, 56 tweets, 12 min read Read on Twitter
I will explain in this thread why Russia behaves the way it does in relation to Israeli airstrikes in Syria.

Stay Tuned.
1. I will proceed from what seems to be an established fact (SANA confirmed) that tonight Israel only hit a depot at Damascus international airport. I.e., material damage. 12 projectiles in total. Syrian air defences worked, and by all accounts they were effective.
2. Even if this information is subject to change, and for example another warehouse or a local farm was actually hit too, then it changes absolutely nothing. What the SAA lost can be replaced with little risk; seemingly Iran has supplied the SAA very well and continues to do so.
3. How many times has Israel hit targets in and around Damascus and its airport since 2015? The answer is “many”. And each attack resulted in more or less the same thing - small material losses. A few times troops were killed, but this can hardly be described as large losses.
4. There is some misunderstanding in regards to why Russia sent the S-300 to Syria and upgraded the SAA’s air defence network, integrating it into its own network. Like with the S-400, there was the assumption that Israel would never bomb Syria again, or that a NFZ was created.
5. Like with the S-400, this is not the case at all. As I explained once upon a time in an older thread, the deployment of the S-400 was the logical next step after establishing the Minsk Agreements and neutralising what the West was trying to do in Ukraine.
6. What was the West trying to do in Ukraine? To drag Russia into a fratricidal sabbath and signing the death warrant of the Russian nation. The collapse (coup) of the USSR was already a bullseye for the West, so managing “independent” post-Soviet states was the next task.
7. Having created a paradigm whereby the West must pour money into a black hole, being unable to abandon the monster it created, Russia paved a safe road to Syria (Sukhois touched down at Hmeymim in Sep 2015). The West was frozen in time and vulnerable to an attack to its rear.
8. Incidentally, the Gilets Jaunes protests represents the first stage of this attack to the rear. But it’s not Russia who is behind it - the West is suffocating itself with its own hands - Russia merely created the conditions for it (S-400 deployment).
9. The S-300 deployment was needed to take the load off the S-400. Please read the thread below in order to understand why the S-400 is much more than an anti-air system. It embodies the future of international relations and a transition away from R2P.

