Bibi to Rus­sian DM: Is­rael Won't Per­mit Ira­nian Mil­i­tary Bases in Syria

The Jewish Voice - - FRONT PAGE - By: Wal­ter Me­tuth

Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu told Rus­sian De­fense Min­is­ter Sergei Shoygu in a meet­ing on Tues­day that Is­rael will not al­low the es­tab­lish­ment of Ira­nian mil­i­tary bases in Syria. The meet­ing was also at­tended by Is­raeli De­fense Min­is­ter Avig­dor Liber­man.

In Au­gust, Ne­tanyahu warned Rus­sia's Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin that Iran was seek­ing to es­tab­lish a per­ma­nent mil­i­tary pres­ence in Syria, and flagged a pos­si­ble Is­raeli mil­i­tary re­sponse to such moves, say­ing that Is­rael sees per­ma­nent Ira­nian mil­i­tary fa­cil­i­ties in Syria as a "red line."

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from the Prime Min­is­ter's Of­fice, Tues­day's meet­ing dealt pri­mar­ily with the sub­ject of Iran - both in ref­er­ence to bases in Syria as well as the nu­clear deal. Ne­tanyahu told Shoygu that if the terms of the deal are not changed, Iran will be in pos­ses­sion of nu­clear weapons in 8-10 years.

On Mon­day, the Rus­sian min­is­ter, on his first of­fi­cial visit to Is­rael, met with Liber­man against a back­drop of ten­sions be­tween Is­rael and Syria.

"We are go­ing to talk about mil­i­tary-to-mil­i­tary tech­ni­cal en­gage­ment but most and fore­most we are go­ing to talk about counter-ter­ror­ism," Liber­man said. "Syria is an­other case, the on­go­ing mil­i­tary en­gage­ment there is com­ing to its end. There are some ur­gent is­sues to ad­dress. We are go­ing to have some is­sues for the out­look that are go­ing to need our at­ten­tion later on but all this re­mains for dis­cus­sion.

The min­is­ter's re­marks came sev­eral hours af­ter the Is­raeli Air Force an­nounced that it had car­ried out a strike on a SA-5 bat­tery some 50 kilo­me­ters east of Da­m­as­cus which fired a mis­sile to­wards Is­raeli fighter jets on a re­con­nais­sance flight over neigh­bor­ing Le­banon.

It was the first in­stance of a Syr­ian bat­tery fir­ing at an Is­raeli jet in Le­banese air space since the start of the civil war in 2011.

The visit is Shoygu's first of­fi­cial trip to the coun­try, although he and Liber­man have met in the past. Se­nior Is­raeli fig­ures from the po­lit­i­cal world and de­fense es­tab­lish­ment have been rel­a­tively fre­quent vis­i­tors to Rus­sia in re­cent years.

Liber­man and Shoygu dis­cussed co­or­di­na­tion be­tween the two coun­tries vis-à-vis Syria, the pos­si­ble es­tab­lish­ment of an Ira­nian base in Syria, and Ira­nian at­tempts to trans­fer weapons to Hezbol­lah via Da­m­as­cus.

Liber­man is due to fly to the US on Wed­nes­day to meet with De­fense Sec­re­tary James Mat­tis in the com­ing days and it is thought that he will dis­cuss Iran and Syria with his US and Rus­sian coun­ter­parts.

Fol­low­ing the at­tack on Mon­day, Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ne­tanyahu said, “To­day they at­tempted to hit our planes... If any­one at­tempts to harm us, we will harm them back."

Re­gard­ing the Is­raeli re­tal­ia­tory strike on a Syr­ian govern­ment anti-air­craft mis­sile launcher af­ter it fired on its air­craft pa­trolling in Le­banese air space on a pho­to­graphic re­con­nais­sance mis­sion, the Guardian news­pa­per of the UK re­ported that an Is­raeli mil­i­tary spokesman said that the air­craft were fly­ing in­side Le­banon but close to the Syr­ian bor­der when the mis­sile was fired at them.

Ac­cord­ing to the spokesman, the mis­sile – an SA5 sur­faceto-air rocket – failed to hit its tar­get, and the anti-air­craft bat­tery lo­cated 30 miles from Da­m­as­cus was then hit by sep­a­rate Is­raeli jets, “in­ca­pac­i­tat­ing” the launcher with four strikes.

There was no in­for­ma­tion on any ca­su­al­ties.

The Guardian re­ported that the mis­sile launch is the sec­ond time this year Is­raeli jets have been en­gaged by Syr­ian anti-air­craft mis­siles, with the rocket fired in the pre­vi­ous in­ci­dent fly­ing into Is­rael. Ac­cord­ing to Is­rael, the same bat­tery that fired on Mon­day was also in­volved in that in­ci­dent.

“The Syr­ian regime is re­spon­si­ble for any fir­ing from its ter­ri­tory. We see this in­ci­dent as a clear provo­ca­tion and we will not al­low it. If anti-air­craft fire is be­ing car­ried out for any mil­i­tary ac­tiv­ity, we will re­spond as we did now,” said the Is­raeli mil­i­tary spokesman.

