Israeli military analyst Amos Harel said yesterday that the growth in Russian military aid supporting the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad will change the rules of the game for Israel.
Harel said in an article published in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper that Israel for many years did not really support the overthrow of the Assad regime but opted to maintain the status quo and keep the Syrian regime weak and under control.
According to Harel, Israel has not been particularly worried about the Syrian front, where every few months it attacks convoys transporting weapons and ammunition from Syria to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
However, Harel said that if Russia was indeed to deploy combat warplanes and planning to establish a new military base in Syria, Israel will have to face a very different kind of obstacle, particularly if Russia plans to send an anti-aircraft missiles system to join the fighter jets that could intercept any Israeli intervention.
Media reports on Friday quoted US officials as saying that Washington has spotted suspicious Russian military movements in Syria to support Bashar Al-Assad’s regime.
The New York Times quoted unidentified US administration officials as saying that Russia has dispatched a military advance team to Syria and, sent prefabricated housing units to a Syrian airfield and delivered a portable air traffic control station there.