Haley: Russia Needs to Use Leverage Over Syria to Create 'Real Peace'

But were this weekend's strikes the opening shots of another war? Success depends on military superiority combined with surprise and velocity to assure immediate, overwhelming, and decisive dominance.

Downing the Israeli war jet marked a precedent in the course of Syria's almost seven-year-long war, as it was the first Israeli jet to be shot down since 1982 Lebanese war. On the same day, Israel had shot down an Iranian drone which had entered Israeli airspace from Syria.

Ironically, Turkish support for Jaish Al Fatah had a key role in bringing Russian troops to Syria, while Russia's presence later facilitated the Turkish intervention in Jarablous and lately in Afrin. By doing so, the Israeli Air Force took a risk that its pilots would face more anti-aircraft fire, but the lack of resistance it appears to have encountered may suggest that the Syrian military was unwilling to risk escalating the clashes into a wider conflict that it did not want and could not win. Turkey is battling the Kurdish YPG militia, which it sees as an existential threat.

Minimizing confusion is critical because a violent eruption looms. Iranian brass recently toured southern Lebanon, according to Israeli reports, and Iran is financing a military factory in Lebanon.

One of the JCPA studies observed that "incitement to commit genocide as a war crime" and further that "much of the Iranian language regarding Israel can certainly be legally defined this way".

The U.S. -backed deal was just one more burden for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had to navigate in a very tough neighborhood. During the attack, Syrian air defense managed to shoot down an Israeli aircraft, also for the first time.

Along with the Russian military, thousands of Russians have also reportedly fought in Syria as private contractors. That war ended with the vaunted IDF thwarted and frustrated. She noted groups such as Iran and its proxy terrorist organization Hezbollah have created instability, and Assad has even resorted to using chemical weapons. Some estimate Hezbollah has 10 times as many rockets as in 2006, many capable of hitting Tel Aviv and targets farther south.

Although Israel has always been presented as a "bystander" in the Syria conflict, the head of the Israel Air Force stated that the nation had led several operations in Syria, in the previous year.

With 400,000 people dead, the conflict in Syria is no longer just about the future of Assad, the Syrian people or even ISIS, which has now lost most of its territory.

For years, according to global media reports, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has conducted a massive number of low-profile military operations, targeting Iranian installations in Syria, as well as Iran's smuggling of missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon, via Syria. As for Syrian Kurds, having played a complicated game via contradictory alliances, they seem likely to end up with nearly nothing but deep chagrin.Russia, too, has been forced to face the limits of its power.

Ominously, March 2018 could turn into August 1914. There could be remaining issues with mounting Israeli ordnance in the internal weapons bays of the F-35I, making it useless in a firefight for the time being, or the decision may have been made to reserve the use of F-35s for only the highest priority offensive or defensive operations. But a militia alliance led by Jabhat Al Nusra and Ahrar Al Sham, and sponsored by Turkey and Qatar, forced Russian hands, when it had to deploy troops inside Syria in September 2015. The U.S. choice has strengthened Kurdish groups in the region and allowed them to capture a quarter of Syrian territory. The danger is the proximity of Russian and American military personnel. The possible consequences, however, are no less awesome.

But, with or without the F-35, Israel seemed satisfied with its counterattack on Syrian defenses.

On Tuesday, Russia's foreign minister accused the US of trying to create a quasi-state in eastern Syria.

To recap, following the emergence of the ISIL as a force to reckon with after the group captured large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria in mid-2014, a US -led global coalition emerged to coordinate operations against it in the region. A retired Air Force intelligence officer, Dr. Tilford earned his PhD in American and European military history at George Washington University. The aim then wasn't to deny a USA ground presence, but to minimize the number of official troops on the ground without sacrificing leverage.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Syria Deeply.

  • Leroy Wright