Amid the news and reports of death and destruction in Syria, there was one piece of news that received little attention, despite its frightening implications. This piece of news is the fact that a “direct hotline” was established between Russia and Israel to avoid incidents between the two countries’ aircrafts in Syrian airspace. This means they have teamed up against us.
Russia began its airstrikes in Syria at the end of last month, and Israel has launched a few dozen airstrikes since 2013, mostly targeting weapons transfers to Hezbollah.
The Russian-Israeli agreement shows that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was truthful and sincere, for once in his life, when he announced, after his visit to Russia last month and his meeting with President Vladimir Putin, that a bilateral agreement was made to coordinate military operations in Syria to avoid “misunderstandings” that may lead to confrontations. There was also news of a “hotline” between Latakia airport and both countries’ aircraft.
Russia is now talking about an upcoming agreement with the United States to ensure the safety of the flights, and there is also talk of a final memorandum of understanding. This memorandum is being studied by Russian and American lawyers and will be signed very soon according to reports from the Russian Defence Ministry. Russia made similar contact with the Turkish army to avoid incidents between the two countries’ aircrafts.
All of this coincided with the failure of the $500 million American plan to train and arm moderate opposition fighters in Syria. It seems that the Pentagon decided to start an alternative plan which includes sending arms and supplies to opposition groups trusted by the Americans.
There is no logical reason to expect the success of the second plan, but I will endeavour to say that it will fail, just like the first plan. It seems that Putin decided that Obama is helpless and that he can take advantage of his helplessness in order to achieve his political and military ambitions in Syria.
The State Duma in Moscow supports Putin, while the US Congress is opposed to all of Obama’s decisions. This allowed the president’s spokesperson to claim, after the failure of the opposition training and armament project, that the project was forced on the president, holding the Republican Congress members and Hillary Clinton responsible.
This is not true, but even if it were true, it reveals Barack Obama’s weakness and confusion compared to Vladimir Putin’s boldness.
There is now a major battle taking place near Aleppo, and the Russians are carrying out airstrikes on opposition targets. Meanwhile, it is said that Iran has thousands of fighters on the ground and that General Qassem, commander of the Quds Force, is in the area managing the Iranian operations.
The image I have just drawn, despite its bleakness, is still incomplete, as the regime and Daesh are sharing gas production. I read that the terrorists’ share is bigger.
It is a well-known fact that 90 per cent of the energy used in Syria is dependent on gas.
As a final point, Germany will receive about 800,000 refugees by the end of the year, most of who are from Syria, while the US will receive 1,500 refugees.
The US population is 320 million, while Germany’s population is 82 million, and the area of the US is 27 times that of Germany.
The US administration and the Congress are more concerned with the visit of General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Israel in order to reassure its ally and witness with his own eyes how the terrorist government kills Palestinians with American weapons and money, than with the Syrian refugees. He will also reassure them that they will be protected from veto in the UN Security Council.
Translated Arabi21, 21 October 2015.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.