Sonntag, 19.07.2020 / 23:04 Uhr

Neues syrisch-iranisches Militärabkommen

Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

Zwischenzeitlich vermuteten Beobachter, dass die massiven Angriffe der israelischen Armee auf iranische Stellungen in Syrien und Druck aus Moskau sowie die desaströse ökonomische Lage zu Hause, das iranische Regime dazu bewegen könnten, seine Truppenpräsenz in Syrien zu reduzieren. Dem ist offenbar nicht so, gerade haben Assad und die islamische Republik ein neues Abkommen unterzeichnet, das eine ganz andere Sprache spricht.

Aber mit so etwas hätten die Russen rechnen müssen, als sie ihren Druck auf den syrischen Diktator erhöhten.

On July 8 last, Iranian Chief-of-Staff Mohammad Baqeri and Syrian Defence Minister Ali Abdullah Ayub signed an agreement in Damascus – defined as “comprehensive” – to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries.

As they both said, this agreement strengthens military cooperation between Iran and Syria, especially in relation to the expected increase in U.S. pressure on the region. Furthermore, Iran will strengthen the Syrian air defence systems, in particular, as well as improve the training of troops and the armament currently available to the Syrian military.(...)

 An important strategic fact is that this new agreement pushes the traditional relationship between Syria and Russia aside, both defensively and technologically and politically.

 Russia has already made its Pantsir and S-300 missiles operational on Syrian territory, but rumours are rife within the Syrian Armed Forces that these weapon systems have not deliberately been able to hit Israeli weapons and air raids in Jerusalem.

 The issue is clear: Russia does not activate its S-300 missiles because it has no intention of hitting the Jewish State. Obviously, however, this is certainly not in the plans of Syria, which regards the air threat from Israel as an existential danger for the Syrian State. Iran’s role will be to hit Israel from Syrian territory or to penetrate the Israeli region with its own special forces.

 Certainly the sign of partial disengagement by Assad’ Syria from the Russian Federation is significant, although it does not appear to be decisive, considering that both Russia and Iran keep on supporting Syria.

Nevertheless, it is an attempt at strategic “substitution” that could have long-term effects.

 Furthermore, some Russian analysts note that -also in the hot phases of the war between Assad and the West-supported “rebels” -the presence of the Iranian troops was scarce, while many Shiite volunteers from various areas, Pasdaran and many military advisors were sent from Iran to Syria.

 The Iranian presence in the Syrian war has never been massive but, certainly, it is still very important.