Israel’s Minister of Defense Pushes Offensive Doctrine Against Iran in Syria – What Will Russia Do?

  • Bennett's doctrine is to start aggressive military operation against Iran forces in Syria.
  • US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the US no longer considers civilian Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands a violation of international law.
  • Russia has a close relationship with Iran.

Newly elected Israeli Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett believes an aggressive offense strategy needs to be executed on Iranian targets, as well as additional attacks on Syria. Bennett is an Israeli politician who led the Jewish Home party between 2012 and 2018 and currently serves as an MK for New Right. Bennett publicly shared his doctrine proposal on November 29 in the Israeli media. The doctrine received an immediate reaction from Russia.

Israeli Minister of Defense Naftali Bennett.

Interestingly, Russian president Vladimir Putin is finalizing plans to travel to Israel in January to attend the largest ever anti-Semitism event held in Jerusalem. The special event is expected to have 30 world leaders present.

According to Bennett’s strategy, Israel should use military operations to force Iranian forces to leave the region and eliminate the security threat for Israel. Many could say, due to US President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Trump is empowering such a doctrine.

Additionally, this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the US no longer considers civilian Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands a violation of international law. The West Bank has been a root of conflict between Israel and Palestine for decades.

Israeli settlements.

The plan includes expanding military operations in multiple Syrian regions against the Islamic Revolutionary Guard that has roughly 125,000 military personnel, including ground, aerospace and naval forces. Bennett’s doctrine has gained support from Israel’s upper government brass.

Russia is one of the major parties in the Syrian conflict backing Bashar al-Assad, a Syrian politician who has been the President of Syria since July 17, 2000. In addition, he is commander-in-chief of the Syrian Armed Forces and Regional Secretary of the Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party’s branch in Syria. This week Assad also approved a Syrian budget of $9.2 billion.

It is plausible to believe Putin and the Russian military stationed in Syria will not prevent anti-israel actions from occurring and may assist with stopping any attacks against Iranian forces in Syria. Trump won’t be successful in breaking up the Russia-Iran relationship. Putin always reiterates that relations between the two countries are “multifaceted” and “multilateral.” Nevertheless, Russia refused to sell the S-400 missile defense system to Iran to avoid additional tensions in the global arena.

Thus far, Putin has been careful to avoid direct military confrontation and it is highly unlikely Russia would take a stance against Israel. Yet, it is possible Russia will be a direct proponent of thwarting Israeli attacks in Syria.

In November Russia’s Gosduma approved the withdrawal from parts of the Geneva Conventions concerning the protection of victims of international armed conflicts. This could open a door for Russia to quietly aid Iranian forces in Syria by changing the rules of war and possibly using a false flag scenario without being identified or held accountable.

The Middle East remains a key region in the global power struggle and attempts to shift the geopolitical balance.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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