With several Israeli airstrikes against Syria seemingly every week, it has come to feel like the new normal. There are rarely serious engagements in Syria’s own war anymore, but airstrikes are consistent, and generally without Israel wanting to comment.
It’s a tired problem for the region, and Syria’s close ally, Russia, appears to have had enough, and intends to take actions to limit ongoing Israeli raids. This is going to be done largely by way of upgrading Syria’s missile defenses.
Russia has sold Syria some substantial missile defense systems over the years, with S-300s a big part of the arsenal. Israel is awash in advanced US weapons, the types of which the Russian defensive weapons are meant to counter.
While Israel doesn’t comment on what it is attacking or why most of the time, they do sometimes get angry when their missiles are intercepted, and tend to couple any of their attacks with a secondary attack on the missile defense systems.
Mixed into all these concerns is Israel’s common use of Lebanese airspace, without permission, to attack Syria. This often puts the Israeli warplanes close to Russian bases in Syria, which Russia has warned Israel about a few times.
We don’t always get confirmations on behind-the-scenes talk, but Israel has at times made reference to “understandings” they had with Russia, and Russia is now talking about their own sense that the US isn’t going to object if they stop Israeli attacks on Syria.
That might be surprising, as Israel would probably be unhappy at any limitations of their wars, and would expect the US to go along with them in complaining about that.