TEL AVIV (Dispatches) – The occupying regime of Israel is counting on Russian President Vladimir Putin to keep confrontations with Iran and Syria from spiraling into war as the Trump administration mostly watches from the sidelines, a senior aide to Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said.
"The American part of the equation is to back us up,” but the U.S. currently "has almost no leverage on the ground,” Michael Oren, Netanyahu’s deputy minister for public diplomacy and a former ambassador to Washington, said told Bloomberg. "America did not ante up in Syria. It’s not in the game.”
Oren’s criticism reflects the Zionist regime’s disappointment with Washington in avoiding a fight with Iran.
In the worst military confrontation since the 2006 Lebanon war, the Zionist air force struck targets Saturday in Syria, after claiming an Iranian drone penetrated into Occupied Palestine’s airspace. A Syrian missile brought down at least one Israeli combat plane, the first lost to enemy fire since the occupying regime’s first war in Lebanon in 1982.
Investors in Occupied Palestine have grown accustomed to geopolitical shocks but Saturday’s showdown reverberated through the market. The TA-35 stock index fell Sunday to its lowest level in two months before rebounding Monday.
Relying on Russia may be the Zionist regime’s best bet, but it’s not a sure one. Over the past few years Netanyahu has made a number of visits to Russia to lay out Israel’s red lines and ask Putin to rein in Iran. Russian news media have cited Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying that Iran’s presence in Syria is legitimate, and Moscow hasn’t promised to guarantee that Iranian advisors and their allies will leave southern Syria.
Zionist commentators noted that a Russian statement on Saturday’s clashes implicitly criticized the occupying regime for violating Syrian sovereignty, but didn’t criticize the alleged drone infiltration.
Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov on Monday warned against further escalation in the Middle East after Israel carried out an airstrike in Syria, only to have one of its F-16s shot down for the first time.
Bogdanov also said Russia, Turkey and Iran have discussed a possible meeting of their foreign ministers on Syria, which could be held in Kazakhstan's Astana in March.
"We call on everyone to be calm, to prevent a very dangerous escalation in countries of the region," RIA Novosti quoted Bogdanov as saying.
Following the Zionist airstrike, President Vladimir Putin on Saturday asked Netanyahu during phone talks to avoid moves that could lead to "a new round of dangerous consequences for the region.”
The Russians are also concerned about the proximity of the Israeli bombings to sites where their soldiers and advisers are serving, including base T-4 near Palmyra.
The occupying regime claims it bombed a post controlled by Iran near T-4 from which the anti-aircraft missile was fired and downed its jet.
Bogdanov said Russia has no information about Iran having a military base near Palmyra. "No, I do not have such information,” Bogdanov told reporters when asked whether Moscow was aware of such a post.
The Zionist regime released a grainy footage allegedly showing the downing of an Iranian drone by an Israeli attack helicopter and the subsequent airstrike on the Syrian soil.
Tehran has dismissed the allegations as "ridiculous," while Damascus has said the Syrian army had launched the drone to track down Daesh terrorists when an Israeli helicopter violated its airspace and shot it down.
On Sunday, Aida Touma-Sliman, an Israeli lawmaker, said Netanyahu was seeking to instigate a regional war to deflect attention from an ongoing investigation into his suspicious corrupt practices.
"Netanyahu is willing to instigate a regional war in which the peoples of the region will pay a heavy price just for his political survival,” she warned.
On Sunday -- more than 24 hours after the confrontation -- the White House issued a statement backing Israel.
Russia’s interest "is to reach a political and military solution in Syria and to rebuild it,” Amos Yadlin, a former chief of Israeli military intelligence, told reporters on a conference call Saturday. "A conflict in the north between Israel, Hezbollah and Iran is not in their interest.”
Yadlin, now head of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, doesn’t expect the Zionist regime’s salvation in Syria to come from the U.S. "America is busy with other things,” he said.