Boo!Many historians consider Soviet machinations to be the at the heart of what prompted the Six Day War in 1967. At the time, the USSR was supplying arms, intelligence and other military support to some Arab countries including Syria and Egypt.

It seems that there is a serious rift developing between Israel and today’s Russia at this time because the Russians apparently have now agreed to sell Syria missiles with range long enough to hit virtually every major target and population center in Israel. Ouch!

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  • Isn’t Syria one of seven countries that the United States has designated as state sponsors of terrorism?

    But yes, serious rift indeed. And for good reason. If these missiles were to be placed near the demarcation line in the Golan, they’d be able to hit any target in Israel, except for Eilat and the Southern Negev, with a range of accuracy of about 20 meters, or 60 odd feet.

    Stay tuned as Syrian President Bashar Assad is due to visit Moscow on Jan. 24th. In the meantime, Israel has recalled its Ambassador to Moscow, Arkady Mil-Man and a planned visit to Israel of Russian deputy foreign minister, Alexander Saltanov, who attended the elections in the Palestinian National Authority as an observer, was suddenly and mysteriously cancelled for no apparent reason.

    Some have speculated that this is Putin’s payback – a slap in the face to the US – for its support of Yushchenko in the Ukranian elections over Putin’s butt boy Yanukovich. Yes. Putin is that much of a prick.

    Anyhow, the deal hasn’t been finalized yet and the missiles haven’t been delivered. There’s a question about how Assad Jr. is going to pay for them given Syria’s terrible economy and it’s unlikely that the Russians are going to just give ’em away like they did in the bad old days of communism. I guess we’ll see what happens.

  • It would seem to me that if Syria were to obtain these missles, then Moshe Yaalon’s contention that Israel doesn’t need the Golan for security purposes would be invalid. I guess boy Assad needs to decide what he wants more – the missles, or the Golan.

  • Geoff:

    What does this have to do with the Golan? If anything, Syria’s increased missile range makes the high ground even less relevant.

  • I don’t believe this affects the Golan debate in any meaningful way because the problem here is that the missiles’ range is long enough to render the additional miles of space the Golan provides meaningless.

    CK, I don’t think that money is what motivates Putin in this instance. I think he has other objectives. For example, he is seeking to increase Russia’s importance and to re-establish its position as a world power. This is a relatively simple way of being able to exert influence on the ME and making one of the key players in any resolution to the conflict, a client beholden to Russian influence (you usually need well qualified teams to monitor, maintain and train the operators of these missile systems).

    The Haaretz’s original report also suggested that Putin may have felt that elements within Israel somehow influenced the outcome of the Ukranian election and this is payback.

    Gotta hand it to Putin, within a few years he has taken us all back to a time in the past that was best forgotten.

  • This missles can presently hit anywhere in Israel except Eilat. Why make Eilat vulnerable as well?