[Marxism] Israel and Russia engage in joint air force training, sign 5-year military agreement

Michael Karadjis mkaradjis at gmail.com
Thu Oct 15 21:12:39 MDT 2015

The Axis of Resistance goes from strength to strength.

Syria: Russia and Israel engage in air safety exercises
Training underway, information exchange on flight activities
15 October, 15:49
(ANSAmed) - MOSCOW, OCTOBER 15 - The Russian defense ministry said 
Thursday that joint training of Russian and Israeli air force pilots had 
begun in order to ensure air safety in Syria. The ministry noted that a 
line of contact had been established between the Russian air base of 
Hmeimin near Latakia and the Israeli forces. The first training phase 
ended on Wednesday, organized as part of ''cooperation between Russian 
and Israeli air forces to prevent dangerous incidents in the skies of 
the Syrian Republic,'' spokesman Konashenko said. ''Information exchange 
has also been organized on flight activities between the Russian control 
center on the Hmeimin base and Israeli air forces commanders.'' On 
Thursday a second training phase is being held, said the ministry 
spokesman. (ANSAmed).

Russia and Israel sign military agreement
Published time: 6 Sep, 2010 09:01Edited time: 7 Sep, 2010 15:46
A new five year plan has been hammered out and signed during a meeting 
of the Russian and Israeli defense ministers in Moscow.
The agreement boosts military ties between the two nations to help them 
fight common threats, such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons 
of mass destruction.
The agreement inked today by Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov 
and his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak sketches out the further military 
co-operation between the two countries for the next five years.
Specifically one of the highlights of the document is that Russia will 
buy 12 UAVs from Israel. The Russian minister said that 50 technicians 
are already being taught to operate them.
There was also a talk to build a joint facility where those drones will 
be built, because Russia expressed desire to participate in 
manufacturing of the UAVs.
The document also sketches out details of further military cooperation: 
an exchange of experience and information in spheres of mutual 
interests, which includes issues of international security. It also 
dwells on development of military education, medicine, physical training 
and other issues.
“Our views on many modern challenges are close or coincide,” 
acknowledged Russia’s Defense Minister. “First of all, it has to do with 
terrorism and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.”
In turn, Ehud Barak pointed out that Israel follows closely the 
situation with terrorism in Russia’s North Caucasus, because both Russia 
and Israel are under the threat of radical Islamic terrorism.
Aryeh Levin, former Israeli ambassador to Russia from 1988 to 1992, 
thinks the important thing is not only a technical aspect of fighting 
terrorism, but also cooperation between Russian and Israeli intelligence 
“The intelligence cooperation in fighting terrorism is now worldwide. 
And between such two countries that have common interests, this might be 
very important,” he told RT.
Watch the full interview with Aryeh Levin

Lastly, Russia has excellent ties with the most powerful state in the 
Middle East, namely Israel. Moscow and Jerusalem have become 
increasingly close. When he was foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman was a 
“frequent flyer” to Moscow and continues to maintain a direct line to 
Putin. As with Egypt, trade between the two countries continues to 
increase, including trade in armaments. Indeed, Jerusalem is so 
sensitive to Moscow’s desires that it cut off military sales to Georgia 
during the 2008 Russo-Georgian conflict and has not renewed them ever 
since. Indeed, there seemed to be some truth to allegations that Israel 
had supplied data-link codes to Russia to disable Georgian drones prior 
to the 2008 war. Israel has also hesitated to sell drones or other arms 
to Ukraine, specifically as a result of Putin’s personal request to 
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

All of these developments explain why Putin is in a much stronger 
position regarding Russia’s intervention in Syria than might otherwise 
have been the case. Iran and its Lebanese puppet Hezbollah are providing 
boots on the ground in support of Assad; Russian forces are reputedly 
joining them, in addition to Moscow’s air strikes against anti-Assad 
rebel forces. Iraq has joined with Russia and Iran in creating a 
coordination center in Damascus. Egypt, for its part, has openly 
supported Russian intervention in Syria. As Egypt's Foreign Minister 
Sameh Shoukry stated just two days after Russia launched its first 
airstrikes against the Syrian opposition, "Russia's entrance, given its 
potential and capabilities, is something we see is going to have an 
effect on limiting terrorism in Syria and eradicating it.”

