذين تسعى «إسرائيل» لاجتذاب مشاركتهم في مشروع أنبوب استراتيجي يضخ الغاز الإسرائيلي إلى قبرص فاليونان وصولاً إلى إيطاليا كمرحلة أولى.

– اللافت أن التحرش الإسرائيلي المرشح لتغير عناوينه تحت سقف تفادي التصعيد، يتم ضمن سياق منسق خليجياً عبر عنه التمويل الإماراتي للدراسة الخاصة بأنبوب الغاز إلى أوروبا، وقد بلغت قيمة التمويل المعلنة مئة مليون دولار، ولبنان الداخل ليس بعيداً عن الأيدي والعيون الخليجية، مباشرة أو عبر امتدادات لبنانية

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Effective Deterrence? israeli (apartheid state) Jets Give Syrian Targets a Wide Berth Following S-300 Delivery

Effective Deterrence? Israeli Jets Give Syrian Targets a Wide Berth Following S-300 Delivery

With Russia having completed the delivery of S-300PMU-2 surface to air missile batteries to Syria’s air defence forces, in response to an Israeli strike on the Arab country which led to the deaths of over a dozen Russian servicemen, the new weapons system has reportedly served its purpose as a highly effective deterrent against potential attacks. Ksenia Svetlova, a member of the Israeli Knesset’s (parliament) defense committee has confirmed that fighters from the Israeli Air Force have not entered Syria’s airspace since the delivery of the S-300. The official stated: “There hasn’t been a single mission since Syria received S-300s. The S-300 has changed the balance of power in the region.” While a number of Middle Eastern media outlets have reported in the past that Syria’s new weapons system had effectively deterred Israeli strikes ever since, the statement from the Israeli official verifies the S-300’s effectiveness, at least so far, as a means of halting hostile incursions into the country’s airspace.

Speaking regarding the actions of the Israeli Air Force, Svetlova elaborated that fighters had not violated Syrian airspace from either the Golan Heights or Lebanon – with the latter’s airspace often used to launch attacks on Syrian territory. Fighters had, however, continued to fly close to the border. An anonymous Israeli official’s claim, reported by British outlet Reuters, that Tel Aviv had carried out further attacks after the downing of the Russian Il-20 warplane on September 17, were also denied. With Israel relying overwhelmingly on fourth generation fighter airframes, namely the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon which date back to 1976 and 1978 respectively, the S-300PMU-2, while far from the most capable variant of the system, represents a serious threat to their combat jets. Alongside the missile system’s advanced capabilities, Israel is also unable for political reasons to retaliate against or attempt to neutralise the missile platform to facilitate greater ease of access to Syria airspace – as its fighters enjoyed before the S-300’s deployment. This is due to the risk that an Israeli strike could lead to the deaths of Russian servicemen operating the platform, who will remain until Syrian personnel are adequately trained to use the S-300 themselves – and which point prospects for an attack will become more feasible.

The S-300PMU-2 is capable of engaging targets at ranges of up to 250km, though some sources put this figure at 300km, can deploy over half a dozen types of specialised munitions depending on the nature and location of the target. The missile system comes with state of the art electronic warfare countermeasures, which may make its attacks a challenge to evade even for Israel fighters’ state of the art domestically developed electronic warfare suites. The weapons system’s powerful sensors, its missiles’ high engagement speeds and the ability to rapidly redeploy to respond to emerging threats, make it a challenge for the Israeli Air Force far exceeding the threat posed by previous air defence platforms deployed by Syria. The Israeli Air Force has as a result sought to gain experience operating against the S-300PMU-2 in exercises with older variants of the missile system operated by Greece, and more recently against the very same variant used by Ukraine’s own air defence forces. The S-300PMU-2 is also currently deployed by the Iranian military, with the more advanced S-300VM deployed by Israel’s other neighbour Egypt. Russia has deployed the far more sophisticated S-300V4 and S-400 to Syria, but will only make use of these if its assets in the country are directly threatened – a mistake Israel is unlikely to make.

