Syria reveals what’s behind Israeli air strikes

The Syrian civil war is shifting into an active military standoff phase between Israel and Iran, Izvestia writes. Overnight to Tuesday, the Israeli Air Force carried out several missile strikes near the Damascus International Airport to destroy a batch of weapons destined for Hezbollah, according to one version. This hasn’t been the first clash, though. In May, Israel struck dozens of Iranian targets inside Syria in response to missile strikes on its border.

Syria's Ambassador to Russia Riyad Haddad linked the overnight strikes to the Syrian army’s success in the Daraa and the As-Suwayda Governorates. He also noted that Iran’s presence in the country is only limited to military advisers as part of cooperating in the anti-terror fight.

Nora Arissiyan, who is a member of the Syrian parliamentary committee for Arab and international affairs, stressed that "the strike was delivered after a major triumph by the Syrian Army, which restored control over hundreds of square kilometers in the outskirts of Homs, Damascus and Deir ez-Zor."

"The proxy war between Iran and Israel is most likely going to continue in Syria. They will sort out their relationship on the country’s territory. Occasionally, tensions will mount again and again, to a greater or lesser extent, but the parties are not ready for a direct standoff and will try to avoid this," Elena Suponina, adviser to the Director of the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, told the paper.

Iran’s presence in Syria is justified and the surge in clashes between Israel and Iran in Syria won’t push Damascus to reconsider its views on cooperating with Tehran, former Syrian MP Maria Saaleh said. "The war in Syria began not because of Iran. But when it broke out, other states started interfering in it, and we needed allies who shared our position on who is our real foe. That’s why Iran came to Syria," she explained.

As for Russia’s stance on the Iranian presence in Syria, Moscow traditionally adheres to international norms, the paper says, recalling that Iran along with Turkey is one of the mediators in the Syrian peace process and is in Syria at the invitation of Damascus.

Iran Syria Israel