Can Israel benefit from sheriff Putin policing the Middle East?
With Russian warplanes in Syria and strengthened ties between Moscow and 
Arab States, Israel tries to stay on Putin’s good side

By Cnaan Liphshiz October 13, 2015, 3:02 pm 4
JTA — As a defiant Russia again flexes military muscles in the Middle 
East and Eastern Europe, Cold War analogies are, perhaps, unavoidable.
The deployment last month of Russian warplanes in Syria laid bare Moscow’s 
readiness to use force to punish leaders who would challenge its 
authority — as in Ukraine, from which it annexed Crimea in March 2014 — 
and to defend its strategic allies, like Syria’s embattled president, 
Bashar Assad.
During the Cold War, Kremlin intervention generally meant bad news for 
Jews, who were second-class citizens, of sorts, in the Soviet Union — 
and for Israel, which the USSR regarded as an extension of its American 
rival. But observers of Russia’s current bid for greater influence in 
the Middle East say it may be a boon for Israel, which has strived in 
recent years to stay on the good side of Russian President Vladimir 
“The main risk for Israel is not Assad but chaos” amid Syria’s bloody 
civil war of the past four-plus years, Ksenia Svetlova, a Moscow-born 
Israeli Labor party lawmaker, told JTA. “If the Russian deployment 
prevents it, then it can be a positive development.”
As Russia began beefing up its presence in Syria, Israeli Prime Minister 
Benjamin Netanyahu traveled last month to Moscow in an effort to avoid 
Russian-Israeli military entanglements in or over Syria, where Israel 
routinely retaliates for cross-border rocket attacks or goes on the 
offensive to eliminate certain types of weaponry. (“We are neither for 
nor against Assad,” The Economist quoted Netanyahu as saying during the 
September 21 meeting.)
Netanyahu reportedly was satisfied with the outcome of the meeting, in 
which he discussed with Putin ways to avoid clashes with Russian troops 
during its retaliatory missions in Syria. Further high-level talks on 
Syria are scheduled to begin between Israel and Russia later this month, 
Israel’s Army Radio reported last week.
Netanyahu’s visit, and the understanding reached while in Moscow, speaks 
to his government’s broader policy of neutrality on Russia, which has 
set Israel apart from most Western countries. Last year, the United 
States, European Union, Canada, Australia and Japan introduced several 
rounds of trade and other sanctions on Russia.
During the Crimea annexation, and Russia’s subsequent arming of 
pro-Russian secessionists in Ukraine, Israel remained conspicuously 
Roman Bronfman, a former Meretz party lawmaker in Israel and prominent 
Russia analyst who was born in what today is Ukraine, lamented Netanyahu’s 
“recognition of Russian dominance by flying to Moscow, naming it the 
boss in another insult to Israel’s true ally, America.”
Russia’s military moves are ‘pouring gasoline on the fire’
The Netanyahu trip to Moscow contrasted sharply with the US position on 
Russia’s efforts. Last week, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said 
that Russia’s military moves were “pouring gasoline on the fire” because 
Russian strikes reportedly have targeted US-backed rebels — not the 
Islamic State terrorists that Moscow had singled out as the target of 
its operation.
To Bronfman, Russian deployment in Syria also means “opening a corridor 
for more presence on Israel’s borders by Iran and Hezbollah.” Syria, he 
explained, is after all a close ally of both the Islamic Republic and 
the Shiite militia.
The Netanyahu-Putin meeting demonstrated just how far ties between 
Israel and Russia have progressed since the Cold War, according to Mark 
Galeotti, a Russia analyst and professor of global affairs at New York 
University. For its part, Russia perceives Israel as a rare island of 
stability, he said.
To be sure Russia, which is the world’s second largest weapons purveyor 
behind the United States, is still arming Israel’s enemies, Iran 
included. But now Russia also buys Israeli arms, including drones. It 
also acts as a mediator for dialogue between Israel and parties with few 
or no Western contacts, such as the Assad regime and Hamas.
Russia’s intervention in Syria comes as the United States scales back 
its military presence in the Middle East as part of President Barack 
Obama’s policy of emphasizing diplomacy over force.
But Putin’s challenge to the West, observers say, lies not so much in 
its protection of the Assad regime but in his creeping influence with 
Iran and some American allies in the region, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia 
and even Israel. In recent months, Russia has been wooing Cairo, Riyadh 
and Tehran — resulting in economic agreements on sharing nuclear energy 
and know-how with Saudi Arabia, and selling advanced weapons to Iran. 
Putin also invited Egypt to join the Eurasian Economic Union, Russia’s 
free-trade zone that now comprises only ex-members of the former Soviet 
In recent months, Russia has been wooing Cairo, Riyadh and Tehran
“What is happening between Russia and Egypt, as well as Saudi Arabia, is 
indeed a new development that is meant to occupy the vacuum left by US 
non-intervention, or the perception of it,” said Svetlova, the Israeli 
lawmaker and a former journalist specializing in the Arab-speaking 

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