The war in western Syria has come very close to the borders of Israel, or rather, to the borders of the disputed Golan Heights. This is area Tel Aviv considers as its own for half a century – these are the results of the Six-Day War. But Syria, along with most of the world community, refuses this, and continues to insist (at least officially) on the need to return the lost territories.
However, this issue was actually settled, however, unofficially – Damascus never made any real attempts to return the heights. In general, everything was calm, and even the Lebanese conflict, in which Syria and Israel again had to stand on different sides, did not affect the Golan Heights in any way. It is difficult to say whether the status of this territory will change in the future, but there are certain prerequisites for this already today.
For the first time in Tel Aviv, seriously worried in 2011, when even before the civil war, the south-western Syrian provinces were engulfed by anarchy – mass protests that Damascus tried to suppress by force, grew into chaos. In such conditions, it was difficult to predict anything, but the Israelis were on the alert: how many moods will take possession of the raging crowd. This crowd, indeed, quickly followed very radical propagandists from among the opposition.
Assad begins to refuse Moscow.
The Syrian authorities let understand to Russia that it no longer has influence in their country, there are other forces.
Of course, Israel, is common in many Middle Eastern groups, Syria considered it the number one enemy. However, this position was only part of the propaganda, and no one actually thought of harming Israel in some way. In addition, the Jewish state had and has a sort of buffer zone in the form of Druze villages, with which the Syrian border along the Golan Heights is densely glued. The Syrian druses are traditionally loyal to Israel.
Further rumors spread that militants in the south-west of Syria are allied with Israel. Likely, from a neighboring state they receive funding and even weapons. Noone will be able to condemn Tel Aviv — nevertheless, it tried to protect its own borders and his own citizens from potential danger with such measures.
But, as you know, everything changes. Terrorists and the radical opposition could not forever control large areas without a full-fledged army and effective institutions of power. Sooner or later their rule will end, and, most likely, it will happen very soon, as the Syrian army with the support of Russia has already begun to sweep the provinces of Quneitra and Dar’a. It seems that there is nothing surprising in this operation – such were conducted throughout Syria, but Israel was still worried. First, Tel Aviv fears the approach of the Iranian military to its borders. Trying to prevent this, Netanyahu drew to discussion the issue of Putin, who is believed to have influence on Tehran. Apparently, they managed to agree, since Israel did not put obstacles in the process of deploying Syrian and Russian forces near its borders.
However, further events began which, most likely, will lead to active actions from the Israeli side. The other day the military leaders of the pro-Assad formations said that the Russian ZRPK “Pantsir-S1” will be deployed near the Golan Heights. And their purpose is to counter air attacks from Israel. In general, in this region, only this state can threaten the Syrian territories, therefore, without this statement it is quite clear, against whom such measures are directed.
Australian expert Richard Frank believes that placing such equipment near the Golan Heights can provoke Israel to another military intervention in the Syrian conflict.
“Russia should not allow this.” Israel spent so much time struggling with attempts to provide Assad with S-300, and when everything had to end, the regime’s army stationed other systems. The effectiveness of these complexes near the border will not be inferior to the S-300. In such conditions, range does not play a big role, so in this case, “Pantsir” can serve as an alternative. Of course, the Islamic state or opposition in this region has no technology for which such countermeasures might be useful. Consequently, the only reason for their deployment is Israeli air attacks. It turns out that Russia is now trying to restrict Israel, drive him out of Syria. It will not remain without consequences. Israel did not just protest when Assad was to receive the S-300, it did not want to be hampered by his desire to stop Iran’s expansion, which threatens the security of all countries in the region. Apparently, Russia does not take this opinion into account. The Russians did not listen to Israel, and now they will have to wait for the consequences. They will definitely. One can be sure that in the near future Israel will launch air strikes against objects in Syria, perhaps one of the goals will be symbolic. Negotiations with Washington have already begun and the Syrian president is very hopeful of success. It is obvious that the West is waiting for Russia to leave unresolved any aggression directed against it, and when it receives the opposite answer, it begins to worry much. The same situation develops in relations with Israel.