Iran, Syria will ‘be forced to react if Russia doesn’t restrain Israel’ – report

Syria’s resentment towards Russia grows over “ignoring” alleged Israeli airstrikes, a Lebanese newspaper claims.

By Zevi Pilzer, World Israel News

Lebanon’s Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Akhbar newspaper reported Wednesday morning on a “turning point” in Russia’s involvement in Syria.

The report was published following joint Russian-Syrian airforce patrols near the Israeli border earlier this week.

According to the news outlet, the Syrian leadership and its allies – led by Iran – expressed deep dissatisfaction with the Russians, saying they have been turning a blind eye to IDF airstrikes on Syrian targets.

Syria and its allies will “be forced to react to the airstrikes if it doesn’t restrain Israel,” they warned Russia.

According to Al-Akhbar, Russia’s recent actions in Syria may be linked to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin several days beforehand, which may imply that the two leaders have reached understandings.

However, some estimate that Russia’s presence in southern Syria is in Russia’s own interest, not in Syria’s.

Syrian sources told Al-Akhbar that Russia demanded several times that Syria hand over the Lattakia Port – the country’s main and largest seaport – through long-term investment contracts, but the Assad regime refused each time.

The sources added that Russian forces entered the port following the Israeli airstrikes, adding that this could be interpreted as an attempt to gain control over the port while pretending the purpose is to will protect it from Israeli attacks.

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“This invites the thought that Russia deliberately ignored the Israeli airstrikes,” the sources said.