«إسرائيل» تصعّد حربها الناعمة هل هي مؤشر لتهدئة ام لانفجار؟


نوفمبر 5, 2018

د. عصام نعمان

الصراعات على أشدّها في دول غرب آسيا، من الشواطئ الشرقية للبحر المتوسط الى الشواطئ الجنوبية لبحر قزوين. احتدامُ الصراعات يجد ترجمته في الحرب الناعمة التي تلف دول الاقليم بدرجات متفاوتة من الحدّة. فهل تصعيدها وسيلة ضغط لتوليد حاجة الى التفاوض؟ أم هي مؤشر لإنفجار ينذر بسخونة غير مسبوقة؟

ثمة صراع بين تركيا وسورية في إدلب غرباً وفي الحسكة شرقاً، أمام عيون مترقّبة ومتربّصة لأميركا وروسيا، لكسب ولاء كرد سوريين تتوزّع سياسات وممارسات قياداتهم بين انحياز بعضها الى تركيا وتحالف بعضها الآخر مع أميركا وارتباط غالبية الناس بأرضهم، وبالتالي بموطنهم ودولتهم سورية.

ثمة صراع بين أميركا ومن ورائها «إسرائيل» وإيران، أمام عيون مترقبة في عالم العرب كما في روسيا ودول أوروبا وآسيا، لتأمين مصالح شتى الدول والشعوب المتضرّرة من الحرب التجارية التي تشنّها أميركا ضدّ الجميع والعقوبات التي تخصّ بها إيران أكثر من غيرها.

ثمة صراع على الحقوق والمصالح والمصائر بين «إسرائيل» ومن ورائها أميركا وسورية وقوى المقاومة اللبنانية والفلسطينية التي تدعمها إيران علناً وروسيا ضمناً أمام عيون مترقبة في العالم أجمع.

كلٌ من هذه الصراعات مرشح لمزيد من التصعيد الهادف الى تحقيق تهدئة وبالتالي تسوية سياسية أو إلى إنفجار، وبالتالي إلى انحدار من حال حربٍ ناعمة محتدمة إلى أخرى ساخنة محتملة.

أشدُّ الحروب الناعمة احتداماً وخطورة تلك التي تشنّها «إسرائيل» على الأمة عموماً، وخصوصاً على سورية وإيران وعلى قوى المقاومة العربية التي تجد نفسها في خندق واحد معهما. هذه الحرب جرى تصعيدها بإعتداء «إسرائيل» على سورية وتسبّبها بإسقاط طائرة استطلاع روسية منتصفَ شهر ايلول/ سبتمبر الماضي الأمر الذي أدّى الى قيام روسيا بترفيع قدرات الجيش السوري بتزويده منظومة دفاعٍ جوي من طراز S-300.

إذ حدّت المنظومة الدفاعية المتطورّة وآليات التحرّي والإستطلاع والتصويب الملحقة بها من هامش المناورة أمام سلاح الجو الإسرائيلي، واقترن ذلك بموقف سياسي أشدّ تصلباً، فقد اندلعت في الكيان الصهيوني مناقشة مستفيضة حول ما يمكن او يقتضي عمله لإستعادة فعالية الردع الإسرائيلي.

لعلّ أبلـغ تعبيرٍ عن المناقشة الجدّية الدائرة تجلّى في مقالتين: الاولى لـِ ايال زيسر، نائب رئيس جامعة تل ابيب، في «يسرائيل هيوم» 2018/10/28 والثانية لـِ اوفيك ريمر، الباحث في معهد دراسات الأمن القومي، «مباط عال» 2018/10/23 .

يرى زيسر، خلافاً لإدعاءات الناطقين العسكريين، ان لا عمليات لسلاح الجو الإسرائيلي في السماء السورية بعد قيام الروس بتزويد الجيش السوري منظومة S-300، وانّ روسيا لا تعتبر إيران تهديداً وانّ وجودها في سورية لا يشكّل مشكلة لها، وانّ إيران ما زالت تالياً موجودة في سورية وتتجذّر. لمواجهة هذا الواقع يدعو زيسر «إسرائيل» إلى «أن تفكر من جديد في تغيير التوجّه بالعودة الى سياسات الماضي … وأساسُها تدفيع ثمن باهظ ليس فقط للضيف إيران بل ايضاً للمضيف، أيّ بشار الأسد».

