Israel Air Force F-35I Adir
On May 1, 2020, the Israeli Air Force destroyed a number of facilities at a research center in the southern part of Homs. Not a single Israeli plane was shot down, the attacked objects were severely destroyed.
The incident, as usual, caused waves of indignation on the part of the Russian public, directed mainly at the Russian authorities, which cannot protect the state under protection - Syria, from impudent Israeli attacks.
The opponents of the outraged give the following arguments: Russia and Syria right now do not need Israel to fully get involved in the conflict with its resources and capabilities, which, frankly, are great.
They are told in response that the connivance of Israeli attacks undermines the Russian reputation as a “security provider” and objectively causes political damage to the country.
Around this dispute, real Sabbaths are organized by Russian-speaking Israelis, confusing the carefully prepared raids of individual high-tech aircraft with high-precision weapons against the small forces of an adversary who was literally in a previous era (not about the Russian Federation) with a real big war, at least like the last war in Lebanon, where the Israeli army showed itself, to put it mildly, it is doubtful what for some reason they began to forget in Israel.
Who is right: advocates that Russia should intervene, or advocates that this is not our conflict anyway?
We will understand.
Israel Action Assessment
Immediately we begin our analysis of the situation by answering the main question: yes, Russia condones Israel. Moreover, Syria also condones him. And to say even more: Iran is technically quite capable of giving a definite answer to Israel, but does not do that either. And Hezbollah could well, in response to each such attack, arrange an exchange of attacks with Israel across the Lebanese border, but their episodic attacks are minimally correlated with Israeli flights to Syria. The reasons are the same for everyone.
None of the parties to the conflict wants Israel to throw all its resources into a war against Iran, Syria and Russia on Syrian territory. Israel’s military capabilities, on the one hand, and at least one Russia’s, are not comparable, and not in Israel’s favor, no matter what Israeli patriots think about it. The question is that a hypothetical military victory over Israel will not give anything to either Russia or Iran, but it will cost a lot.
Israel takes advantage of this state of affairs.
You must understand that the declared goals of Israel are a lie. Not a single limited airstrike per month, not a single airstrike per week will force Iran to leave Syria, and in Israel they cannot understand this. Iran uses in Syria units of Shiite Islamists and religiously motivated personnel from the IRGC, each of which understood, taking the oath, that they would have to act without reliance on the military power of their country, under cover, often without legal status. They know what they’re doing.
But Israel knows who it is dealing with.
Most likely, the Israeli attacks are opportunistic in nature and are planned in the same logic as the Anglo-Saxons are doing: if there is a potentially dangerous country, then while it is possible, it must be harmed, and then we'll see.
Israeli attacks inflict limited harm to all countries that Israel openly or implicitly considers unfriendly: Russia, Iran and Syria. This harm is the purpose of these attacks, it is done “in between cases”, without attracting significant forces and spending large sums of money, and by and large does not change its strategic position for Israel, only slightly weakening its opponents.
All this also does not affect the course of hostilities in Syria, and does not pose a danger to the participants in the process, although episodic losses in people, equipment and material resources are, of course, unpleasant, as well as political damage, which, although minimal, is.
In simple terms, Israel is just dirty tricks on the little things, and nothing more.
What will happen if one of the participants in the process decides to punish Israel for real?
Here, Israeli patriots can start to laugh, but there really is no problem escalating. There is no problem working out a missile ambush somewhere in Lebanon on probable flight paths for Israeli aircraft, there is no problem working out an airplane without using the radar of the anti-aircraft missile system and without revealing yourself. All this is technically feasible and affordable even for the poor Syria. And in other places of the world more than once it was done.
You can, for example, recall how easily and naturally the American F-117 at one time finished off the complex in Osirak, and then google a video with the wreckage of such an aircraft in Serbia. Although they seemed invulnerable. Everything is possible in reality.
For the Russian Federation there is no problem tracking Israeli flights aviation over Israel and Lebanon itself, it’s just a matter of attracting additional forces and means to the theater of operations, as well as protecting these forces and means, and then, it is not known whose air defense forces or aircraft will manage this situational awareness, this is an open question.
And Iran just recently demonstrated to the whole world a ballistic missile strike at a US base, showing very good accuracy. Who knows how the Iranian missile bases are arranged and what is stored there, he understands with what fire performance, if necessary, these missiles will go to the target, as well as the fact that even a nuclear strike will not be able to suppress the missile base and force it to stop launches. And there are many such bases. Yes, and Hezbollah has a sufficient amount of forces and means in order to arrange a weeks-long brawl with the IDF on the Lebanese border. Moreover, all these things can happen simultaneously. But they do not and will not happen for a while.
