The last attack was performed on Monday when, according to Syrian media, Israel struck the international airport in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, rendering it inoperable.
In a paper written by researcher Yaakov Lappin from the Alma center in Israel, the situation is described in detail. “A series of recent steps by the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), which is responsible for the Middle East, to beef up regional American air assets, can be interpreted as being designed to deter Russia just as much as they are designed to deter Iran.”
According to Lappin, this is due to a growing list of incidents between the United States and Russia in Syrian skies, which is emerging as a new potential global flashpoint between the two global power adversaries, as conflicts and tensions between European and Middle Eastern arenas become increasingly integrated, with implications for Israel.
According to the report, in July, US Air Forces Central and the Pentagon announced that F-35s would be deploying to CENTCOM (to Al-Udeid Airbase, Qatar). The jets were deployed at the same time that the US sent a destroyer and an amphibious assault ship to the Persian Gulf, with US Marines on board, in response to an uptick in Iranian attempts to seize or disrupt oil tankers in the area.
“But the F-35s are just as relevant to what is taking place in Syria, where, also in July, a Russian Su-35 unleashed flares that damaged the blades of an American MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle – the latest episode of such clashes.”
In March, a Russian fighter jet (Su-27) caused an American MQ-9 to crash into the Black Sea – illustrating just how these incidents are part of a global trend.
These are only two examples of the situation over Syria, where the volume of flights performed by the Russians and Americans grew to a new peak.
Israel has a “Red Line” connecting Tel Aviv with Moscow that serves to coordinate the Israeli activity over Syria. This arrangement has worked so far in most cases, but the situation has changed and Israeli sources told Defence Industry Europe that Israel will increase the use of long-range, standoff weapon systems in its strikes against Iranian-related targets in Syria. This is to minimize the flights of the Israeli airforce in Syrian airspace.