ريمر يرى أنّ حزب الله أفلح في ترسيخ معادلة ردعٍ في مواجهة «إسرائيل» بعدما نجح، باعتراف رئيس الإستخبارات العسكرية، بإقامة مشروع إنتاج صواريخ في لبنان وتحويلها الى نماذج أكثر دقة في التصويب، وبالتالي اكثر فعالية. وإذ يؤكد ريمر أنّ أسلوب الردّ الإسرائيلي في هذه المرحلة لم يؤدّ الى حمل المجتمع الدولي ولا إيران ولا لبنان على وقف مشروع حزب الله لإنتاج الصواريخ الدقيقة، فإنّ «إسرائيل» «ستضطر الى المجازفة من أجل خلق تهديد موثوق به والتلميح الى تصميمها على إزالة الخطر الاستراتيجي من خلال توجيه إنذارات تتضمّن تهديداً واضحاً بالقيام بعملية عسكرية في لبنان، أو بضربة وقائية ضدّ مواقع الإنتاج المعروفة في أراضيه مع ما يعنيه ذلك من مخاطر تصعيد يؤدّي الى مواجهة عسكرية واسعة».

زيسر وريمر يلتقيان، إذاً، على ضرورة قيام «إسرائيل» بتدفيع عدوّها، حزب الله، كما «المضيفَيْن»، لبنان وسورية، ثمناً باهظاً لإستضافته. فهل حكومة نتنياهو ورئيس أركان جيشها الجديد الجنرال افيف كوخافي في وارد اعتماد هذه «النصيحة» الخطيرة؟

ظاهر الحال يشير الى العكس. فنتنياهو ما زال حريصاً ومنشغلاً بالحصول على موعد للإجتماع ببوتين رغم تهرّب الرئيس الروسي منه بشكلٍ ملحوظ. غير انّ عدم اللقاء مع بوتين لا يمنع رئيس الحكومة الإسرائيلية من العمل والمناورة في مجالات أخرى. فقد أفاد تقرير تلفزيوني بثته قناة «حاداشوت» الاسرائيلية انّ الشبكات السيبرانية الإستراتيجية الإيرانية تعرّضت قبل أيام لهجوم بعد ساعات من كشف الدولة العبرية إشراكها الدانمارك في معلومات عن «مؤامرة» إيرانية للقضاء على معارضين إيرانيين على الأراضي الدانماركية ما أدّى الى قيام كوبنهاغن باستدعاء سفيرها في طهران.

التقرير التلفزيوني الإسرائيلي تساءل أيضاً: «هل تذكرون فيروس «سنكسنت» الذي اخترق حواسيب الكومبيوتر القطاع النووي الإيراني؟» وكان الجنرال سردار غلام زاده جلالي، رئيس وكالة الدفاع المدني في إيران، صرّح بأنّ بلاده عطّلت نسخة جديدة من «سنكسنت». وقبل ذلك، أقرّ الجنرال جلالي بأن هاتف الرئيس حسن روحاني تعرّض للتنصت وانه جرى تزويده هاتفاً لا يمكن التنصت عليه.

ترى، هل استجابت القيادة السياسية والعسكرية الإسرائيلية لدعوة زيسر وريمر الى شنّ ضربة وقائية ضدّ أعداء «إسرائيل»؟ ام هل تراها قامت بتصعيد حربها الناعمة المحسوبة على نحوٍ قابلٍ للتحويل إلى تهدئة أو إلى انفجار؟

ربما، لكن من الواضح انّ الضربة السيبرانية الاسرائيلية جاءت محدودة الفعالية بدليل انّ إيران واجهتها دونما أضرار تذكر، وإلاّ لكانت تل أبيب تغنّت بها بضجيجٍ وصخب…

