Russia reportedly asked Israel not to hold up transfer of equipment from Syria to Ukraine

5 December 2022, 02:04 PM
Russian military (Photo:Міноборони РФ/Telegram)

Russian military (Photo:Міноборони РФ/Telegram)

Russia has reportedly requested that Israel not intervene or impede its efforts to transfer military equipment from Syria to Ukraine, the Israeli Times of Israel online newspaper reported on Dec. 4.

According to the newspaper, the Kan public broadcaster, citing an Israeli official involved in the issue, reported on Dec. 4 that Israeli and Russian officials have been holding conversations in recent days over the Kremlin’s concern that Israel may interfere in Russia’s attempts to transfer materiel from Syria to Ukraine.

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While Israel and Russia have long coordinated their activities in Syrian airspace in order to avoid any clashes, ties have been strained since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year.

In addition, Israel has conducted hundreds of strikes in Syria aimed at preventing Iran from establishing a military foothold there, and to stop its supply of advanced weapons to Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group, believed to be an Iranian proxy.

Russia, meanwhile, has provided thousands of troops and military hardware to its ally Syria, as the regime battles to suppress a grinding civil war.

In October, The New York Times reported that Russia was drawing down its forces in Syria amid supply constraints in its ongoing war in Ukraine, including removing the sophisticated S-300 air defense system that was a major threat to Israeli Air Force operations in the country.

While providing humanitarian assistance, Israel has maintained a strict policy of not providing military aid to Ukraine since Russian troops invaded on Feb. 24, including systems that could help it intercept Russian missile and drone attacks.

One major reason for that policy appears to be Israel’s strategic need to maintain freedom of operations in Syria.

However, Tel Aviv has recently seemed to warm to the idea of supplying defensive equipment, since Iran supplies the Kremlin with attack drones.

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