Israeli Jets Strike Damascus On Heels Of Putin’s Tehran Summit
Israeli fighter jets launched a major attack on and near the Syrian capital of Damascus just after midnight Friday, killing three solders and wounding seven, which activated the Syrian military’s anti-air defenses.
While such brazen Israeli assaults on Syria have occurred almost weekly over the last months and even years, many have noticed the timing comes just after Russia’s Vladimir Putin was in Iran where he met with his Iranian and Turkish counterparts.
– SYR Air Defenses engaging missile strikes over Damascuspic.twitter.com/LVh8lUnqel
— Ibrahim Hamidi ابراهيم حميدي (@ibrahimhamidi) July 22, 2022
“Heavy explosions were heard over both the Syrian capital and northern Israel, according to local reports,” The Times of Israel observed of the overnight attack. “The state-run broadcaster SANA, citing a military source, said most of the missiles launched from over the Golan Heights were intercepted.”
In the wake of the attack, one prominent Syria and Middle East analyst said, “After the trilateral meeting of Putin, Raisi and Erdogan in Tehran, I predicted on Wednesday an Israeli aggression on Syria” – given that Israel sees any legitimization of the ‘regime’ in Tehran as a direct challenge and threat to its security interests.
Further, the AP has underscored that during Putin’s trip, only his second abroad since the Ukraine invasion started, Iran issued its most pro-Moscow statement to date:
Russian President Vladimir Putin won staunch support from Iran on Tuesday for his country’s military campaign in Ukraine, with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei saying the West opposes an “independent and strong” Russia.
Khamenei said that if Russia hadn’t sent troops into Ukraine, it would have faced an attack from NATO later, a statement that echoed Putin’s own rhetoric and reflected increasingly close ties between Moscow and Tehran as they both face crippling Western sanctions. NATO allies have bolstered their military presence in Eastern Europe and provided Ukraine with weapons to help counter the Russian attack.
Khamenei said to Putin on Tuesday: “If the road would have been open to NATO, it will not recognize any limit and boundary,” and that the Western military alliance would have “waged a war” to return Crimea.
📸1️⃣ Iranian 🇮🇷 President Raisi hosts Turkish 🇹🇷 President Erdoğan and Russian 🇷🇺 President Putin for discussions about #Syria during 7th “Astana Trilateral”.
— Samuel Doveri Vesterbye (@SamuelJsdv) July 22, 2022
Thus a number of pundits are linking the major Tehran meeting, for which Turkey’s Erdogan was also present (a member of NATO, it should be recalled), and Israel’s fresh military action on Damascus, pointing to it as a stern “message” to Iran and Russia.
The leaders discussed the more than decade-long Syria conflict, with Putin having said during his meeting with Iran’s Raisi, “Our relations are developing at a good pace,” adding that the two countries will “strengthen their cooperation on international security and contribute significantly to the Syrian settlement.”
Those 50 seconds that Erdogan made Putin wait, looking frazzled in-front of cameras say plenty of how much has changed after Ukraine: pic.twitter.com/giGirqaYYP
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) July 19, 2022
The great delayer has met his match. Vladimir Putin kept Turkey’s Erdogan waiting for 2 mins, Trump for 45 mins, the Pope for an hour & Angela Merkel for 4 hours. Now Erdogan has kept him standing. Only for 50 secs, but that feels like eternity in front of the world’s cameras.
— John Simpson (@JohnSimpsonNews) July 20, 2022
Importantly Gazprom has just reached what’s being described as a $40 billion long term deal with Iran’s state oil company. “This MoU [Memorandum of Understanding] will be the largest foreign investment in the history of Iran’s oil industry, as it will lead to an investment of several tens of billions of dollars of Russian investment in Iran’s oil and gas fields,” Iran’s Tansim news agency said of the fresh agreement, coming at a moment Gazprom is reducing supplies to Europe.
Fri, 07/22/2022 – 13:00