وزير سابق

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نوفمبر 3, 2018

ناصر قنديل

– كما ظنّ وروّج الكثيرون لمقولة إن روسيا لا تتخلى عن «إسرائيل»، في ذروة الكلام الروسي عن نشر صواريخ الأس 300 في سورية وتسليمها للجيش العربي السوري، معتقدين أنهم أساتذة يعلمون ما لا يعلمه سواهم، يروّجون لنظرية أن واشنطن لن تتخلّى عن سعودية إبن سلمان، وأن طلب «إسرائيل» بهذا الخصوص في واشنطن لا يُردّ، وهم يظنون أنهم أيضاً اساتذة يعلمون ما لا يعلم سواهم. وكما سقطت نظريتهم السطحية في فهم الموازين الاستراتيجية التي تحكم الدول التي تديرها عقول المؤسسات وحسابات المصالح في الحالة الروسية، ستسقط مزاعم ما يدعونه من عمق الفهم والتحليل وتظهر الحقائق الجديدة التي ترسم الحسابات والمصالح الأميركية.

– يبدو أن رئيس حكومة الاحتلال بنيامين نتنياهو أكثر مَن يستشعر خطورة الوضع، ويدرك وقوفه على ضفة الخسارة التي يقف عليها إبن سلمان بأن واشنطن دخلت مرحلة إعادة رسم الخرائط، وأن مكانة الحلفاء يُعاد تحديدها، وأن خطة صفقة القرن التي سقطت بصمود الشعب الفلسطيني ورفضه السماح لأي من قادته بالجلوس في مقاعد البازار المفتوح على مستقبل القدس، ستأخذ معها الوكيل الذي وقف وراء التورط الأميركي في الانسحاب من التفاهم النووي مع إيران وفي الخروج الأميركي من قيادة التفاوض حول القضية الفلسطينية وفق حل الدولتين، ولو كان تفاوضاً للتفاوض يستمر عقوداً بلا نتائج، فوجدت واشنطن نفسها بين خياري قبول الخسارة ودخول المعارك الفاشلة مع روسيا وإيران، أو دخول حرب كبرى لا قدرة لها على تحمّل تبعاتها، ولا مصلحة لها بفتح ملفاتها، وإلا فعليها أن تفعل ما تفعله الآن، وهو إعادة ترتيب خريطة الحلفاء ومن خلالهم خريطة المنطقة، وعلى أحد هؤلاء على الأقل أن يدفع فاتورة الأثمان التي تترتب على إقفال ملفات الحروب التي انتهت بهزائم، من اليمن إلى سورية وأوكرانيا وغيرها من إنصاف حروب في العراق ولبنان، وخصوصاً المواجهة مع إيران، وهي عشية جولة جديدة انتهت قبل أن تبدأ مع إعلان أميركي بإعفاء نصف زبائن النفط الإيراني من العقوبات.

– يتدخّل نتنياهو علناً ويسانده وزير خارجية البحرين، في إطلاق الدعوة لعدم سلخ الجلد السعودي كما تمّ سلخ جلد وجه جمال الخاشقجي، وهما ومَن معهما يدركون أن قضية جمال الخاشقجي ليست إلا الذريعة والعنوان، لكن كل شركاء الحقبة السعودية يتحسّسون رقابهم كي لا ينالهم بعضٌ من الفاتورة السعودية، وهم يعرفون أن وقف حرب اليمن بقرار أميركي ليس عقاباً للسعودية على قضية الخاشقجي، بل تموضع جديد عنوانه الاعتراف بالفشل في إقامة تحالف إقليمي وزان بوجه إيران في المنطقة، ركيزته صفقة القرن المقبورة، كما يعرفون أن صراخهم تحت عنوان طلب الرحمة بالسعودية، بعنوان أن الحفاظ على استقرارها وعبرها على استقرار المنطقة، دعوة لعدم رسم خرائط جديدة باشرت واشنطن بفتح ملفاتها، وخشية من أن ينالهم من شظايا التغيير في وضع السعودية فقدان الكثير من أوراق القوة، فيصير الصراخ تحت عنوان التضامن مع السعودية وطلب عدم تدفيعها ما لا تتحمّل دفعه، طلباً لتحييدهم عن الثمن الناجم عن الوضع الجديد للسعودية، وهو أمر يصعب التحكم به بالتأكيد.

