Putin Has the Israel Weapon
The question isn’t whether Putin helped Israel kill Samir Kuntar, it is why Russia aided Israel in attacking one of the leaders of Iran’s terror squads against Israel. Putin had to be in on the operation since the deconfliction mechanism between Israel and Russia force compliance on both parties in air sorties over either Northern Israel or Southern Syria.
Analysts and pundits across geopolitical divide have wondered the extent of Russian and Israeli partnership. Some passed it off as a necessary evil on the part of Israel and others hailed the change in strategic trajectory for Israel. It has not been clear. The Kuntar assassination clears most of the guessing up. If there was a doubt that Israel and Russia were not developing a robust partnership that is now gone. Once more the rapprochement between Israel and Turkey has not had any effect on this growing partnership between Russia and Israel.
Putin Does Not Trust Iran
Putin has never ascribed to Iran’s goal of establishing a Persian controlled Middle East. Russia would like to be in control of the region in as far as the oil and its military bases are concerned. A strong Iran provides Putin with a serious challenge down the road. The problem is that Putin needs Iranian troops and ground support in Syria so he does not repeat the Russian mistakes of Afghanistan in the 1980s. Right now because he has placed very little Russian soldiers into the fray, he is receiving huge support from the Russian citizenry.
While Russia needs Iranian troops, it does not need Iran exploiting the partnership in hopes it gets an edge up on Israel. Putin knows a cornered Israel could create a far bigger problem. Russia is also receiving advanced intelligence
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