Fol­low­ing the at­tack on Mon­day, Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ne­tanyahu said, “To­day they at­tempted to hit our planes... If any­one at­tempts to harm us, we will harm them back."

Ac­cord­ing to “The Drive” web site, writer Tyler Ro­goway re­ports that this re­tal­ia­tory strike on Is­rael's part isn't the first time a Syr­ian SA-5 took aim at an IAF air­craft. Last March, he writes, “an SA-5 was shot to­wards Is­raeli fight­ers ex­fil­trat­ing from Syr­ian airspace fol­low­ing an air strike on a weapons trans­fer site. The mis­sile was en­gaged by an Is­raeli Ar­row anti-bal­lis­tic mis­sile in­ter­cep­tor.” He adds: “What fol­lowed was an in­creas­ingly bel­li­cose string of rhetoric be­tween the As­sad regime and the Is­raeli govern­ment, with Is­raeli De­fense Forces mak­ing it clear that they would dis­man­tle Syria's air de­fense net­work “with­out think­ing twice.”

Cit­ing other pub­lished re­ports that state that the IAF jets at­tacked the site with four bombs, The Drive writer says that “the fight­ers likely ven­tured deep into Syr­ian airspace to ex­e­cute the re­tal­ia­tory strike, if not com­ing within very close range of the SAM site it­self.”

His re­port in­di­cates that the par­tic­u­lar model of air­craft that was fired upon was not dis­closed but “ev­ery­thing from high-fly­ing Gulf­stream jets to F-15Cs with large re­con­nais­sance pods are known to be ac­tive in­tel­li­gence col­lec­tors.”

Even the IAF's high-end fight­ers' ba­sic elec­tronic war­fare and elec­tronic sup­port mea­sures suites are ca­pa­ble of gath­er­ing crit­i­cal in­tel on the en­emy's elec­tronic or­der of bat­tle, with the coun­try's new F-35Is be­ing es­pe­cially well suited for such a task, ac­cord­ing to “The Drive” re­port.

Back in June of this year, the TPS news out­let re­ported that IDF forces struck Syr­ian tar­gets af­ter sev­eral pro­jec­tiles landed in open ar­eas on the Is­raeli side of the bor­der. At the time, the IDF said it had hit two Syr­ian ar­tillery can­nons and a truck car­ry­ing am­mu­ni­tion.

The IDF then is­sued a state­ment say­ing that while Is­rael is not in­volved in the Syr­ian civil war, it “nev­er­the­less se­verely con­demns any at­tempt to un­der­mine the sovereignty of the State of Is­rael and the se­cu­rity of its res­i­dents, and con­sid­ers the Syr­ian regime re­spon­si­ble for what is hap­pen­ing in its own ter­ri­tory.”

“The IDF at­tacked Syr­ian army po­si­tions yes­ter­day in re­sponse to mor­tar fire into Is­raeli ter­ri­tory. Our pol­icy is very clear, we will not ac­cept any driz­zle of fire – not mor­tars, not rock­ets and not light weapons – on any front,” Ne­tanyahu said at the time. “We will re­act force­fully to any vi­o­la­tion of our ter­ri­tory.”

The IDF re­leased ae­rial video footage show­ing air force strikes on two Syr­ian Army tanks and a ma­chine gun po­si­tion af­ter some 10 pro­jec­tiles had landed in the Golan Heights in what it called an “un­ac­cept­able breach of sovereignty.”

The IDF sent a com­plaint about the er­rant fire into Is­raeli ter­ri­tory to the United Na­tions Disen­gage­ment Ob­server Force (UNDOF), re­spon­si­ble for main­tain­ing the cease­fire and disen­gage­ment agree­ment be­tween Is­raeli and Syr­ian forces since 1974.

In July of this year, a Rus­sian-Amer­i­can-Jor­da­nian bro­kered cease­fire went into ef­fect in the south­west of the war-torn coun­try, in­clud­ing in ar­eas run­ning along the Golan Heights bor­der.

“We will con­tinue to mon­i­tor de­vel­op­ments beyond our bor­ders while strongly up­hold­ing our red lines: Pre­vent the

strength­en­ing of Hezbol­lah via Syria, with em­pha­sis on the ac­qui­si­tion of pre­ci­sion weapons, pre­vent Hezbol­lah – or Ira­nian forces – from es­tab­lish­ing a ground pres­ence along our bor­der, and pre­vent the es­tab­lish­ment of an Ira­nian mil­i­tary pres­ence in Syria as a whole,” Ne­tanyahu said at the time.

While adding that Is­rael wel­comes a cease­fire, Ne­tanyahu added that it must not “en­able the es­tab­lish­ment of a mil­i­tary pres­ence by Iran and its prox­ies in Syria in gen­eral and in south­ern Syria in par­tic­u­lar.”

Ne­tanyahu said he held “deep dis­cus­sions” on the mat­ter Sec­re­tary of State Rex Tiller­son and with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

“Both told me that they un­der­stand Is­rael's po­si­tion and will take our de­mands into ac­count,” he said.