– بين المتحدّثين من حلفاء السعودية وحده كلام نتنياهو له قيمة في واشنطن، أما الخليجيون المتحدثون من جماعة الفلك السعودي فيعرفون أن ساعتهم آتية، خصوصاً في البحرين واليمن والإمارات، ولو بنسب مختلفة. وأن قطر وعمان والكويت سينالون بعضاً من أثمان وعائدات التغيير، ونتنياهو يدرك خطورة اللحظة بعد سقوط مشروع صفقة القرن لجهة ما رآه من تأقلم أميركي مع الموقف الروسي الرادع لـ»إسرائيل» في سورية، كما يدرك أن التراجع الأميركي خطوة إلى الوراء عن صفقة القرن سيعني نيل «إسرائيل» جوائز ترضية بالتطبيع الذي يعنيها كثيراً، لكنه لا يجلب لها أمنها المفقود، لذلك يدخل على الخط الساخن مع واشنطن لمحاولة تعديل الخريطة بضمان بقاء المشروع على قيد الحياة ومنحه بعض الأوكسجين إن أمكن، بتسويات موضعية منفصلة لكل من الملفات، لكن يبدو أن ما كُتب قد كُتب، وقمة باريس بين الرئيسين الأميركي والروسي تفتتح مسار قمم تليها في واشنطن وموسكو، حيث سترسم الخرائط والمشاريع وتصنع التسويات، وتحدّد الأثمان والفواتير، ولو كان الدفع بشيكات مؤجلة منعاً للانهيارات التي تخرج عن السيطرة.

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نهايتها في أقرب الآجال «إسرائيل تلفظ أنفاسها الأخيرة

نوفمبر 1, 2018

محمد صادق الحسيني

كتب الصحافي الإسرائيلي جدعون ليفي قبل ما يقرب من العام مقالاً في صحيفة هآرتس الإسرائيلية، بدأه بالقول:

«إن طينة الفلسطينيين تختلف عن طينة بني البشر، فهم يخرجون لنا من تحت الأرض ومن تحت الرماد».

واختتمه بالقول:

«إن المرض السرطاني، الذي تعاني منه إسرائيل، قد بلغ مراحله النهائية، ولا سبيل لعلاجه لا بالأسوار ولا بالقبب الحديدية ولا حتى بالقنابل النووية….».

في هذه الأثناء تداولت وسائل الإعلام الإسرائيلية، ومن بينها صحيفة معاريف، خبراً نسبته الى مسؤول سياسي إسرائيلي رفض الإفصاح عن اسمه، يقول فيه إن سلاح الجو الإسرائيلي قد نفّذ غارة جوية ضد شحنة صواريخ إيرانية، عالية الدقة، مرسلة الى حزب الله اللبناني، بعد إسقاط طائرة اليوشن 20 العسكرية الروسية في أجواء اللاذقية السورية منتصف شهر أيلول الماضي.

طبعاً بإمكانكم، أيها المسؤولون الإسرائيليون المجهولو الهوية أن تكذبوا وتضللوا كيانكم. لكنّ أكاذيبكم هذه مكشوفة وسخيفة وواضحة الأهداف عندما يقرأها المواطن العربي الذي يتابع هذيانكم.

وذلك للأسباب التالية:

أولاً: إن هذا الخبر كذب معزّز ولَم بحصل على الإطلاق، وأن الهدف من وراء نشره لا يعدو كونه محاولة بائسة، من مكتب نتن ياهو ووزير حربه، لتبرير عجزهم عن مواجهة الصواريخ الفلسطينية المنطلقة من غزة، وذلك بحجة أن الجيش الإسرائيلي منشغل في وضع الجبهة الشمالية.

ثانياً: إن هذا يتنافى مع معطيات الميدان التي تؤكد عدم قدرة سلاح الجو الإسرائيلي حتى على الاقتراب من الأجواء السورية ناهيك عن دخولها وتنفيذ غارات داخل سورية وذلك نتيجة تفعيل وسائل دفاع جوي وحرب إلكترونية سورية، منذ إسقاط الطائرة الروسية، وربط شبكات الدفاع الجوي السورية مع تلك الروسية، سواء في قاعدة حميميم أو في قيادة الدفاع الجوي الروسي في موسكو.

