Moscow attempted to ensure that Israel would not prevent it from transporting the air defense systems from Syria to Ukraine.
Senior Russian and Israeli officials have recently had negotiations, Kan 11 News reported, as the Times of Israel wrote.
Moscow wants to transfer air defense systems from Syria to Ukraine
According to the article, the discussions were held, among other things, to ensure that Israel wouldn’t block Russia’s transfer of air defense equipment from Syrian territory to the frontlines in Ukraine.
According to Reshet Bet radio, a Kremlin-connected Russian official said last week that a military defeat for Russia might spark a wave of antisemitism against Jews. The Russian official reportedly said to an Israeli official, “The fact that Russia is losing the fight in Ukraine will prompt a search for scapegoats,” according to the report.
Russia plays the card of “preventing antisemitism”
The same insider stated that there would be antisemitism on the Russian side due to the Jewish origin of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and other political figures in the US and Ukraine.
Israel and Russia coordinated their actions in Syria
Relations between Israel and Russia have been tense since Russia launched an all-out war against Ukraine this year. However, the two countries have long coordinated their actions in Syrian airspace to prevent direct conflicts.
Israel has launched many airstrikes in Syria to block Iran from building a military presence and to halt the flow of sophisticated weapons to Iran’s proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah.
In the meantime, Russia has provided its ally, the Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, with thousands of soldiers and military equipment as the regime struggles to settle a protracted civil war.
In October, the New York Times reported that due to supply shortages from its ongoing war in Ukraine, Moscow was reducing its presence in Syria and removing the advanced S-300 air defense system, which posed a serious threat to Israeli Air Force operations there.
Israel hasn’t provided military aid to Ukraine
While providing humanitarian assistance to Ukraine, Israel has not provided military help to Ukraine since Russia started a full-scale war. Specifically, Israel refused to provide Ukraine with air defense systems to help it intercept Russian missile and drone attacks.
Israel worried about Russia and Iran’s cooperation
Israel is increasingly worried about the military cooperation between Russia and Iran. In light of Iran’s recent provision of attack drones to the Kremlin, Jerusalem has recently appeared more open to providing Ukraine with defensive equipment. Russian invaders use Iranian kamikaze drones to strike Ukrainian cities, primarily targeting energy infrastructure.
Previously we reported, citing media sources in the intelligence, that Iran requested Russian assistance for its nuclear program. Iran’s nuclear program worries Israel the most.
Photo: Zvezda/Russian Ministry of Defense