Showdown in Syria: Russia vs. the West, Leaving Israel Isolated

In Regional Analysis by Orit ben Tzvi

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Russia’s success in dividing NATO by breaking off Turkey from the alliance has not been lost on the European American members of the alliance. There first reaction has been to blame Russia for the failure of the truce to stick, but in reality American attacks on various targets has thrown the onus onto the Obama administration not Putin.

The West’s interest in Syria is twofold.  The first is to prevent Iran from building a Shiite crescent from Iranian soil to the mediterranean.  The second is to push back on Russia’s growing control of the Middle East.  On both of these accounts, Putin’s entrance into the fray last year threw the West off of their playbook and they have been rushing to recalibrate ever since.

The above, coupled with Russia’s move to putting the screws on Washington’s regime change in the Ukraine has divided the alliance and kept it from putting up a real fight against Russia. By blaming Putin for the collpase of the truce, Washington and the countries in NATO that are of like mind are trying to set the stage for their increased involvement in the Syrian theatre.

Israel On Its Own

The last thing Israel wants and needs right now is increased fighting between the West and Russian forces on the ground in Syria.  Although it has supported regime change in Syria from the beginning, the Israeli cabinet and Defense Establishment will not push that at the expense of ruining their détente with Putin. Nothing in the West’s playbook gives them assurances that Israel will be defended from Russian and Iranian aggression if America and NATO stand up to Russia.

According to news reports and other sources, Syria-Hezbollah backed by Iran are preparing to launch the same sort of attacks they have been doing on rebels in the Aleppo area next to the Golan. The presence of the Syrian army and Hezbollah so close to the Israeli border seems to imply that it is in fact Israel which will suffer a response if NATO increases their involvement in Syria.

This is ultimately why Bibi has reached out to Putin to put out any flames that may occur.  The challenge is that it may be beyond Putin to stop the Iranian backed armies of Assad and Nasralla from attacking Israel.  After all Putin needs them to finish the job in the rest of Syria.

With Obama about to leave office and being no friend of the Jewish state anyway, Israel is on its own.

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