ثالثاً: إن هذه الأخبار التي يتم نشرها، تحاول تهدئة روع الإسرائيليين، من خلال إقناعهم بأن الجيش الإسرائيلي قادر على منع حصول حزب الله على أسلحة إضافية شديدة الدقة. أي نشر الأوهام الواهية، التي تعبر عن عجزكم في فهم حقيقة أنه لم يعد هناك شيء اسمه سلاح حزب الله وسلاح الجيش السوري وسلاح المقاومة السورية إلى جانب السلاح العراقي والإيراني.

عليكم أن تفهموا أن هناك جبهة واحدة، في مواجهتكم، تمتد من غزة عبر جنوب لبنان مروراً بالجولان السوري وصولاً الى كل العراق واليمن وإيران، وأن هناك غرفة عمليات مشركة واحده تدير قوات حلف المقاومة على امتداد مسرح العمليات هذا. وبالتالي فإن هناك سلاحاً واحداً موحداً تحت تصرّف هذه القوات، التي من بينها قوات حزب الله.

مما يعني أن كل السلاح الموجود في مخازن الجيش الإيراني والعراقي والسوري هو سلاح تحت تصرف قوات حركات المقاومة العربية المنتشرة على جميع الجبهات المشار إليها أعلاه.

كفوا عن الكذب والتضليل الذي لن يفيدكم في شيء. اللهم إلا أن كذبكم هذا على أنفسكم سيزيد من هول صدمتكم عندما « تقع الفأس في الرأس» كما يقول المثل. أي عندما يحين وقت البدء بتنفيذ المرحلة الأخيرة من هجوم قوات حلف المقاومة والذي سيكون هدفه النهائي هو تحرير القدس وكل فلسطين.

لن تفيدكم حقن التخدير هذه، التي تحاولون تخدير جمهوركم بها، من خلال التركيز على سلاح الجو الإسرائيلي وقدراته «وتفوقه»…!

لم يعد لديكم قدرات جوية تخيف أحداً، على الرغم من استمرار عدوانيتكم وتعطشكم للدماء ورغبتكم في القتل. فخبراء شركة بوينغ الأميركية الذين تفاوضهم وزارة حربكم لشراء طائرات أف 35 من نوع ب التي تقلع عمودياً وتهبط عمودياً لهم رأي آخر في سلاح الجو الإسرائيلي وقدراته التي ستذروها الرياح في أي حرب مقبلة، فاذهبوا واسمعوا منهم تقييمهم الفني الهندسي الحقيقي. فلعل عقلكم المحدود يستوعب الكارثة التي تنتظركم عما قريب حيث لن تنفعكم وقتها لا عنترياتكم ولا عنصريتكم ولا إجرامكم ولا أعراب الخليج الذين تعتقدون أنهم سيشكلون عمقاً استراتيجياً لكم.

الحرب تبدأ في فلسطين والسلم ينشأ في فلسطين…

أما سلاطين الخليج فلا شك في أنهم مثلكم راحلون وبائدون…!

ولمن لم يعتبر بعد نذكره ما كتبه الصحافي والمحلل الإسرائيلي آري شافيط، يوم نشر مقالاً في صحيفة هآرتس الإسرائيلية، في آب من العام 2017، تحت عنوان:

«إسرائيل تلفظ أنفاسها الأخيرة»

المقال الذي لا زال يقضّ مضاجع نتن ياهو ورهطه من الوزراء رغم زيارتهم الاستعراضية لسلطنة عمان، حيث كتب شافيط:

«انتهى الأمر، يجب توديع الأصدقاء والانتقال الى سان فرانسيسكو أو برلين. ومن هناك يجب النظر بهدوء ومشاهدة دولة إسرائيل وهي تلفظ أنفاسها الأخيرة». مستطرداً: «أن الإسرائيليين منذ أن جاءوا الى فلسطين يدركون أنهم حصيلة كذبة اخترعتها الحركة الصهيونية… ومن خلال استغلال المحرقة وتضخيمها استطاعت الحركة الصهيونية أن تقنع العالم بأن فلسطين هي أرض الميعاد… وهكذا تحوّل الذئب حملاً يرضع من دافعي الضرائب الأميركيين والأوروبيين حتى بات وحشاً نووياً»…!

