The President of Russia plans to make to the Prime Minister of Israel an offer that he will be forced to accept. As Haaretz reports referring to its sources in Moscow, Vladimir Putin will propose to Netanyahu the formula that "no country can turn Syria into a platform for attacking neighboring states."
This may seem like science fiction to the Israelis, but Russian President Vladimir Putin is working on building a regime in Syria that will suit both Tel Aviv and Tehran, Haaretz reports. Two years after the start of the military operation in Syria, it is now Putin who controls the future of the country. Russia simply filled the vacuum, Haaretz explains, because the Obama administration has withdrawn from solving this issue, and Trump's team has not yet formulated a clear policy in the region.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, realizing that it was Putin who intended to play the main role in the Syrian conflict, went to Moscow in September 2015. As a result of a meeting of politicians between the Russian and Israeli air forces,conflict resolution mechanism", Including a hotline between the Russian Operations Center and the headquarters of the Israeli Defense Army in Tel Aviv. According to Haaretz, Israel continues to strike at Hezbollah sites, and Netanyahu and Putin often speak on the phone and meet in person.
At the same time, Russia is cooperating with Iran and Hezbollah, which supply thousands of soldiers for the Assad regime, the newspaper notes. According to Andrei Kortunov, Director General of the Russian Council on Foreign Affairs, "Putin does not want to lose either Iran or Israel. <...> Mutual respect arose between Putin and Netanyahu, and Russia has a special relationship with Israel's military activities in Syria; she warned Assad and Hezbollah from retaliatory measures».
At recent peace talks in Astana, Putin managed to bring Iran and Turkey closer together. Russia also found a common language with Jordan and Saudi Arabia, trying to stop their support for the Syrian rebels. And now Vladimir Putin believes that he can contribute to the conclusion of an agreement between Israel and Iran.
«Thanks to the Iranians, Russians can operate in Syria with few losses. Because of this, the Syrian military campaign is so popular with Russians"Haaretz quotes one Moscow journalist as saying. There is a certain dissonance in Russian-Iranian relations: Putin does not want the Sunni majority in the Middle East, as well as millions of Russian Sunni Muslims, that he helps the Iranians build in the region "Shiite crescent". So, Moscow refused to Tehran in using its base in the Syrian port of Tartus. However, the fact that Russian and Iranian interests do not always coincide does not mean that in the near future the Kremlin will abandon its alliance with Tehran.
According to anonymous and well-informed sources of Haaretz in Moscow, Putin is going to propose Netanyahu some formula, according to which "no country can turn Syria into a platform to attack neighboring states". This proposal is not as radical as the insistent demand of the Prime Minister not to allow Iran's permanent presence in Syria. However, if it is implemented, Tehran will not be able to place its missile and air bases there.
«It's unlikely that Netanyahu will publicly accept this formula, but he has no choice, - sums up Haaretz. - Let Putin respect Netanyahu and the military potential of Israel and turn a blind eye to the Israeli bombing in Syria, but he is not going to give up the presence there of the Iranian ground forces».