What Victory at Deir Ez Zor Looks Like for the Syrian Arab Army and Russian Advisers
The Israeli Air Force's 'Click' Strikes Doctrine as Expounded by Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel
What's likely, given the Israelis repeatedly stated determination not to risk direct clashes with the Russians, is that the IAF used standoff missiles launched from air space over Lebanon to carry out the strike. This is consistent with locals who claimed to have heard jet noise from the direction of the Lebanese border. The unpleasant fact for Russia's allies Iran and Hezbollah remains, that the Israeli jets were easily within the engagement envelope of Russia's S300+/400 SAM batteries near the Mediterranean cities of Latakia and Tartus, but the Russians did not open fire:
Russian armed forces are not in Syria to fight with the Israelis, and that has been made clear from several cordial meetings between President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since the start of Moscow's successful intervention in support of the Damascus government. The last meeting between Netanyahu and Putin on August 22, 2017 in the 2014 Winter Olympics hosting Black Sea and Caucuses ski resort city of Sochi, was accompanied by public threats from Netanyahu that Israel could not ignore Iran's growing clout in Syria.
While Bibi's pleas for Russia to do something to reduce the influence of Moscow's Iranian ally likely fell on deaf ears, it is likely no coincidence that on August 25 Haaretz published an extended interview with the retiring chief of the IAF, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel. In contrast to the often whiny or derogatory tone towards the Russians air operations coming out of CENTCOM, Maj. Gen. Eshel emphasized professionalism in the IAF's interactions with Moscow's commanders at Kheimmim. Nonetheless, on August 27, the same Haaretz published an article by correspondent Zvi Bar'el acknowledging the reality that Assad has won the war against the 'moderate rebels' Israel and its Sunni Gulf ally Saudi Arabia supported -- thanks to Russia and Iran. Bar'el concluded that:
The Limits of Israeli Airpower, Even Without Russia Backing the IAF Off
Translation: Israeli airpower alone will not stop Iran and its battle-hardened Lebanese proxy army Hezbollah from being, after the Russians, the strongest power on the ground in post-war Syria. The best the Israelis can hope to do is persuade the Russians to keep Iranian backed Iraqi or Afghan Shia militiamen and Hezbollah away from the IDF dominated Golan Heights (which since the wars fought between 1967 and 1973 remains occupied Syrian territory according to the United Nations). Nonetheless, air strikes against Syrian facilities (even if empty) or Hezbollah arms convoys (even if not nearly as substantial as advertised by the vaunted Mossad) do make Bibi look tough to his friends in Washington and supporters in the Israeli homeland.
Furthermore, every time the U.S. or Israel use their airpower inside Syria against a government or Hezbollah target, Washington's hawks feel emboldened to portray Russian air defenses and jets stationed in the country as a paper tiger. The fact that Moscow as a nuclear armed great power must act with restraint that Iran or Hezbollah might not have in a general Mideast war is skipped by these warmongering neocons. So too, is the reality that the last time the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) went into Lebanon to fight Hezbollah on the ground in 2006 the outcome was a fiasco for the Mideast's most powerful military, with Israeli Merkava tanks immolated by the Shi'a paramilitaries Russian anti-tank missiles. As the Russia Analyst has written several times here at RogueMoney, a rematch of the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah war is likely to include more nasty surprises for the Israelis who are not prepared for Hezbollah commandos who've learned tricks from operating alongside the Russians. Battlefield techniques more associated with modern armies than militias like directing artillery or rocket fire with drones and even some electronic spoofing of the IDF and IAF's GPS signals. But the thirst for revenge is historically, a powerful factor in precipitating sequels to costly wars (see Treaty of Versailles and the twenty year armistice between WWI and WWII).
As W the Intelligence Insider warned in an email to Team RogueMoney this week, the notion that the neocons would simply retreat to lick their wounds and not take the defeat of their jihadist proxies (including ISIS) in Syria as an intolerable humiliation is naive. Like the hockey mask wearing ghoul Jason in the Friday the 13th slasher horror movies, the neocons are coming back for more killing, and will continue to use their preferred regional instrument of Israel if the Trump Administration remains reluctant to strike Syrian forces again.
The Assasin's Creed Connection to the IAF's 09/07/17 Strike Near Masyaf
Naturally, the fact that Netanyahu's wife Sara is facing an indictment for fraud is purely coincidental to the latest air strike, as is for the RogueMoney numerologists reading this, the date: September 7, 2017 (09/07/17 or three threes and two 'sevens' or shemesh-es in Biblical or modern Hebrew). In addition to the '7s' there is another detail of the latest IAF strike that gives it esoteric significance to players behind the curtain: the IAF hit an installation near the city of Masyaf, which dates at least to the Assyrians of the 8th century BC if not (like most cities in Syria) thousands of years earlier. In medieval times, Masyaf's castle was the stronghold of a suicide attacks launching Islamist sect who, as the ISIS of their day, were said to be heretics and exterminated (or more accurately, driven underground) by the Muslim authorities of that day. And these deadly cultists lent their infamous sect's name to the video/computer game series and December 21, 2016 released motion picture Assassin's Creed:
While the SAA and Hezbollah have refrained from direct retaliation for Israeli strikes due to Moscow's urging to prioritize the common Daesh enemy, the esoterically charged Jewish High Holidays of autumn and deep state desperation to target Iran and by extension Russia are pushing regional actors to a breaking point. RogueMoney readers who've read and listened to W the Intelligence Insider's warnings and more recently those of Syrian Girl (Mimi al-Laham) know something wicked this way comes.