Today, from a military point of view, Israel dominates the region. And the point is not in ultra-precise missiles and bombs, which in high-intensity conflicts tend to end in a week or two, but in the fact that Israel is nearby, it, unlike Russia, does not need to deliver troops and reinforcements thousands of kilometers away, and what is his military doctrine.
Since the first Arab-Israeli war, the issue of the lack of strategic depth has been an acute issue for Israel. The Israelis can fight as they like well, show mass heroism, have technical superiority over the enemy, but the lack of territory for maneuver creates a situation where one mistake of the military command can cost the state of existence. Moreover, without regard to the fighting qualities of his armed forces. Geography is ruthless.
The answer to this problem was that Israel is solving its defense problems with offensive methods. Of all the Arab-Israeli wars after 1949, there was only one when Israel defended itself - in 1973. She was won, but won on the verge of defeat - for several days, the very existence of Israel was in question.
This is a very important point - Israel, defending itself in advance of defense in depth, having highly motivated and combat-ready troops, everywhere showing mass heroism, in conditions where the enemy did not have a decisive advantage in strength, when his command made a number of serious mistakes, could still lose. As a result, Israel won, but at a high price.
And even after that, his position was extremely unstable. Imagine Israeli Tanks would enter Cairo. And then what would it be? How many years would Israel last if the war were to take the character of a war of attrition, involving Iraq, for example?
And with the continued pumping of Arabs with weapons from the USSR? Only now it’s different - with Grad-P portable missile launchers, Malyutka ATGM, RPG-7, anti-tank mines and all the things that sometimes lead to exhaustion wars.
In Tel Aviv, everyone knew this very well and, except in 1973, they always beat us first and tried not to prolong the war. The exception was military operations against Egypt in 1967-1970, but then Israel could afford the luxury of operating with small forces from its territory.
And so that the blow does not become the first shot in the leg, it must be strong. A strong blow allows a decisive defeat of the enemy in a short time and, together with the absence of a threat to the very existence of the enemy in this defeat, forces him to cease hostilities. So it was in 1967, and in 1982. And in 1956 it could have been if the conflict had not stopped the intervention of the USSR.
If in the case of escalation actions from Russia, Syria or Iran, Israel will take such steps, then by the forces that we and our allies are in this region, it will be impossible to stop the Israelis. Russia and Iran will face a choice: either pretend that nothing special is happening, that will terribly undermine the political positions of at least Russia, even Iran, or take the war to a new level, transferring new troops to the region and starting to fight there for real, with dozens thousand soldiers, and corresponding losses.
Can Iran defeat Israel in a war? No, but the damage will be colossal. What about Russia? And Russia may just pay for this big price, both in people and in money.
That's just that neither Russia nor Iran will ultimately receive any benefits, absolutely. It is much easier to put up with the minimal harm that Israel is doing now.
In addition, there are two more factors that all countries with conflicting potential in relations with Israel have to take into account.
At one time, Golda Meir’s joke was widely known: “Firstly, Israel does not have nuclear weapons, and secondly, if necessary, we will use it.” Although Israel still adheres to the rule not to confirm or deny the possession of nuclear weapons, for specialists this is no longer a secret, and after stories with Mordechai Vanunu - not a secret for non-specialists.
Tentatively today, Israel has several dozen warheads. Some of them are mounted in aerial bombs, some in cruise missiles deployed on Israeli submarines, and some on ballistic missiles.
Israel’s ballistic missiles reach all the major cities of Iran and Russia. Theoretically, in the absence of counteraction and the availability of supply vessels, Israeli submarines can travel quite large distances and attack objects that are out of range of ballistic missiles. Ballistic missile-based areas are located in the Negev desert and are relatively well protected. According to some reports, Israel has stopped the production of nuclear weapons, but they can be resumed if necessary.
Of course, even if there is a war between Russia and Israel, the use of Israeli nuclear weapons is unlikely.
Range of Israeli missiles.
However, not impossible. Firstly, the use of the weapon that exists cannot be ruled out in principle. Secondly, it is necessary to take into account the psychological moment.
Israeli society has an untreated trauma called the Holocaust. Psychologically, any Israeli military is not just fighting for Israel. He is fighting to ensure that something like this never happens to the Jews again. A serious military defeat of Israel, if one takes place, can revive fears that Jews will be massacred again and provoke an irrationally harsh reaction, which in fact was not necessary.
Of course, Israel’s use of nuclear weapons will trigger a nuclear response. And the use of Israeli nuclear weapons on the territory of Russia will lead to the disappearance of the state of Israel in principle.