Mean­while, Egypt an­nounced on Sun­day evening that it would not be re­open­ing the Rafah bor­der cross­ing with Gaza as it planned, fol­low­ing an Is­lamic State (ISIS) at­tack in north­ern Si­nai which claimed the lives of six Egyp­tian sol­diers.

The cross­ing was sup­posed to be re­opened be­tween Mon­day and Thurs­day fol­low­ing the Ha­mas-Fatah rec­on­cil­i­a­tion deal which was reached last week.

The Egyp­tian mil­i­tary said ear­lier on Sun­day that in ad­di­tion to the sol­diers, at least 24 ji­hadist were killed in at­tacks on mil­i­tary out­posts in North Si­nai.

The state­ment, which was quoted by Reuters, did not give de­tails, but se­cu­rity and med­i­cal sources said about 20 mem­bers of the se­cu­rity forces had also been in­jured when more than 100 ji­hadists re­peat­edly at­tacked se­cu­rity out­posts south of the bor­der town of Sheikh Zuweid.

The at­tack­ers used car bombs and rocket pro­pelled grenades (RPG), the sources said. They also clashed with the se­cu­rity forces us­ing light weapons, they added.

Egyp­tian forces have been bat­tling a grow­ing in­sur­gency in the north­ern Si­nai for years. Most of the at­tacks in the re­gion have been claimed by the Si­nai Prov­ince, ISIS' Egypt af­fil­i­ate which pledged al­le­giance to the ji­hadists in 2014.

On Fri­day, ISIS claimed an at­tack on se­cu­rity forces in the penin­sula that killed at least six sol­diers.

Last month, ISIS killed 18 peo­ple in an at­tack on a se­cu­rity con­voy in Egypt's North Si­nai.

Egyp­tian au­thor­i­ties have kept the Rafah cross­ing vir­tu­ally sealed since a ter­ror­ist at­tack in the Si­nai Penin­sula in Oc­to­ber 2014, though they have tem­po­rar­ily re­opened the cross­ing­sev­eral times since that at­tack, mostly for the pas­sage of hu­man­i­tar­ian cases.

Egypt blames Ha­mas ter­ror­ists for pro­vid­ing the weapons for the lethal 2014 at­tack, which killed 30 sol­diers, through one of its smug­gling tun­nels un­der the bor­der to Si­nai. Ha­mas de­nies the al­le­ga­tions.

In ad­di­tion to keep­ing the cross­ing closed, Egypt has shut down the smug­gling tun­nels be­tween Gaza and the Si­nai Penin­sula, which ter­ror­ists use to smug­gle weapons, and has also built a buf­fer zone along the bor­der, ex­pelling large num­bers of peo­ple from their homes for that pur­pose.

In March, 2017, Lt. Col. Katzir lec­tured at se­lect venues in the U.S., in­clud­ing top-tier law schools and U.S. Mil­i­tary Academies. His sub­ject mat­ter: Im­ple­ment­ing The Laws Of Armed Con­flict Against non-State Ac­tors, brought an Is­raeli per­spec­tive to a global dis­course.

Ma­jor-Gen­eral Ei­tan Dan­got (Res.), Co­or­di­na­tor of Govt. Ac­tiv­i­ties In The Ter­ri­to­ries, 2009-2014

In April, 2017, MG Dan­got lec­tured at se­lect grad­u­ate

In a ground­break­ing tour, BG Avivi spoke at se­lect grad­u­ate schools on mat­ters rang­ing from Iran and the global ter­ror net­work, to the global mi­gra­tion cri­sis, to con­flict end­ing poli­cies in the con­text of the Is­rael-Pales­tinian con­flict. He also pre­sented to mem­bers of the United States Se­nate, the United States Congress and to their re­spec­tive pol­icy ad­vis­ers, via the OSS ELITE branch.

In proud as­so­ci­a­tion with the Miryam In­sti­tute, a pol­icy think tank, “Our Sol­diers Speak” is bring­ing its para­mount mes­sage to the gen­eral pub­lic this Novem­ber 2nd at their gala

Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu told Rus­sian De­fense Min­is­ter Sergei Shoygu in a meet­ing on Tues­day that Is­rael will not al­low the es­tab­lish­ment of Ira­nian mil­i­tary bases in Syria. The meet­ing was also at­tended by Is­raeli De­fense Min­is­ter Avig­dor Liber­man

The Is­raeli Air Force an­nounced on Mon­day that it had car­ried out a strike on a SA-5 bat­tery some 50 kilo­me­ters east of Da­m­as­cus which fired a mis­sile to­wards Is­raeli fighter jets on a re­con­nais­sance flight over neigh­bor­ing Le­banon. It was the first in­stance of a Syr­ian bat­tery fir­ing at an Is­raeli jet in Le­banese air space since the start of the civil war in 2011. (Photo Credit: Syria Live Map)

Is­raeli De­fense Min­is­ter Avig­dor Lieber­man (2nd R), his Rus­sian coun­ter­part Sergei Shoigu (C) and Is­raeli Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot (R), lis­ten to their na­tional an­thems dur­ing a wel­come cer­e­mony at the de­fense min­istry on Oc­to­ber 16, 2017

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.