Russia Calls for Iran to Leave Syria. Iran Says No. Russia Says OK to Israeli Airstrikes. Putin, Trump Might Have Summit. What Happened?
On May 17, Vladimir Putin announced that since the Syrian army had a series of victories lately, all foreign armies should leave Syria – including Turkish, American, Iranian and Hezbollah soldiers, according to Middle East Eye. Iran was unhappy about the statement. Russia said OK to Israeli airstrikes on Iranian targets. Trump and Putin may be going to hold a summit. That ought to trigger just about every liberal in America. It appears everything is upside down.
On May 28, the Syrian forces dropped leaflets telling rebel forces in Daraa to drop their weapons. That’s when both Russia and Israel said publicly that only Syrian soldiers should be present as the Syrian government attempts to retake the southern province. Wait…BOTH Putin and Netanyahu?
Then there was the report that said Putin “greenlighted” Israeli airstrikes on Iranian targets. Something happened that Assad trusts Russia but not Iran. And Iran no longer totally trusts Russia, which could be a good thing.
Israel Hayom reported on June 1,
The Kremlin has given Israel a green light to launch attacks in Syria, as long as they do not target Syrian President Bashar Assad’s assets, the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported Friday.
According to the report, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu assured Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman during their meeting in Moscow on Thursday of Russia’s approval for Israeli strikes.
The two defense ministers discussed a de-escalation zone in southern Syria, the Russian news agency TASS reported.
“A lot of questions have built up,” Shoigu was quoted by TASS as saying. “We should discuss today everything concerning work on the border in the southern de-escalation zone where we have an agreement with Jordan and the United States.”
Israel’s Defense Ministry issued a statement saying Lieberman had told Shoigu that “Israel greatly appreciates Russia’s understanding of our security needs, especially regarding the situation on our northern border.”
What happened? Good question.
The United States is reportedly in preliminary talks to set up a summit between Presidents Trump and Putin, according to Fox News. The plan is to “resolve mutual differences” and discuss Syria, North Korea, and other items. Of course, if the North Korean summit on June 12 goes off as planned (that’s back on too), then the Russia summit will take a back seat for a while. Reportedly Jon Huntsman, the US Ambassador to Russia, is working on the details. President Trump invited Putin to the White House back in March, but no date, time, or location has been set.
In point of fact, all of these apparently strange dealings may have come about because of President Trump’s withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal.
“Russia is neither an ally, nor an advocate of Iran. A number of figures in Tehran count on Russia while this is not in the interest of the country. Russia will never sacrifice itself for Iran and it will make a decision based on its own interests.” Fereidoun Majlesi, former Iranian diplomat
So with all of this, is the Kremlin moving closer to the West? While it may appear that way, trust is an issue in all international relationships. And with Russia, there is always a trust issue. Israel, the US, Syria, Iran and Russia…this could get extremely interesting.