The weekend clash with Syria and Iran on Israel’s northern border improved Israel’s strategic position, said Brig. Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence and today a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.
“This was an impressive demonstration of Israeli power and we succeeded to send a clear message to the Iranians, the Syrians and Hizbullah. We caused great damage to Syria’s anti-aircraft systems and attacked at least four Iranian targets. We made it clear to Iran that we have the capability to act with determination against their attempts to change the rules of the game in the region.”
“Iran is frustrated because Israel is preventing it from achieving its three goals: to transfer game-changing weapons to Hizbullah, to establish a network of military bases in Syria, and to generate continuing conflict with Israel in the Golan Heights.”
“Unfortunately, we paid a price with two wounded pilots and the downing of a plan, but this has no strategic significance. When you fight, there are casualties. No one checks to see how many Iranians or Syrians were hurt in our attacks. We became use to attacking without being attacked in response.”
“There is no doubt that an event like this [sending an Iranian drone into Israel] was not coordinated in advance with the Russians and occurred without their knowledge, and this was very serious for the Russians. Putin is counting on there being quiet in Syria and that Russia can manage events there to advance its own interests. Now Russia has received proof of Israel’s warnings that Iran is dangerous, and that granting Iran freedom of action in Syria is not helpful to Russia. Rather, it will just upset the area and disturb the quiet.”
“The Iranians don’t really take the Russians into account. Tehran believes that Moscow needs it in order to fight Assad’s opponents and therefore the Iranians don’t take into consideration Putin’s concerns. This may now change.”
This article originally appeared on the Hebrew website Mida on Feb. 10, 2018.