Iran’s false claims that “Israel” has been launching “daily incursions into Syria” since last weekend’s jet incident might be part of a proactive infowar effort to imply that Russia’s insistence on a “political solution” to the country’s conflict has left Syria vulnerable to Zionist aggression, thereby lending credence to Tehran’s implicit support for Damascus’ “procrastination” in this regard and unstated continued pursuit of a “military solution” against “all odds”.
Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif controversially said that “Israel” has a policy of “mass reprisals against its neighbours and daily incursions into Syria, Lebanon” while addressing his audience at this year’s Munich Security Conference.
While no objective observer doubts “Israel’s” complicity in hatching the Hybrid War of Terror on Syria as part of its modern-day implementation of the Yinon Plan, this is the first time that a leading world figure said that it is carrying out “daily incursions” into the country.
Tel Aviv supports a motley crew of terrorists all across the Arab Republic and especially in the regions bordering the occupied Golan Heights that it envisions as forming a future “buffer zone” in a possibly “federalized” (“internally partitioned”) Syria delineated according to the so-called “de-escalation zones”.
It also has a history of carrying out over 100 airstrikes against its neighbor since the 2011 “Arab Spring” theater-wide Hybrid War first began, and “Israel” did in fact conduct almost daily bombings during a brief period in the middle of last summer.
While Russia certainly had no role in “Israel’s” asymmetrical destabilization of Syria, Moscow and Tel Aviv do coordinate their conventional military activities in the country per what has been termed the “deconfliction mechanism” that they agreed to shortly before the commencement of Russia’s anti-terrorist intervention in September 2015.
Because of this, Russian media has thus far always reported on each and every strike that “Israel” is suspected of doing in Syria since that time, though there hasn’t been any news about this in the past week since Damascus shot down one of its jets and received massive damage to its air defense systems in punitive response.
That’s why it’s rather odd for Zarif to claim that “Israel” is engaged in “daily incursions into Syria” since this suggests that such attacks are still occurring in one form or another but have been censored from all media reporting, including his county’s own through Press TV, which is never shy to call “Israel” out for its regional activities.
What’s probably happening though is that there aren’t “daily incursions into Syria” like Zarif asserts, but that he said so for strategic purposes that go beyond simply raising awareness about “Israel’s” aggressive actions against its neighbors and utilizing a bit of exaggerative rhetoric to make his valid point.
The basis for believing as much is because Iran has millennia of diplomatic experience, and it’s unlikely that one of its most astute diplomats in years would make an uncharacteristic faux pas by inventing imaginary “Israeli” incursions into Syria when there objectively haven’t been any since their retributive airstrike following Damascus’ downing of their jet last weekend.
Since all the governments involved know that this is “fake news” (even if it’s being disseminated for the “right reason”), the intended audience must therefore be the general public, meaning that Zarif’s statements are part of Iran’s soft power campaign to “win hearts and minds”.
That’s certainly the case, as it always is whenever Iran reminds the world of its principled opposition to Zionism, but there might even be a bit more to it this time given the recent context in which this pronouncement was made.
A growing gap has formed between Iran and Russia concerning their vision for Syria following the defeat of Daesh, with Tehran implicitly supporting Damascus’ stated intent to liberate “every square inch” of the country (which naturally hints at resorting to military means as a “last resort”) while Moscow maintains that they should sincerely adhere to advancing the so-called “political solution” that they’ve thus far only paid lip service to.
Syria believes that it has the sovereign right to do as it pleases on its internationally recognized territory, while Russia thinks that Damascus should be mindful of the realistic limitations imposed upon it by the wartime situation and therefore “compromise” in this regard so as to open up an opportunity for ”politically” ending the conflict.
Both parties are correct, but the issue is that they have yet to agree on how to proceed, and the state of bilateral affairs between them is complicated by the other actors involved.
Russia has the entire UN on its side per Security Council Resolution 2254 from December 2015 that mandates a “political solution” be brought about by “constitutional reform” and “new elections”, while the only party solidly supporting the Syrian government’s reluctance to prioritize the implementation of an agreement reached without Damascus’ direct consent at the time is Iran.
The issue is essentially about sovereignty and international law, which could somewhat be reframed as “nationalism” and “globalism” in that the former doesn’t necessarily agree that states should be compelled to enact “solutions” that were decided by “global bodies” like the UN and its Security Council.