إنه الزوال يا «إسرائيل « في أقرب الآجال..!

وتلك الأيام نداولها بين الناس.

بعدنا طيّبين، قولوا الله.

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October 30, 2018: MSM Reports About Mysterious Israeli Airstrikes Go Wild

South Front

October 30, 2018

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have continued attacks on targets in Syria even after the downing of the Russian Il-20 military plane on September 17, Reuters reported on October 29 citing “a senior Israeli official”.

“The IDF have attacked in Syria, including after the downing of the Russian plane. Military coordination with the Russians continues as before,” Reuters quoted “the senior official, who could not be named” as saying. No further details were provided.

This report gained wide attention in mainstream media outlets, including Israeli ones, which even developed the story further. According to Israeli media, IDF warplanes carried out a strike on an Iranian weapons shipment to Hezbollah after the S-300 air defense system delivery to the Syrian military, which took place on October 1. Israeli sources went even further claiming that there were multiple airstrikes, which were mysteriously ignored not only by the IDF official media wing, but also by Israeli and Syrian media outlets and activists.

While these reports seem fascinating for supporters of Israeli actions in Syria, the problem is that no evidence exists to confirm such claims. Syrian military and local sources describe the Israeli claims as an example of fake news designed to save the face of the IDF.

It is interesting to note that the comment of the “anonymous source” to Reuters came less than an hour after the Russian news agency Sputnik had released a short interview with former Israeli deputy chief of staff and ex-head of the National Security Council Gen. Uzi Dayan. The general said that the Israeli Air Force would feel no difference even if Syria employs Russia-supplied S-300 systems and claimed Israeli warplanes would eliminate the air-defense systems stating “these weapons do not have any immunity”. This is another sign of the pre-planned PR trick.

It’s clear that the Israeli military is not going to cease its strikes on targets in the war-torn country and is likely fiercely preparing to continue them despite the S-300 delivery to the Syrian Air Defense Forces. However, pro-Israeli media as well as Israeli political and military officials probably consider every delay of such actions a major media and diplomatic setback revealing the decrease of Israeli influence on the conflict.

Russian deputy envoy to the UN Vladimir Safronkov stated during a meeting of the UN Security Council on October 29 that the White Helmets and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra) are still capable of carrying out provocations involving chemical weapons in the Idlib de-escalation zone. He recalled “suspicious” movements of chemical weapons across the area and stated that Idlib de-escalation agreements have always been a temporary measure and nobody has dropped the goal of eliminating terrorists from this part of Syria. So, if provocations continue, Russia is ready to assist the Syrian military in eliminating the terrorist threat.

In the Euphrates Valley, clashes between ISIS and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have continued with reports that some ISIS units have even reached the area near the Iraqi border. In response, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) announced that they are mobilizing their fighters in order to prevent a possible ISIS advance into Iraqi territory.


South Front


S-300 air defense systems suppiled by Russia to the Syrian Armed Forces is not a real threat for the Israeli Air Force. The Israeli military and political leadership is not concerned. So, they have been repeating this since the end of September. On Ocotber 29, the Russian state-run news agency Sputnik released The Sputnik article is below (source):

IDF General Claims Israeli Air Force Will Feel No Difference If Syria Uses S-300

Illustrative image: Valeriy Melnikov / Sputnik

Israeli forces have no plans to target Russian-made S-300 air defense systems in Syria if the Syrian army uses them in a way that poses no threat to Israel, former Israeli deputy chief of staff and ex-head of the National Security Council Gen. Uzi Dayan told Sputnik in an interview.

“I hope very much that Syria will not misuse these missiles [S-300], because if Syria tries to intercept Israeli aircraft or fighter [jets], we will have to respond. It has already happened and it is not going to be different even if S-300 are involved. We are not going to initiate any attacks on these weapons but at the same time, these weapons do not have any immunity. We hope very much that the coordination between Israel and Russia will continue… We hope that Syrians will not make silly mistakes like it was done with the Ilyushin affair,” Dayan said.

He considers Russia’s decision to deliver S-300 systems to Syria after the incident with the Il-20 to have been inappropriate.

