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The Middle East's Worst Nightmare: A War between Israel and Russia

by Michael Peck
December 9, 2016

Don't laugh. Recent events show there is a path to conflict.

The news that Israel had attacked targets in Syria was a yawner. The Israeli Air Force has been regularly paying visits to Syria for years, attacking convoys transporting Iranian weapons to Hezbollah, or destroying a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007.

But this time, Syrian media reported that Israel fired several surface-to-surface missiles at a military airport. Yet much more significant is that fact that the airport was located outside Damascus, probably at least twenty-five miles from the Israeli border.

If in fact the attack occurred—and Israel is neither confirming nor denying that it has—what does this mean?

For starters, a missile that can reach Damascus isn’t some tactical anti-tank rocket fired by the Israeli army at some Hezbollah or ISIS gunmen on the border. Most likely it was a stand-off missile, perhaps an air-launched Popeye or Delilah, or some top-secret guided weapon never before used. Presumably Jerusalem was not crazy enough to use a nuclear-capable Jericho ballistic missile.

But as Israeli military commentator Ron Ben-Yishai perceptively asks , why did Israel use missiles instead of the aircraft that it usually does? “Accurately dropping bombs is usually cheaper than firing surface missiles,” Ben-Yishai writes. “The cost of one accurate rocket is higher than the cost of accurate aerial munition, even when taking into account the cost of operating the plane and the pilot. It’s reasonable to assume, therefore, that if Israel did in fact use surface-to-surface missiles, as the Syrian media claimed, it had a good reason to do so.”

That good reason is Russian radar, Ben-Yishai believes. “Had Israel launched planes to carry out the mission, they would not have had to enter Syrian territory to hit the air base and could have simply flown over the sea or over Lebanese territory. But the sensitive and long-range radars, which the Russians brought to Syria when they entered the fray, would have been able to detect the presence of Israel Air Force planes in the area. It’s even possible that the Russians would have warned the Syrian antiaircraft batteries which, according to reports, have already tried to hit Israeli planes as they embarked on missions to stop Hezbollah from arming itself.”

Another reason could be the S-400, S-300 and SA-23 surface-to-air missiles that Russia has deployed in Syria, according to Ben-Yishai. The presence of advanced SAM batteries may deter Israeli aircraft from operating in Syrian airspace.

However, there is another possibility that Ben-Yishai doesn’t mention. That’s the potential of Israeli and Russian aircraft engaging in battle. Russian fighters have already confronted U.S. aircraft attacking ISIS in Syria. If Israeli planes were to accidentally bomb Russian troops, and Russian fighters and SAMs fired at them, and then Israeli called in more fighters to rescue their planes and knock out the SAMs . . . it could be a very, very bad day for all concerned.

The first two Israeli Air Force F-35s are headed from the United States to Israel right now. Will the presence of Russian aircraft and SAMs encourage Israel to use stealth aircraft in Syria, in turn provoking Russia to deploy even more sophisticated air defense weapons?

As is, the situation is ominous. The problem with Israel launching surface-to-surface missiles is that the region has become a parking lot for missiles and rockets of all types. As the Americans and Soviets learned during the Cold War, missile blips suddenly appearing on radar screens can make people nervous, especially for states like Israel and Iran that have—or may have—nuclear weapons .

Israel has also long believed, as with the strike on Saddam Hussein’s Osirak nuclear site, that it’s better to neutralize potential threats before they become actual threats. If Israeli intelligence should detect, for example, Iranian weapons of mass destruction being transported across Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon, would Jerusalem sit on its hands? Or would it decide that destroying the threat is worth a potential confrontation with Russia?

One war is Syria is bad enough. We don’t need two.

Michael Peck is a frequent contributor to the National Interest and is a regular writer for many outlets like WarIsBoring. He can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Image: F-35A in flight. Flickr/Lockheed Martin

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Over a million Iraqi people of all ages were killed in the US led invasion and occupation and more than a million crippled for remorse..shame on the USA's pro-war establishment..the #1 obstacle to world peace and cause of extreme needless human misery

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Israel used a Russian military plane as a shield in attack against Syria


A Russian military aircraft Ilushin-20 disappeared from the radar screens in the Mediterranean, 35 kilometers from the Syrian coast, on September 17, 2018, around 10 pm (Syrian time), when it returned to the Russian air base. Hmeymim, in Syria, with 14 people on board.

The incident occurred at a time when four Israeli F-16s were attacking, from international waters of the Mediterranean, the Institute of Technical Industries of the Syrian city of Latakia. The Syrian anti-aircraft defense succeeded in destroying several enemy missiles in flight.

Israel is now attacking the scientific-technical centers linked to the Syrian armed forces, a strategy that in fact continues the Israeli program of assassinations against scientists linked to military activity in Middle Eastern countries, a program already applied against Iran and Iraq.

The United States immediately accused Syria of having shot down the Russian military aircraft in response to the Israeli attack.

But Syria accuses the French frigate Auvergne, deployed in the Mediterranean, of having participated in the attack, which Paris denies, as usual.

Numerous satellites were able to record the Israeli air strike of September 17 and the response of the Syrian air defense.

The Russian Ilushin-20 was a plane with 4 propeller engines and was conducting an observation mission of the western naval forces deployed off the Syrian coast when Israeli aircraft began their air strike against Syria.

The study of the recordings shows:

1. That the French Auvergne frigate effectively fired missiles at Syria;
2. that at least one of the Israeli aggressor planes shielded himself behind the Russian plane, so that the latter was hit by the Syrian defense.

Using an aircraft from a third country to protect itself from air defense is an act of war against the country of the plane used involuntarily as a shield, exactly what Israel did against Russia.

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Plan Is On Track, Central Banks Begin To Panic
Sep 18, 2018

Obama's trade rep has acknowledged that the old global trade mess needed to be fixed. What is really happening, the globalist trade deals are being terminated. Trump pushes agenda into the stratosphere by placing more tariffs on China.The Fed is trying to use any excuse to put a pause on interest rate hikes, they know if they crash the economy it will be blamed on them, so those within the Fed are trying to stop the rate hike in Dec. DC is panicking and the central bank is panicking, the plan is moving forward.
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