Syria, not a “Game Changer” anymore! Soon a “Game Over”!


The Syrian crisis new page which was turned the minute the IAF (Israeli Air Force) decided to bomb Syria twice in a time interval of two days, is threatening to escalate into a full scale war between the East and the West. DefenseHorizon along with numerous other well established websites had highlighted this aspect of “the war within a war” scenario from the moment Israel entered into this “equation”.
Now, after Benyamin Netanyahu’s visit to Moscow and Tuesday’s arrival of a contingent of 1,800 Marines and V-22 Ospreys at the port of Eilat in Israel, probably bound to Jordan as part of the broader force of the 22,000 men on stand by, a Western intervention lies far from the “red lines drawn” as a new perspective opens up, that of a preemptive strike from Israel’s part against the shipments of S-300 PMU2 and the SSN Yakhont in Syria. Specifically, the meeting between the President of the Russian Federation and Israel not only did not go well, but according to DEBKA it deteriorated into a tit for tat game of verbal threats in which Netanyahu warned Putin that the IAF would bomb both the S-300 and the Yakhonts and Putin rejecting this threat as “implausible”. Yet nothing is “implausible” given a)the severity of the situation, b) the involvement of Israel into a war, which is not of its own and c) US’s reluctance in the context of the strategy of “Confront and Conceal” to actively engage into a direct military intervention into Syria.

To break things up even more, DEBKA sources report that the Russians deliberately leaked information that the shipments of the S-300 missiles were already dispatched to Syria, thus annulling Netanyahu’s forthcoming plead towards Russia not to dispatch those missiles. The Russians, through Lavrov, used the best card they had on the table by stating that the S-300 is an Air to Air missile, thus its sail to Syria poses neither a threat to Israel nor any involvement whatsoever to the ongoing Syrian civil war as the only planes flying around is Assad’s. By consequence, what Sergei Viktorovick (Lavrov) did not have to add is the fact that both the S-300 and the Yakhong SS-N missiles would pose a threat only if a) there was a plan for a no fly zone or b) Israel decided to “test its luck” once again and bomb Syria’s territorial space. Objectively, this is an argument very difficult to confront as both cases stated above would lie outside international rules (there will never be a UN resolution for a No Fly Zone as long as China and Russia keep vetoing it) and thus in that case there would be only one rule: There are no rules.

President Putin broadened the defense “perimeter” of the A/A systems to include the Bajr Iranian forces, which as we have already stated, are trained to fight asymmetrical wars in urban environments. For all we know, given this data, and considering how bad this very important meeting went, there could be an outbreak of war between Syria and Israel anytime between the next hour to the next day or next week. To make matters worse, there are reports that elements of the Russian fleet, probably the ones that will constitute the Mediterranean fleet in the future, have passed the Suez Canal after taking two days to cross the Red Sea. Although those warships (Admiral Panteleyev destroyer, amphibious warfare ships Peresvet and Admiral Nevelskoi, the tanker Pechenga and the salvage/rescue tug Fotiy Krelov) left Vladivostok on March 19 and are bound to Limassol, sources like DEBKA place them in the future “hotzone” which apparently is going to be further inflamed by a potential preemptive Israeli strike.

On Thursday, the “Martyrs of the Abdel Qader al-Husseini Brigades” shelled Israeli territory reportedly marking Israel’s Independence Day (1948). The martyrs, though, on one hand are allegedly affiliated to the Assad regime, which has given them the green light to go ahead with a war of attrition from the Golan Heights as a response to Israel’s continuous bombing of Syria, on the other they claimed that “they are not celebrating” but instead “avenging the blood of their martyrs”, which-if true-lies definitely within the context of the war of attrition Assad has ordered. 

That said, the question now, which is being posed, is whether Netanyahu will give the Green light to go ahead with the bombing of the Russian shipment, something which could undoubtedly cause WWIII and compell the US to intervene whether it wants to or not. Perhaps this might be the reason why there has been an increase in troops numbers from the US bound to Jordan. Given the fact, though, that Netanyahu does not frequently say No to Obama and at this time Washington’s administration is amidst a chaos, from the scandals which have re-surfaced to devour it (AP scandal, Benghazi etc.), something like that would sound rather “improbable”. But then again, Israel’s behavior lately shows no signs of a standard motif towards handling crises, meaning that all of a sudden Netanyahu could go ahead and bomb the missiles upon their assembly, thereby causing the fury of Russia and turning the Middle East into a limbo.

The dangers are grave and they are there, probably enhanced by the Israel factor, which should have never entered “The Syrian Game”. The only thing that Netanyahu managed to do is to make Moscow even more rigid on the Syrian issue. If to all these we add the recent Spy Scandal which broke out in Moscow and “chilled” even further the US-Russian relations, then we can hardly claim that Putin is willing to play along, as decided. As a matter of fact, we don’t even know what was decided before we go into depth in order to analyze which part is going to be applied from Moscow’s side and which one is not.

For all we know, from the moment Israel decides to bomb the S-300 or even Syria again, Moscow will react, not of course through its 5-6 warships but through more serious means, not necessarily proxy but direct as well.