Tabnak - As the terrorist groups in Syria are trying to redirect their strategies toward targeting the capital Damascus, new wave of Israeli airstrikes against some targets inside the Syrian territory has added to the concerns about the future of the Syrian crisis. The latest Israel’s moves have also triggered Russian reaction.
According to the reports published by the local media, Israeli drones targeted a vehicle on Sunday in the southern parts of Qantara province in Syria, which led to the death of its driver. Israeli sources claim that the driver was Yasser Hussein al-Sayyid, a military commander associated with Lebanon’s Hezbollah.
German news outlet DW News writes that the Syrian army has confirmed the death of al-Sayyid, saying that he had been one of the Syrian commanders based in Golan region.
The latest attack was the second time the Israeli military invaded Syrian territory in less than a week, as just three days ago, Israeli fighter jets attacked a military base near Palmira in Homs province. The province is considered as one of the headquarters of Russian forces in Syria in which they are cooperating with their Syrian counterparts in minesweeping operations.
Therefore, as the region is of a great importance in Russia’s military plans for Syria, Moscow reacted quickly to the reports, summoning Israel’s ambassador to Russia. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bugdanov confirmed the news on Monday, saying that the Israeli ambassador had been summoned last Friday, right after the mentioned attack.
Expressing concern over Israel’s latest strikes inside the Syrian territory Bugdanov said to the Russian news agency Interfax that Moscow and Tel-Aviv had established a special communication channel to prevent the possible and unwanted clashes and Moscow had expected that such a possibility be used in a proper and effective way.
The Israeli army claims that the attacks were reactions to firing rockets from Syria to the Israeli cities. Another excuse raised by the Israelis is that they want to prevent the delivery of military equipments, such as chemical arms, to Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Israel believes that such a move could change the military balance in the region against Tel-Aviv.
At the same time, Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday threatened to destroy Syrian air defense systems after they fired ground-to-air missiles at Israeli warplanes carrying out strikes.
"The next time the Syrians use their air defense systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation," Lieberman said on Israeli public radio.
All in all, it seems that Israel has started a new phase in its strategy toward the Syrian war, the main part of which is involving more directly in the conflict. However, as such a plan directly contradicts with Russia’s known strategy in the war-torn country, it contains the risk of further escalation of the Syrian crisis, with the involvement of more external actors.