But no one wants to bring such a denouement to at least the minimum because of one weak Israeli bombing once a month. There is one more factor.
Israeli agents of influence and conspiracy structures
Counterintelligence experts are well aware of the word Sayanim. This is a network of voluntary assistants to the Israeli secret services, recruited from among ethnic Jews living in a particular state. It is the vast masses of these and similar people from the Jewish environment that help the Israeli intelligence services conduct their operations anywhere in the world.
It is thanks to such people that the Israelis calmly cut through Iran and kill nuclear scientists there, escaping the Iranian counterintelligence - a very good one, on the territory of an ethnically alien country with a hostile population and without a border with Israel. Just because they have hundreds of thousands of potential and thousands of real helpers there. They will always be provided with transport, housing, medical care, the opportunity to hide for many days and much more. Provide local residents, many of whom are generally listed there as Persians or Armenians. And they hold important posts in society, including in law enforcement agencies.
Russia is not an exception here either: the number of Jewish volunteers who are always ready to help the Israeli secret services is huge in our country. In addition, there is another factor - the masses of Jews from Russia who left for Israel did not renounce Russian citizenship. These people can enter the country at any time and no one can stop them. What will they do here is an open question. Quite a lot of young people from Israel, after doing military service there, then return to Russia for permanent residence and remain here. No one controls them, and this is impossible due to the limited resources of special services.
Any country in the world, except for the most radical Islamic countries and racially alien Asian countries, has within itself a huge potentially dangerous force capable of mass sabotage at all levels (everything simply doesn’t work in the country as it should - and there’s nothing to do), and to help Israel carry out special operations at absolutely any level.
It is impossible to solve this problem in one way or another. Moreover, a single Jew can be completely loyal to the country of residence, he can work for it, he can fight for it, but in a critical situation of choice, loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state can outweigh loyalty to the country of residence. Although it happens that does not outweigh.
This power is a political and strategic factor that cannot be ignored. Therefore, no war with Israel is extremely unprofitable for Russia - even won with lightning speed and without losses. Because then consequences will begin that cannot be corrected.
All of the above is the same deterrent that works in favor of Israel, like its nuclear weapons, is simply more effective.
Admittedly, the modern Russian leadership is conducting its “Jewish policy" quite competently and successfully. Moreover, sometimes the connections within the world Jewish society can even be used to the benefit of Russia. Under the current circumstances, there is no threat from within from the sympathizers of Israel to our country. But the fact that one has to endure Israel's daring tricks in Syria is part of the price we have to pay for security.
You should not give all this an assessment from the point of view of some morality. The evolution of the Jews as a community was very complex and very dramatic. As a result of this evolution, we got such an interesting construct.
You just need to be able to work with him, and so far Russia is succeeding. But you still have to end up with Israeli raids.
There is a historical precedent for how to calm Israel without much blood. In 1967-1970, Egypt and Israel fought with each other the so-called war of attrition. These were a series of endless air raids, special forces raids, shelling and naval battles between the Egyptian and Israeli forces.
Israel, in general, "led by points", although in general it was a stupid war without decisive goals, a war for the sake of war, in the Middle East style. At some point, Israeli aviation became such a problem for Egypt that he turned to the USSR for help. The latter transferred anti-aircraft missile units and aircraft to Egypt.
Aviation proved to be bad - more experienced Israeli pilots defeated Soviet pilots.
But when trying to attack anti-aircraft systems, Israel began to lose. Those that he did not have before, dozens of cars in a matter of days. As a result, having weighed all the pros and cons, the Israelis quietly retreated. Less than three weeks passed between the last Israeli plane to fall and the signing of a ceasefire.
True, today we should not work with our own hands. Extremely undesirable.
Most likely, in the relatively distant future, when the problem in Idlib is resolved and the Syrian sovereignty of the Euphrates is restored (taking into account the fact that it will not be profitable for Russia to expel the Americans from the Middle East swamp), the Israelis will begin to crash in their raids.
It will not be of any epic proportions. It’s just that their losses will start to grow very slowly. One plane, sometimes two. Never five or ten. But always and inevitably. One day, some pilot will not be able to reach his territory and will be captured alive. He will be shown on Syrian television, and in Israel his family will be shown on television. As his mother cries, a wife with an unhappy face, frightened children.
He will need to be released, someone will be needed who can talk with the Syrians on this topic. And to convey to our slightly presumptuous friends - namely friends, from Israel, the understanding that it is time to stop already.
In the meantime, we should not pay particular attention to minor Israeli mischief, we just need not to substitute, as happened with the IL-20. All the same, these small injections do not fundamentally solve anything for anyone.
And not to substitute completely in our power.