Will Russia tolerate Israeli actions in Syria? (al-monitor)

The airstrike this month was completely different from the dozens of such strikes that Israel has conducted in recent years along the seam of Syria and Lebanon. Israel’s outgoing air force chief, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel said, in an Aug. 25 interview with Haaretz that the air force had conducted close to 100 airstrikes on strategic-weapons convoys making their way from Syria to Lebanon. Almost all of the attacks took place on Syrian territory, and with one exception, no anti-aircraft fire was directed at the attacking planes.

The Sept. 8 attack, however, did not involve weapons convoys, rockets or missiles, but an official Syrian facility, a strategic enterprise of the Syrian regime in the heart of Syria and in proximity to a strategic Russian site. Some view the strike as a powerful Israeli message not only to Assad, but also to the big powers, that Israel has no intention of forfeiting its security interests to anybody. According to this view of events, the Netanyahu-Putin meeting Aug. 23 in Sochi was not particularly successful.

The recent airstrike took place, as noted, against the backdrop of a huge military exercise on Israel’s northern front involving different branches of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). It was the largest maneuver of its type in the last 19 years and involved an IDF gaming of a campaign against Hezbollah and Syria simultaneously. The IDF has been talking for quite some time about the need for the absolute defeat of Hezbollah in the next round of war.

Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/09/israel-idf-drill-syria-golan-russia-putin-iran-hezbollah.html#ixzz4sQyAMCdV