Syria: Can Russia Balance Iran and Israel?

The escalating proxy conflict between regional rivals israel and Iran in Syria is fast approaching a fever pitch, and Russia’s literally stuck in the middle as the only country with any chance of balancing between these two.

israel has bombed the Arab Republic over 100 times since the beginning of its 2011 conflict on the alleged basis that it’s targeting either Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) troops or their Hezbollah allies, with many of these strikes having taken place since Russia’s 2015 anti-terrorist military intervention and coordinated with Moscow per a so-called “deconfliction mechanism” signed in September of that year. The Russian Ambassador to Israel Alexander Shein confirmed this just as recently as last week when he said that “We are mutually coordinating and updating about Syria… So far, there have been no incidents between us, nor even hints at incidents, and I hope there will not be”.

To be clear, Russia is not implying any active role in identifying suspected IRGC or Hezbollah targets on Israel’s behalf, but is merely saying that it is made aware of attacks at least right before they happen so that there isn’t any “misunderstanding” between the two militaries that results in either the death of Russian servicemen or the shooting down of Israel’s missiles or aircraft.

This is admittedly a very tricky situation for Russia because it also militarily cooperates with Iran against Daesh and other terrorist…

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