On October 2, Moscow completed its deliveries of S-300 systems to Damascus in a bid to increase the safety of the Russian troops deployed in the Middle Eastern country. The air defense upgrade was announced after a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 military plane was downed on September 17 by a missile launched by a Syrian S-200 air defense system targeting Israeli F-16 jets that were carrying out airstrikes in Latakia. The Russian Defense Ministry has blamed the crash on the Israeli Air Force, claiming that the Israeli jets used the Russian aircraft as a shield against Syrian air defense systems.

The Il-20 crash claimed the lives of 15 Russian troops. Israel has refuted the accusations and insisted that Moscow was warned about the air operation in a timely manner.

Israel-Iran Armed Confrontation

Speaking about the possibility of a military confrontation with Iran, Uzi Dayan told Sputnik that Israel would consider deterring Tehran only as a last option.

“If Iran continues to build an outpost in Syria, Israel will not be able to accept it. I do not think it will lead to a bigger clash… If Iran continues to try to achieve a nuclear capability, we think that Iran should be stopped. It is better to do it with sanctions, diplomatic efforts… boycotting the oil of Iran… We should continue to put pressure on Iran… Can Israel stop Iran? The answer is ‘Yes’ but we want to use it [military means] only as the last choice… Iran can be deterred but you do not deter a country like Iran with an ’empty gun,’” Dayan said.

According to Dayan, Israel does not support the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), because the agreement only “freezes the situation” and “does not take Iran backward” from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Dayan also called Trump’s policy on Iran “right.”

Trump’s Withdrawal From Iran Nuclear Deal

The remark referred to Washington’s decision, announced in May, to withdraw from the JCPOA, which stipulated the gradual lifting of sanctions on Iran in exchange for Tehran maintaining the peaceful nature of its nuclear program. Commenting on the decision, US President Donald Trump stated that he expected to negotiate a better and fairer deal with Iran.After withdrawing from the JCPOA, Washington has started to reimpose its sanctions against Iran. The first round of the US restrictions came into force in August, while the next package, set to target Iran’s oil sector, among others, is scheduled for November 5. More sanctions are expected to follow.
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South Front

A US Poseidon-8 reconnaissance plane operated 13 unmanned aerial vehicles that attacked Russia’s Hmeymim airbase in Syria on January 6, Russian Deputy Defense Minister Colonel General Alexander Fomin said at a plenary session of the Beijing Xiangshan Forum on security on October 25.

“Thirteen UAVs moved according to common combat battle deployment, operated by a single crew. During all this time the American Poseidon-8 reconnaissance plane patrolled the Mediterranean Sea area for eight hours,” Colonel General Alexander stated adding that when the UAVs faced Russian “electronic warfare screen, they moved away to some distance, received the corresponding orders and began to be operated out of space and receiving help in finding the so-called holes through which they started penetrating.”

Despite this, seven UAVs were downed, and control over six drones was gained through electronic warfare systems.

Colonel General Fomin also emphasized that it’s needed “to put an end to the provision of money, weapons, equipment and various substances to terrorists, including chemical ingredients used during the so-called chemical attacks that are later blamed on the Syrian government.” He noted that most of these tools and means were produced in foreign countries, particularly NATO member states.

Meanwhile, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman vowed that Israel “will not accept any restrictions” on Israeli freedom of operation in Syria. Liberman commented on the recent reports by Israeli media that Russia wants to reshape the format of the Moscow-Tel-Aviv contacts and demands Israel to provide earlier warning of strikes.

After the incident with the Russian IL-20 military plane in Syria, Moscow already noted that Israel ignores the existing hot-line agreement and provides a false and untimely info on its actions in the war-torn country. The Russian Defense Ministry openly pointed out that the IL-20 plane was downed by Syrian air defense fire because of “hostile actions” of Israel. In response, Russia supplied S-300 systems to the Syrian military.

This week Israel’s ImageSat International has released a group of satellite images alleging that the deployment site of the Syrian S-300 system is located near the village of Masyaf in the province of Hama.

The situation remains tense in the Idlib demilitarization zone where militant groups continue shelling targets in the government–held area. The situation is especially complicated in the countryside of Aleppo where the Syrian Army is even forced to carry out active retaliatory strikes.

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