There have been a series of Israeli aerial attacks in Syria recently, all supposedly aimed at the movement of strategic arms (such as missiles and chemical weapons) into Lebanon for the use of the Shia terrorist group Hizbullah. Last week, during one such attack near the city of Palmyra, Syrian anti-aircraft missiles were fired at the IAF fighters. But, one of them was intercepted by a David’s arrow anti-missile missile, which was a serious loss for the Syrians and showed the Israeli ability to overcome the Russian air defence system installed in Syria. Subsequently Israeli Defense Minister Lieberman warned that if such counter-attacks continue, Israel is in a position to destroy the Russian air defence system in Syria.
The Israeli attack was also close to a Russian base and resulted in the Israeli Ambassador to Russia being called into the Russian Foreign Ministry for a chat. Since PM Netanyahu visited Russia a few weeks ago, he must have told Pres. Putin that the IAF will continue to strike in Syria, but only to prevent the movement of such arms to Hizbullah and not in any way against the Russia forces there. Why this attack was so close to a Russian base can only be guessed at, but it may be that Hizbullah deliberately puts its arms convoys near the Russian bases in order to deter Israeli strikes. Nevertheless, the IAF strikes are so accurate that there is little chance of a spillover. Perhaps the Israeli Ambassador warned the Russian Foreign Minister that they should ensure that Hizbollah doesn’t come close to their bases.
Last night there was another IAF strike deep in Syria. White visiting China, PM Netanyahu emphasized that such strikes will continue when Israel has intelligence of Hizbullah arms convoys. Note that these convoys usually originate in Iran and Israel has been active in ensuring that the Iranians themselves do not establish a military presence on the Golan heights in Syria. Apparently this was also a message to Pres. Putin, that Israel will not allow this to happen, and it is likely that Putin doesn’t want this either, since although Iran is his ally in Syria supporting Pres. Assad, in other respects Iran is not his natural ally.