Sept. 30, 2015
- What Putin’s Syrian Strategy Means for Israel – Ron Ben-Yishai
Russian President Putin has exploited Syrian President Assad’s and the Iranians’ distress to make himself a major player in the Middle East, just as U.S. influence in the region is waning. Meanwhile, Iran is working to turn Hizbullah into an independent producer of weapons and munitions so that they may prevent Israeli bombings of weapons convoys making their way through Syria. It’s reasonable to assume that the Iranians are doing this with approval from the Russians.
In the past few weeks, Russia has given the Syrian military sophisticated and accurate arms to replace its outdated and ineffective equipment. Putin isn’t going to send soldiers to fight ISIS on the ground, but he will supply Assad with weapons, and the Iranians will pay him for it (after the economic sanctions are removed). The Iranians will also probably soon become the Russian arms industry’s number one client. Russia will probably serve as a stabilizing force in Syria, but it will legitimize an Iranian entrance into the country. (Ynet News)