Again, both the Syrian and Russian parties to this unofficial “dispute” are correct in their own ways, since state sovereignty is veritably something that should be protected, though the case can also be made that this is best achieved through abiding by international law in order to most sustainably stabilize the complex environment in which the world’s nearly 200 states operate.
So as not to be misunderstood, neither Syria nor Iran have ever said that they are against the stipulations laid out in UNSC Res. 2254, but it’s just that their actions in “procrastinating” on this say otherwise and speak much louder than their words.
The relevancy that all of this has to Zarif’s curious claim that “Israel” has launched “daily incursions into Syria” is that it sets the context for Iran’s forthcoming influence operations that are designed to preempt Russia from gaining the “upper hand” in the soft power sphere when it comes to their developing “competition” over the next steps that post-Daesh Syria should take.
Russia believes that Damascus must urgently make tangible progress on meeting the political demands of UNSC Res. 2254 while Iran thinks that its Syrian ally should continue to buy time while waiting for opportunities to arise (or be engineered by Tehran) whereby it could then attempt to militarily liberate “every square inch” of the country.
What Zarif might be subtly trying to emphasize through his “fake news” about “Israel” is that Russia’s preferred approach in “encouraging” Syria to focus on peaceful means for ending the war have inadvertently opened it up to incessant Zionist aggression that can only be defended against by the military means that Iran has indirectly been advocating this entire time.
Moreover, per the above-mentioned insinuation that Iran might “engineer” various scenarios for Syria to militarily pursue its interests, it’s worthwhile to keep in mind the possibility that Tehran might have had a hand in the Deir ez-Zor disaster that saw at least 5 Russian mercenaries sent to their deaths for absolutely nothing.
This was analyzed extensively in the author’s recent analysis titled “‘Wagner’ In Syria: Is The Iranian Tail Trying To Wag The Russian-American Dog?”, which the reader should review if they’re not already familiar with it.
Given this backdrop of distrust between Russia and Iran — which itself ultimately comes down to their divergent views on the best path for Damascus to follow now that Daesh has been defeated — it can reasonably be asked whether Zarif’s “white lie” about “Israel’s” “daily incursions into Syria” is a proactive part of his country’s infowar strategy against Moscow.
Taken at face value, his words don’t immediately relate to Russia at all, but reading between the lines they appear to suggest that the country at least passively facilitates these “daily incursions” by doing nothing to stop them in spite of having the presumed responsibility to do so as part of its duties in enforcing the southern “de-escalation zone”.
Russia’s relations with “Israel” are poorly understood by the Alt-Media audience that Iran is likely targeting with its latest claims, and they’d do well to read the author’s provocative work titled “Does Anyone Still Seriously Think That Russia And Israel Aren’t Allies ?” and Adam Garrie’s excellent piece on “Moscow’s Successful Courting of The Jewish Lobby Represents The Penultimate Blow To US Power and Prestige” to gain more insight into the nuances behind its strategy of engagement with its Mideast nuclear counterpart.
Nevertheless, the majority of these information consumers aren’t going to come into contact with either of the two aforementioned analyses, thus making them especially vulnerable to being misled by Iran in this regard, especially through what might soon become weaponized inferences that Russia “conspires” with “Israel” to have Tel Aviv attack Syria because President Putin “sold out to the Zionists”.
This narrative is frighteningly much more attractive to the average member of the Alt-Media audience than the truth that Moscow is pragmatically pursuing a 21st-century “balancing act” in the Mideast in order to midwife the Multipolar World Order, which is why it would be so easy for Iran to exploit this storyline against Russia.
In addition, the rising worldwide trend of “populism” is also present here as well since the Syrian-Iranian position of militarily supporting state sovereignty within one’s borders can be seen through this prism, while Russia’s approach is closer to the “globalist” one of having international bodies decide what is best for any given country, especially those embroiled in seemingly intractable conflicts where the armed parties would otherwise be irreconcilable.
All in all, Zarif’s false claim about “Israel’s” “daily incursions into Syria” is actually rather cunning in the sense that it plays to the Alt-Media Community’s tendency to suspect that everyone but Iran could potentially be “selling out to the Zionists”, which in this context impugns Russia and is designed to add credence to Tehran’s support for Damascus’ implied “military solution” to the war and continued “procrastination” in failing to make tangible progress on Russia’s desired “political” one.
By Andrew Korybko
Source: Eurasia Future