Netanyahu tells Putin that Iran must not replace IS in Syria
On whirlwind visit to Moscow, PM seeks to counter Tehran’s entrenchment in region, also to discuss ongoing coordination in Syria’s skies
ed note–Allow us if we may, to apply some much-needed explanation/translation here.
Israel can only function in an environment of chaos and instability, similar in many respects to anaerobic bacteria that cannot exist within an oxygen-rich environment. The various Arab states surrounding her are thus kept in a state of sustained confusion and desperation in the interests of preventing them from organizing against her politically, militarily, etc. It is upon this basis that Iran poses the greatest threat to Israel and her aims in the region, in that the IRI is deliberate, rational, and measured in the steps it takes and the policies it adopts with regards to its posture in the region. What Netanyahu fears more than Iran’s ballistic missiles is that she will succeed in bringing stability to the region and in the process the various Arab states that can’t seem to get their ducks in a row will suddenly copy/adopt the 1979 model and in the process, Israel will be deprived of the one thing she needs in maintaining her existence in the region–instability. Furthermore, as far as Russia is concerned, now that she has re-entered the picture, what we are witnessing is a re-emergence of the situation that existed in the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s when the USSR acted as the client state for Arab countries such as Egypt, Jordan, and Syria. As America continues to be hated more and more by the minute in the region, the better the chances that the Russians will be able to leverage increased support for their presence, while at the same time, working alongside Iran, silently set up the conditions necessary in those Arab countries for a real ‘Arab Spring’ that will see the old corrupt governments allied with/under the thumb of the US replaced with new ones allied with Russia.
This, and this alone, is what Netanyahu means when he talks about ‘Iranian Terror’ replacing ISIS.
It is also on this basis that Trump MUST get a ‘peace deal’ worked out between Israel and the Palestinians, in order to recoup some of the lost credibility that the US has sustained over the decades due to its unquestioning, over-the-top support for Israel and her inherent, incessant butchery of Palestinians and others in the region.
Times of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday that his talks in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin were focused on keeping Iran from filling the vacuum left by the Islamic State in Syria and combating Iranian-sponsored radical Islamic terrorism.
“One of the things that we are fighting against together is radical Islamic terrorism. Of course, there was significant progress last year in the fight against the terrorism of radical Sunni Islam led by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda, and Russia has a very important contribution,” Netanyahu said ahead of his meeting with the Russian president.
“It’s obvious that we wouldn’t want this terror to be replaced by radical Islamic Shiite terror led by Iran,” he said.
While Russia has played a major role over the last year in Syria combating the Islamic State and the Syrian rebels, Israel is concerned that the Kremlin not allow Iran, Russia’s ally in supporting Syrian strongman Bashar Assad, a permanent foothold in the country.
Later, at the Kremlin, Netanyahu thanked Putin for his wishes ahead of the Jewish festival of Purim, which starts Saturday night, noting that modern Iran now threatens the Jews as the ancient Persians did then.
“Twenty-five hundred years ago in ancient Persia, there was an attempt to wipe out the Jewish nation that was unsuccessful, which is being marked with this holiday,” the prime minister said.
“Here today in Persia’s successor, Iran, there is another attempt to wipe out the Jewish state. They say this as clearly as possible. They inscribe it on their ballistic missiles,” he said.
Netanyahu said that Iran was a threat not just to Israel, but to the whole region.
“Today, Israel is a state with an army and we are able to defend ourselves. But the threat of Shiite Islamic extremism is not just a threat to us, but rather to the entire region and world peace. I know that we share the desire to prevent any victory for radical Islam from any direction,” he said.
Netanyahu is on a whirlwind visit to Moscow for his third meeting with Putin in a year.
He was greeted at the airport by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov. On the tarmac, Bogdanov, Moscow’s point man for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, warmly embraced his Israeli guest.
Ahead of the visit, Netanyahu’s office said: “The prime minister will express Israel’s strong opposition to the presence of Iranian forces, and those of its proxies, on our northern border and in the Mediterranean Sea in the context of the talks on a settlement of any kind.”
“The prime minister also intends to reiterate to President Putin the fact that the [Syrian-held] Golan Heights is not part of the discussion on any outline” of a peace agreement, his office said in a statement.
Netanyahu and Putin were also expected to discuss the ongoing military coordination between the two countries to ensure their forces don’t clash over Syria’s skies.
A source close to Netanyahu reportedly said Wednesday, hours before he arrived at the Kremlin, that “Moscow allows us to act against Hezbollah in Syrian airspace.”
Russian and Israeli authorities denied the report. “There is just no such agreement or coordination,” a senior official in Jerusalem told The Times of Israel.
Israeli officials have long accused the Iranian Revolutionary Guards of trying to build an anti-Israel front on the Syrian Golan, alongside Hezbollah forces and local Druze opposed to Israel. Netanyahu has sought Russia’s help in seeking to thwart the attempts of Iran and its terrorist proxy Hezbollah to use Syria as a base from which to attack Israel.
Last week, Chagai Tzuriel, the director-general of the Intelligence Ministry, told The Times of Israel that keeping Iran and Hezbollah from getting a foothold on the Golan was at the top of the agenda for Israel’s security apparatus.
“Since Russia began intervening in the Syrian war a year ago, Russia became an important actor in Syria itself,” said Eyal Zisser, a Middle East expert from Tel Aviv University. “But of course this intervention has to do with the strategic interest of Israel. Russia became a neighborhood country, so you need to coordinate, you need to establish open channels of communication in order to ensure that no accidents will occur along the border.”
Russia partnered with Iran to assure the survival of the Syrian regime, which gives Netanyahu and Putin much to discuss, Zisser said, especially as the civil war appears to be at a turning point. Forces of President Basher Assad have recently recaptured the city of Aleppo from the rebels and it is currently unclear what the Syria-Russia-Iran alliance will attempt to achieve next.
“The future of Syria might be dictated by Russians, Turks and Iranians. And Israel probably wants to share with the Russians its ideas and concerns about such a process,” Zisser said.
The Golan Heights, which are close to Damascus, pose a particular headache for Israel, he added.
“The Syrian regime, with the support of the Iranians and Hezbollah, might want to make a comeback and recaptured those territories which were lost several years ago to the rebels,” Zisser predicted.
Forces affiliated with the Islamic State group are making territorial gains on the Golan Heights’ south, which also worries Jerusalem, although they are careful not to engage in a direct confrontation with Israel, he said. “They have other priorities, such as fighting each other and fighting the regime. But IS on the border is not something Israel is happy with.”
Netanyahu, who flew to Moscow in a small jet, taking with him no press and a small number of advisers, is expected to return to Israel on Thursday evening, leaving Russia immediately after his meeting with Putin. He is accompanied by Minister Ze’ev Elkin — who also serves as his personal translator — acting national security adviser Brig.-Gen. (ret.) Jacob Nagel, his chief of staff staff Yoav Horowitz, his Military Secretary Brig.-Gen. Eliezer Toledano and the head of the IDF’s intelligence branch Herzl Halevy.
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