RUSSIA OUTSMARTS ISRAEL IN SYRIA

RUSSIA OUTSMARTS ISRAEL IN SYRIA

Photo: AP By Joshua Tartakovsky, February 26, 2016 It seems that Israel is slowly shifting away from the West by and large and gradually and incrementally turning to Russia. It is not doing so because it wants to.  Israel has been spoiled by very generous US aid for decades. Traditionally, Israel has been tied to and subservient to the West, but enjoyed its constant support, while also having its ready ear when it comes to Iraq and Iran. But recently the US has been becoming less and less reliable. Not only have there been clashes between Obama and Netanyahu, but US ambassador to Israel spoke openly against the country, US has been decreasing its defense aid, Israeli F-16s now have trouble upgrading to their latest versions, and Russia is proving itself to be a power to be reckoned with in Syria.This is not to say that Israel’s dangerous policy of supporting jihadist groups in Syria is not continuing. It is. And Israel is also keen on weakening the Islamic Republic of Iran since it fears it more – despite the fact that Iran is not just a country but a great civilization – and therefore the former is supporting terrorists in Syria. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon put it in a crude way typical to his close-minded, narrow thinking, personality: ISIS is less dangerous than Iran.  Netanyahu made similar statements in the past. Only ignorant people fail to realize that ISIS is demolishing historical remnants of our common history while Iran is preserving them. But Ya’alon belongs to the old-school pro-US camp, did his time in Washington’s think-tanks, and is obsessed about Iran. Moreover, Israel’s liberal paper Haaretz said Israel should call for Western intervention in Syria in support of “moderate rebels.” That’s a call...
WHEN IT COMES TO HEZBOLLAH, ISRAEL HAS RUSSIA’S EAR

WHEN IT COMES TO HEZBOLLAH, ISRAEL HAS RUSSIA’S EAR

Photo by Joshua Tartakovsky © November 2015. All Rights Reserved. By Joshua Tartakovsky, 9 March 2016 It appears then that while Iran and Russia have a tight alliance in Syria, they also have their major disagreements and contradicting interests, more than what meets the eye The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation have been working more closely than ever in Syria against various Islamist terrorist groups. Indeed, the massive Russian military operation against terrorism in Syria, following a formal request for help by the lawful Government of Syria, took place after a visit to Moscow by Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani. It is widely believed that Soleimani, whom many consider a brilliant military strategist, took a central part in planning the Russian operation in Syria. The Syrian Arab Army, Russian forces, Iranian forces and Hezbollah have been working closely on theater. From the very beginning since plans of a Russian war on terrorism in Syria became known, Israel has been very worried about the possibility that advanced Russian missiles will reach Hezbollah and will be used against Israel in a future confrontation between the two. Israeli civilians suffered from shelling by Hezbollah in past confrontations as the city of Haifa has been targeted. It is fair to assume that at the time Netanyahu rushed to meet Putin, the deal probably was that Israel will share intelligence on various terror groups in Syria, and in return, Russia will guarantee that advanced military equipment will not reach Hezbollah who would then like to transfer it into Lebanon. But according to the Jerusalem Post on March 3, following a report from the Kuwaiti Al Jarida, Hezbollah recently managed to transfer...

How Russia Should Respond to Erdoğan’s Hate-Mongering?

Joshua Tartakovsky, 5 December 2015 Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is one who thrives from exploiting ethnic and religious tensions. For him, the more commotion and incitement, the better. Following the brutal bombing of Kurdish and Turkish protesters in Ankara, a bombing that took place with the police absent from the area and with many indications of the Deep State’s involvement, Erdoğan blamed the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK is a Kurdish militant group in Iraqi Kurdistan and Turkey, with an anti-centralized state ideology that has been fighting for independence since 1984.  Why would a Kurdish militant group blow up fellow Kurds who share the same desire for independence? But the Turkish masses seemed to believe him. Erdoğan sees enemies everywhere, while the pro- Erdoğan media incites the impoverished public who see in him a hero, a resister and one of their own, wrongly persecuted and always innocent. Erdoğan’s Justice and development Party (AKP) gained power in 2002 after decades of neglect of the Muslim working class by the Turkish elite.  It is a popular, Islamist, pro-US party that seeks to overturn decades of secularism instilled since the founding of the secular republic. Turkey’s professed secularism ran contrary to the wishes of many of the poor living in villages and cities who could not find in the government or army a non-condescending official.  The military, the protector of Turkey’s secularism, did not intervene after AKP won. Erdoğan could finally pursue a process of Islamization of the country and a revival of neo- Ottomanism. Erdoğan’s Turkey feels that it has been oppressed for decades if not centuries. Now it is breaking free....
Russia Should Not Lose its Cool, as Turkey’s Action was Desperation, Not Strength

Russia Should Not Lose its Cool, as Turkey’s Action was Desperation, Not Strength

By Joshua Tartakovsky, 27 November 2015 In many ways, the Russians are more angered by the shooting down of the Russian military jet by Turkey than the bombing of the Russian civilian plane in Sinai by Da’esh. After all, Russians did not expect ISIL to like them, but they did expect fair behavior from Turkey. Russia generally regarded Turkey as a respectable partner, even when it strongly disagreed with its policies of openly support ISIL and buying its oil. Erdogan’s shooting down of a plane flying over Syrian skies has significantly angered Russia. Turkey argued it warned the jet in advance, 10 times in 5 minuets supposedly.  But if the plane flew over Turkish airspace, it did so for seventeen seconds. The surviving pilot denied receiving any warnings.  How did Turkey know in advance that the plane would enter its air space, therefore inevitably issuing warning minutes in advance, when the plane supposedly violated Turkish airspace for seconds? If a warning had indeed been issued, it is likely that the pilots would have known better and would have left at once, since Russia does not want a confrontation with Turkey to begin with but is focused on fighting Western-backed takfiris threatening a secular Syria. Even if Russia violated for several seconds Turkish airspace, Turkey has been violating Greece’s airspace many times. Considering the fact that Turkey has been also violating Syrian sovereignty by supporting ISIL in Syria via its supply lines, it is difficult to take seriously its claim that it shot down the plane following its entry into its airspace and the authenticity of the supposed audio tape...
Press TV: Erdogan says Russians acted emotionally over plane downing

Press TV: Erdogan says Russians acted emotionally over plane downing

  (Photo: Press TV). Press TV November 26, 2015 My appearance on Press TV discussing the downed Russian jet SU24 by Turkey in Syria. Key points: -According to various reports, Erdogan’s son Bilal is deeply involved in buying oil from ISIS in hundreds of millions of dollars -Turkey is hoping that its bringing down the plane and continued aggressive acts, it will eventually force a no-fly zone over Syria since it has been at loss following Russia’s successful strikes against the Islamic State -Russia will not fall into the trap set by Erdogan and will not get carried away. Instead it will remain set on the goal of fighting terrorism in Syria. However, Turkish provocations and acts of aggression are likely to...