A typical Israeli propaganda scheme is to falsely claim that an agreement with some entity has been made and to then push that entity to stick to a “deal” it never agreed to. Israel dislikes any ‘Iranian presence’ in Syria. It tries to press on Russia to push Iran out of Syria by claiming that Russia offered or made such a deal.
Last fall a campaign in Israeli media claimed that Russia had agreed to push Iran away from the border with Israel. Russia denied that anything like that happened. Iranian forces in Syria are legitimately there. In late May a similar campaign repeated that scheme. It claimed that the Russian Foreign Minister had agreed to move Iran out, when in fact he had called on U.S. forces to leave Syria. Moon of Alabamadocumented both campaigns.
Yesterday we saw a third attempt by Israel to pretend that Russia had offered or made a deal to counter ‘Iranian presence’:
A senior political source participated in the meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, and Russian Chief of Staff Valery Gerasimov, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem Sunday evening.
“It was made clear again that we would not accept Iranian consolidation in Syria, not near the border, and not in the 100-kilometer strip that the Russians are talking about and committing to,” the senior official said. “We said that there is long-range weapons placed beyond this area and all these forces have to leave Syria. Russia has considerable capabilities to deal with this, because it is a very significant factor within Syria.”
Damascus is only some 50 kilometers from the Israel occupied Golan Height. Does anyone believe that Russia can tell Iranians to not go to Damascus? That it can tell Iran to not defend its ally Syria? Such an “offer”, which Russia most likely never made, would be nonsense. Russia has no means to tell Iran what to do. Even the U.S. acknowledges that:
“We have assessed that it’s unlikely Russia has the will or the capability to fully implement and counter Iranian decisions and influence” in Syria, Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats said Thursday at the Aspen Security Forum. “Russia would have to make significantly greater commitments [in Syria] from a military standpoint, from an economic standpoint,” he said. “We don’t assess that they’re keen to do that.”
The Israeli haranguing about an ‘Iranian presence’ is a self fulfilling prophecy. Each Israeli attack on Syrian grounds proves that Iranian forces would have legitimate reason to be in Syria. They are obviously needed to help their Syrian allies to defend against such attacks.
Other news sites picked up on the alleged Russian “offer” claim and pretended that it is real.
Reuters weirdly headlines: Israel rejects Russian offer to keep Iranian forces 100 km from Golan: official:
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel on Monday rebuffed a Russian offer to keep Iranian forces in Syria at least 100 kilometers from the Golan Heights ceasefire line, an Israeli official said on Monday.
The official said that Netanyahu told Lavrov “we will not allow the Iranians to establish themselves even 100 kilometers from the border.”
From that quote it seems that it was Netanyahoo, not Lavrov, who introduced the “100 kilometers” line.
Axios offered a similar stupid headline: Russia wants to push Iran 65 miles from Israel’s border in Syria:
Russia wants to push Iranian forces, Hezbollah and Pro-Iranian Shiite militias 65 miles from the Syrian-Israeli border in the Golan Heights, a senior Israeli official said after a meeting today in Jerusalem between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov.
The senior Israeli official said in a conference call with reporters that Israel’s goal is to get all Iranian and pro-Iranian forces out of the entire Syrian territory, but the Russians want, in the first phase, to push the Iranians 65 miles from the Israeli border.
Russia had rejected such Israeli claims last fall. It again rejected similar claims in May. It will also debunk the current nonsense. No such offer was made. Israel ‘rejected’ something it invented itself and has the chutzpah to make even more lunatic demands:
According to the Israeli official, Netanyahu gave Lavrov a list of demands regarding Iranian military presence in Syria:
- Iran needs to take all of its long range missiles and weapons out of Syria.
- Iran needs to stop the production of precision munitions in Syria.
- Iran needs to take all its air defense systems out of Syria.
- The border crossings between Syria and Lebanon needs to be monitored to prevent arms smuggling to Hezbollah from Syria.
- The border crossings between Iraq and Syria needs to be monitored to prevent infiltration of Shiite militias into Syria from Iraq.
Netanyahoo also asked for a pink pony.
Syrian companies produce ammunition. Syrian workers manufacture missiles of various ranges and precision. They have done so for decades. There may once a while be some lone Iranian engineer visiting to give advice. The Syrian Arab Army has long range missiles and it is the SAA, not Iran, that provides air defense for Syria. There are no longer Iranian forces or other personal in notable numbers in Syria. During the war Iran helped to build up Syria’s National and Local Defense Forces (NDF/LDF). Hizbullah came from Lebanon to support the Syrian efforts. Iranian advisors joined some Syrian army groups. But as the Syrian army won back more and more control over its land these groups lowered their presence:
Hizbollah now only has 10% of its units compared to peak of 2016. Similarly, NDF/LDF that used to be almost 90k are now closer to 3k. …
All the Israeli harrumphing about Iran in Syria is a diversion from the fact the Israel and the U.S. lost their war on Syria.
Israel openly stated that it preferred ISIS and other Jihadis near the occupied Golan Height. But now those forces are defeated. The Syrian army is back at the Golan Heights line and no shooting down of a Syrian jet or attack on this or that minor factory will change that. These are provocations to goad Syria into a response attack on Israel and to draw Iran and the U.S. into a war.
The southwestern Daara region is nearly cleaned up. The Syrian army is already moving forces northwards to Idleb governorate where some 15-20,000 Jihadis are busy killing each other. An all out attack on that last governorate with significant Jihadi presence will commence in September. A local guerilla movement against the U.S. presence in northeast Syria is growing. It is unlikely that the Trump administration is willing to sustain the occupation there when it starts to cause a number of casualties.
In a year from now the Syrian government will likely have regained full control over its country.