Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Netanyahu ended their three-hour meeting in Sochi Tuesday, May 14, at loggerheads on Syria. In fact, Putin warned his guest that Israel and its army, the IDF, were heading for war with Syria in which Russia might well be involved – and not just through the advanced S-300 anti-air missiles supplied to the Assad government. The case Netanyahu and Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi put before Putin and Russian foreign intelligence chief, SVR Director Mikhail Fradkov, fell on deaf ears.
The Israeli prime minister countered with a warning that Israel would continue to strike advanced weapons in Syria that were destined for Hizballah. And if President Bashar Assad hit back for Israel’s May 5 bombardment of weapons stores on Mount Qassioun near Damascus, Israel would intensify its bombardments of Syrian military targets and weapons until Assad was left to fight off rebel assaults empty-handed.
Putin rejected this threat as implausible.
Neither Putin nor Netanyahu put all their cards on the table, but the conversation ended with the Russian leader fully confident that his capabilities for safeguarding Assad were greater than Israel’s ability to destroy him.
Full article: Syrian-Israeli war of words via Putin edges into Syrian-Hizballah war of attrition. (DEBKAfile)