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Syrian sky on fire: a new stage in the armed confrontation between Iran and Israel

This post was published in Sputnik Armenia. The point of view expressed in this article is authorial and do not necessarily reflect BM`s editorial stance.

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YEREVAN, (BM) – Are there no crowds in the sky over Syria? Iran, under an agreement signed two weeks ago, is supplying there its air defense systems Bavar-373 air defense systems [it is believed that this is an analogue of Russian S-300] and Khordad-3, which recently shot down an American reconnaissance UAV in the Persian Gulf.

It is clear that in response to this, Israel will increase the number of flights, trying not to concede the Syrian sky to its rival. Turkey has also decided to patrol its border with Syria with its Karagez (Black-eyed) series airships, capable of monitoring an area of ​​about eight square kilometers.

Well, we don’t even have to talk about the Russian Aerospace Forces and Air Defense – they are able to control everything up and down there. And then there is the Syrian military aircraft.

Blazing skies over South Damascus

In general, one should have expected that Israel would react very painfully and nervously to the agreement on military-technical cooperation signed by Iran with Syria. In principle, this is what happened. Yesterday’s missile strike by Israeli aircraft from the Golan Heights is proof of this.

They beat on the southern territories of Damascus, where, according to some sources, there are barracks where Iranian advisers live – engineers and weapons depots of pro-Iranian groups fighting in the south of Idlib against terrorist organizations that have settled in the area. According to some reports, about 5-7 people were killed and wounded.

Most likely, the Israeli aviation had data that it was there that Iranian air defense systems began to arrive, which Tehran promised to generously share with Damascus. The activation of the Israeli aviation, in theory, can spur the Syrians and Iranians, and then the speed and volume of deliveries of the Bavar-373 and Khordad-3 air defense systems can increase significantly.

On the other hand, judging by some sources, this time Israel did not use military fighters for the missile strike (more and more often fifth-generation F-16 fighters flew on missions), but helicopters. Apparently, they decided to use the surprise factor, since if the Iranian air defense systems did manage to get up on duty, then the anti-aircraft gunners, in theory, should have been expecting fighters.

In any case, Iranian and Syrian news sources report that the vast majority of the missiles launched by the Israelis were shot down. Tel Aviv and Western mass media claim the opposite – they say, none of the launched missiles was shot down. As usual, a military clash immediately turned into an information war.

Be that as it may, one should expect that the parties will indeed begin to increasingly actively resort to both aviation (on the one hand) and air defense systems (on the other). Russia has not yet intervened in this showdown. The Russian Aerospace Forces fight exclusively against terrorist groups, and the air defense defends its military bases.

Iranian embargo must be lifted to save the JCPOA

However, even there is no alternative to how many air defense systems Iran will supply to Syria in the near future, we can say with confidence about one thing. The Syrian sky, as well as the political and diplomatic footholds, will be hotter than it was hitherto. An interesting situation – Iran is purposefully raising the degree of confrontation, since in the fall Tehran will have to withstand a serious battle on the diplomatic stage, and not just anywhere, but in the UN Security Council.

After all, the term of the Iranian arms embargo is about to expire, and, in theory, Tehran should be able to purchase weapons and technologies on the international arms market. What, of course, the United States will fight against.

On the eve of these tough battles, where heavyweights such as Russia and China are likely to take the side of Iran, and European allies on the side of the United States, it is natural that Tehran almost swornly promises to Moscow and Beijing that it will buy weapons , and technology to the maximum. Iranian Ambassador Kazem Jalali has recently expressed himself quite clearly and unequivocally on this topic.

“The Russian government and the Russian people have been and remain with us in difficult times. In this regard, Russia is a priority partner for us,” the diplomat said.

There is no doubt that something similar will be said in Beijing. Although even without this, it should be assumed that both Russia and China will go to the UN Security Council to the last, if only to defend Iran’s right to trade in the arms market.

The problem is not that Moscow and Beijing are fighting for their “place under the sun” in the hope that they will then be able to earn billions on Iranian supplies.

These are agreements signed at one time not only by Russia and China, but also by the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany. It is specifically about rescuing the “nuclear treaty”, one of the components of which was the arms embargo on Iran for a period of five years.

The JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Action Plan) was signed in 2015, and the same embargo expires in the autumn. If the world community “throws” the Iranians this time as well (as the United States did under Trump), then the treaty can be crossed.

Revive Syria together

Apparently, the situation in Syria, for which, by and large, Russia is primarily responsible, is interconnected with this very SVPD and the arms embargo. After all, it is clear that Iran has its own interests on the Syrian bridgehead, which are somewhat different from Russia’s.

And Tehran will make concessions to Moscow even if Russia defends Iran’s interests in the UN Security Council to the end. However, as well as China. The same can be said about the situation in Syria.

After all, the time is not far off when the world community will have to begin reconstruction work in this long-suffering country. And the same Damascus, of course, choosing, figuratively speaking, contractors, will focus on those countries that have helped defend the country from terrorism.

In this regard, it is clear the fake attack of Western media outlets, claiming that relations between Moscow and Damascus are not experiencing the best of times.

Officially, such a situation was refuted by all parties, even Tehran, which, it would seem, could not be affected. However, it was touched upon at least because in the long run, Iran needed to defend Syria together with Russia in any case.

And the Astana format, no matter what, will soon become the main foundation of Syria, which will be revived by joint forces.

By the way, during the next Moscow meeting of Foreign Minister Lavrov with his counterpart from Iran Zarif, the parties officially declared a complete coincidence of interests both on Syrian issues and on the whole range of geopolitical issues in which Russia and Iran find common ground.

The main issue on the agenda was the issue of the JCPOA on Iran’s nuclear program. And the head of the Russian foreign ministry once again confirmed the position of the Russian side – Moscow will make every effort to save both the deal itself and prevent a new arms embargo, which the United States threatens Iran.

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