Thursday, 24 May, 2018

In Syria killed more than two dozen foreign fighters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the Israel Defense Forces at the Armored Corps memorial at Latrun In Syria killed more than two dozen foreign fighters
Lillian Steele | 14 May, 2018, 00:06

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: "The Iranians declare their intention to attack us".

Germany, France and Britain want talks to be held in a broader format on Iran's ballistic missile program and its regional activities, including in Syria and Yemen. Moscow, though, does not wish to draw too much attention to this convergence.

Many Iranians, who had hoped the nuclear accord would bring a flood of investment and business to the country of 80 million, have been deeply disappointed.

Iran's foreign minister was due to leave Saturday for a whirlwind diplomatic tour as world leaders scramble to salvage something from the wreckage of a landmark nuclear deal in the wake of Washington's withdrawal. And with the Assad regime's internal opponents largely defeated, Netanyahu is increasingly concerned that Iran and its allies (Hezbollah and other Shi'a militias) will turn their attention toward targeting Israel. Under President Trump, the USA has pointedly not joined this chorus, nor should we. So now that Israel claims to have hit virtually all of Iran's bases and installations in Syria, Russia's unwillingness to intervene on Iran's behalf is especially surprising. Moscow has also called Iran a partner in the war on terror against jihadists in Syria and elsewhere. But such attacks, while spectacular, do nothing to improve Iran's strategic predicament.

But appearances can be deceiving. Meanwhile, Iran's government has faced growing domestic criticism for pursuing expensive military adventures overseas while the economy stagnates; this latest setback is likely to fuel those grievances.

"The extent of the damage inflicted by the Israeli airstrikes was not immediately clear".

At this writing, there has been no further military action from either side since the Thursday morning Israel counterstrike. By doing so, Israel avoided doing any harm to Russians present in Syria.

Besides overplaying its hand, a major flaw in Iran's thinking has been not taking into account the Russian role in Syria. Since 2011, when protests broke out against Assad, Tehran has been one of the regime's main backers. "No Iranian missile hit Israeli territory". Tehran badly miscalculated and realizes that it must think carefully about using Syria as a base of operations against Israel. In February, Israel shot down an Iranian drone that entered its airspace, triggering a clash in which an Israeli warplane crashed after being struck by Syrian anti-aircraft fire.

Russian Federation is not in talks with the Syrian government about supplying advanced S-300 missile defense systems to Syria in an effort to bolster the war-torn Arab nation's defensive capabilities, a top Kremlin aide says.

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