The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Blanford in CSM: Finally key questions are being raised about Russian/Iran-Hezbollah differences; For new “Axis of (Sort of) Resistance,” Southern Syria is testing ground

Three grafs from Nick’s recent piece. I wrote about the subject earlier this month here in Foreign Affairs:

“Strange Bedfellows in Syria: Russian Intervention Could Constrain Iran and Hezbollah—and Help Israel/October 2015
https://mideastwire.wordpress.com/2015/10/05/nicholas-noe-in-foreign-affairs-strange-bedfellows-in-syria-russian-intervention-could-constrain-iran-and-hezbollah-and-help-israel/

I believe Southern Syria will represent the test point for how this whole new shakey “alliance” goes forward for the re-branded “axis of (sort of) resistance. No matter what Israel and the EU and the US have an opportunity to engage, exploit differences and work the board in ways that previously did not exist – even as other opportunities and advantages have receeded of course.

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The operation could cast light on whether Russia and Iran, the two main powers supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, have agendas that coincide or diverge. It also has the potential to test how far Russia is willing to extend its air power in the country.

But the Russian military intervention in Syria complicates the calculations of both sides. Israel and Russia have established a channel of communication to prevent misunderstandings between their respective air forces. But if Israel stages an attack against Hezbollah forces in the Golan, it will embarrass Russia, Iran’s battlefield ally. On the other hand, it is highly unlikely that Russia would respond militarily to an Israeli attack in the Golan area.

“Israeli bombing of Iranian and/or Hezollah assets in Quneitra will go down badly and must taint Russia as well,” says a European diplomat with extensive knowledge of developments in Syria. “One might suspect that there is an understanding between the Israelis and the Russians that the Iranians and Hezbollah would do nothing to explore their new advantages in the Golan area.”

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Written by nickbiddlenoe

October 23, 2015 at 11:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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