Philip Harris ConflictDaily.com 21 March 2017
Multiple reports coming from the Middle East recently are stating that Russia has told Israel that its freedom of movement over Syria has ended with the air raids that occurred over the weekend. Russia backs the government of Syria, so that claim does not seem too far from the truth but, Prime Minister of Israel Netanyahu says, Russia has not said the Israeli Air Force (IAF) must halt attacks over Syria and that the IAF would continue its missions over Syrian air space.
This new understanding of the IAF and Russian forces has the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad worried by stating he is counting in his partner nation Russia to prevent Israel from attacking his country in the future. Syria and Israel are enemies from the many wars they fought through in the past and because Israel still holds Syrian territory in the Golan Heights that Syria used to attack Israel from. Russian media outlets have stated that President Assad said, “We are counting on Russia to prevent a conflict with Israel,”.
Russia is serious about checking the status of its friendship and alliances with the various nations involved in Syria because after the Israeli air raid this past Friday the Israeli ambassador Gary Koren was summoned to Moscow to explain what the air raid was all about. That meeting was reportedly where the Israeli military was told they still could operate over Syrian air space.
It was reported that a primary reason for summoning the Israeli ambassador to explain the IAF air raid was because the air strikes were close to Russian soldiers on the ground near Palmyra, Syria. There were no reports about any Russian soldiers being killed or wounded so it seems the deconfliction mechanism Russia and Israel remains intact and because no Russian was hurt or killed, the IAF remains free to bomb their military targets and security intersts inside Syria.