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These assumptions are: Let me begin by saying that I categorically disagree with both of these assumptions, especially the 2nd one. Assumption #1: Russia can stop the Israeli attacks on Syria How?I think that the list of options is fairly obvious here.
If the Russians did not retaliate against the Turks shooting down one of their own aircraft, they sure ain’t gonna attack the Israelis when they attack a non-Russian target!But none of that means that Russia is now responsible for the protection of the sovereignty of the Syrian airspace or territory.As far as I am concerned, the only country which has done even more than Russia for Syria is Iran and, in lieu of gratitude the Arab countries “thank” the Iranians by conspiring against them with the USA and Israel. What this means is that while these three entities do have some common objectives, they are also independent and they all have some objectives not shared by others.Russian options range from diplomatic action (such as private or public protests and condemnations, attempts to get a UNSC Resolution passed) to direct military action (shooting down Israeli aircraft, “painting” them with an engagement radar to try to scare them away or, at least, try to intercept Israeli missiles). Actually, I think that this could work, but at what risk and price?Trying to reason with the Israelis or get the to listen to the UN has been tried by many countries for decades and if there is one thing which is beyond doubt is that the Israelis don’t give a damn about what anybody has to say. First of all, while I always said that the IDF’s ground forces are pretty bad, this is not the case of their air forces. Now if you look at where the Russian air defenses are, you will see that they are all concentrated around Khmeimim and Tartus.
I often see that question in emails and in comments, so I wanted to address this issue today.