All the pieces were in place for it to happen sooner than later, but striking Syria on Christmas night sent a terrifying message that’s sure to backfire against “Israel” but will probably also get people to wonder why the S-300s didn’t deter this from happening in the first place.
Reports are streaming in that “Israel” launched an attack against Syria on Christmas night after a brief hiatus of a couple of months following what President Putin previously described as the “chain of tragic circumstances” that led to the downing of a Russian spy plane over the Arab Republic’s airspace in mid-September. Many people are shocked by the audacity of striking Syria on one of the world’s holiest days but a lot of those who have also been following the country’s conflict lately are surprised that it even happened at all.
Certain forces in the Mainstream and Alternative Medias pushed forth the narrative that Russia’s highly publicized dispatch of S-300 anti-air missiles to Syria in the aftermath of the mid-September incident was supposed to have made this scenario impossible, though the reality is that the Russian military has yet to hand control of these systems over to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and might ultimately never end up doing so as part of a possible backroom deal between Moscow and Tel Aviv in order for “Israel” to continue having the so-called “freedom” to strike IRGC and Hezbollah positions in the country at its convenience.
Those same voices who said that this wouldn’t ever happen again tended to also gloss over the developments of the past few weeks which saw Russia and “Israel” publicly set aside their largely exaggerated differences since September by exchanging high-level military delegations and agreeing to once again cooperate with one another. Coming in the immediate run-up to Trump’s decision to initiate the US’ conventional on-the-ground withdrawal from Syria, the writing was on the wall that “Israel” would soon resume its bombing operations in the country at America’s behest.
One of the Mideast’s worst kept “secrets” is that Russia passively facilitated over 200 of these same bombings from January 2017 to September 2018 by the admission of its own Defense Ministry following the aforementioned midair incident that tragically downed its spy plane, having tacitly done as as part of its regional “balancing” strategy aimed at indirectly creating the conditions for Iran’s military drawdown and ultimate “phased withdrawal” from Syria as one of the main steps in President Putin’s unofficial peace plan for the country.
While serious observers of regional affairs who solidly understood these strategic dynamics predicted that more “Israeli” bombings would soon be forthcoming, Tel Aviv’s decision to strike Syria on Christmas night sent a terrifying message that it doesn’t care for observing this holy day and will undoubtedly backfire against it in the soft power sense. “Israel” doesn’t care much about “winning hearts and minds” in the Arab world where it remains very unpopular for historic reasons but its audacious action on such a day certainly must give some of its Western supporters cause to reconsider their support for it after what happened.
All arguments aside that might be made by its lobbyists about “Israel’s” “right to ensure its security”, it’s generally understood in the West that Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace where hostilities between rival parties are unofficially frozen until the celebrations are finally over after sunrise the next day, but Tel Aviv literally blew that presumption to pieces with its latest bombing. Although not a surprise in and of itself and likely to end up being yet another self-inflicted wound to “Israel’s” soft power, the proverbial “sliver lining” might be that people finally begin to wonder why this happened at all in spite of the much-publicized deployment of S-300s to Syria prior to putting the pieces together and eventually understanding the complex reality of contemporary Mideast geopolitics that made it possible.
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This article was originally published on Eurasia Future.
Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.