Benjamin Netanyahu’s relationship with Vladimir Putin is unusually complex.
However, within the layers of political and military considerations is, on Putin’s side, a little known personal connection. When Putin was a child he had a grade school teacher who made a huge impression on him. She took an interest in little Putin and encouraged him in positive ways. The teacher was Jewish. Putin never forgot her kindness. In fact, Putin purchased a lovely apartment in Tel Aviv as a gift to his old teacher. Perhaps, just perhaps, this relationship has made the Russian tyrant more receptive to the security needs of the Jewish state.
J.E. Dyer is a retired Naval Intelligence officer who lives in Southern California.
I have been following her work for a while and a few years ago Karen and I attended one of her lectures. She is smart, blessedly undramatic, and extremely knowledgable about military matters and the geopolitics of the Mideast.
Her analysis of the latest Israeli raid into Syria is superb.
Iranian forces in southern Syria launched 20 rockets at Israel in the Golan Heights on the night of 9 May (10 May in Israel). Now Israel appears to have launched a counter operation, whose goal is probably to significantly disable Iranian capabilities in Syria. The scope of the targeting, just in the first few hours, indicates a broad-scale, preemptive interdiction.
This operations quick-look will probably be overtaken by events within 24 hours. What is important to establish now is the apparent character of the operation. In my post on the last Israeli strike, on 8 May, I concluded that if Iran didn’t pull in her horns in Syria, Israel would keep the preemptive interdiction going. That looks like what’s happening.
A couple of political-level notes to bound our expectations. One, Netanyahu returned from a very brief trip to Moscow just before the operation was launched. We can read this to mean that he conferred with the Russians and has a (presumably limited) charter from them for this operation.
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