10. In other words, Israel had carved out for itself room to manoeuvre in Syria that started to pose a danger to Russia’s “red line” zone in and around Hmeymim and Latakia/Tartus.
11. What do I mean by “red line” zone? Russia was invited into Syria by Assad, and thus it must base its military somewhere. Much like how an embassy is a special kind of territory, a military base is also like a “state within a state”. Russian troops = Russia, SAA =Syria.
12. There is another, more relevant interpretation of the “red line” zone: the clear line, as defined by Int Law, whereby Russia is RESPONSIBLE for an action or reaction. I.e., S-400 shooting down an Israeli jet = the Russian state is responsible. S-200 = SAA is responsible.
13. This is why Russia ALWAYS tried to find a way to use the S-200 in order to repel Israel. It liberates Russia from responsibility before Israel, and thus gives Moscow more diplomatic room to manoeuvre and also limits consequences to the LOCAL environment.
14. Does Bibi know that Moscow gave the SAA the order to fire the S-200 at its precious jets? Of course, but in terms of Int Law, it is not a Russian (re)action, it is a Syrian one. And Syria can say that Israel violated its sovereignty, thus Damascus is also covered by Int Law.
15. However, there is a problem. Israel can violate Int Law (at the local level, not globally and certainly not against a nuclear superpower) without consequence. I.e., the game is kinda rigged. So, how can Russia push Israel back and coerce it into abiding by Int Law?
16. Here we have to be careful to not enter into a paradox: violating Int Law in order to force a violator to abide by Int Law. This is the equivalent of slitting your own throat. Now a little bit about what Russia is trying to globally:
17. We’ve all seen what the US & Co have done in our lifetimes, and even in the lifetimes of our descendants. A good “modern” example is Yugoslavia: the US definitively spat at the principals of the UN and grossly violated Int Law, dropping depleted uranium without a UN mandate.
18. How the US managed to do this is a topic for another day, but what’s important is that the sovereignty of Yugoslavia was blurred via NGOs and aggressive media work, along with false justifications based on “Russell’s Teapot” concepts. This fact is still alarming even today.
19. So it was learnt pretty quickly in Moscow (& by Putin) where all of this was going. The only way that Russia could survive amidst this post-Soviet onslaught was if it targeted the projected US’ weakness. And so today we have Kinzhal, Avangard, Kalibr, S-400, Pantsir, etc
20. You like to use aircraft carriers & your airforce to pummel weaker opponents, hijack their economy & hand it over to the IMF, & then integrate it into NATO to stop it escaping US hegemony? Okay, we’ll develop the necessary toolkit to hit you when the time is right.
21. A common theme in everything that I have ever written - whether it be for Russian media or for English media or on social media - is that I place an emphasis on the long-term. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next month, not in 5 years, but in 20 years+.
22. We are now in an epoch where social media is a far more important (in terms of time) battlefield than the zone of military operations of the ground. They, of course, work in sync, but the US understood that color revolutions are more effective & pose less risk for US troops.
23. Anyway, without wanting to digress, my point is that all actions/reactions must be slotted into an algorithm that produces multiple results based on different time periods in the future. A solution that brings fruits in 5 years but then a catastrophe in 10 years is no good.
24. The Russian MoD has a supercomputer, as I have mentioned many times in the past. Today we can say that the algorithm being used allowed Russia (and friends) to encircle the West. Russian media is, frankly speaking, kicking the MSM’s ass.
25. The algorithm is based on RISK. Russia must be allowed to make mistakes and suffer the consequences as a result. During WW2 the USSR turned a black situation into a victory. It was possible because of this same RISK. There was no safety net.
26. And isn’t this true to life? We may consider ourselves to be so distant from our Neanderthal/Cro-Magnon ancestors, with our iPhones and e-cigarettes, but we haven’t changed at all. We still fight for survival, we are always ready to launch arrows and defend ourselves.
27. It seems to me, based on things I’ve read from people who know Syria far better than I do, that Syria dug itself into a hole. Of course, takfiris/Muslim B’hood/Wahhabi/Zionist/Anglos took advantage of it, but Damascus tried certain policies, and some worked, some didn’t.
28. The main problem now is that Syria has a demographic crisis, much like Ukraine. In fact, it seems that this is true for the entire Middle East. This didn’t just happen in 2011 because of terrorists. It is a process that started long before this.
29. So, who is going to solve this crisis? Is it Moscow? Well, I think for many laypeople this would be the ideal scenario. After all, absolving oneself from responsibility is conformable. But what does this ultimately mean? Syria must remain a child who needs help from Daddy?
30. Surely Syria would like to look after itself and be self-sufficient, whilst at the same time enjoying profitable trade relations and military alliances with allies, where parties have equal status, and not like a vulnerable child surrounded by adults?
31. Of course, China, Russia, and all Eurasian friends are going to help rebuild Syria, but at some point Syria will need to depend on its own economy and efforts. The Eurasian Development Bank isn’t an endless pool of funds, nor is Russia a bottomless pit of aid.
32. So let's come back to the question asked in tweet No. 15 in this thread. How can Russia help Syria, deter Israel, and at the same time preserve diplomatic and historical ties with both countries? Simple: by enforcing rules that apply to ALL parties in Syria.
33. By the way, I should make it clear right now that Russia isn’t interested in bombing Israel or any other lunatic actions. Westerners might have a hard time understanding why, but this is because the West has never truly experienced war, only Hollywood movies.
34. The deployment of the S-400 established the following rules:

- Russia’s military (re)actions are clearly distinguished from Syria’s;

- Parties cannot bluff about what collective leverage (from all theatres combined) they have or don’t have;

- Russia controls the tempo;
35. - Donetsk, Lugansk, and Crimea are lost for the West;

- Nord Stream 2 is being built, end of discussion;

- association with jihadist groups in Syria incurs losses and not profits;

- Syria’s sovereignty is final, unless a party has the leverage to challenge this;

36. Let’s expand a some points:

a) as I mentioned earlier: for Moscow, separating Syria’s actions in Syria and Russia’s actions in Syria was a very, very important move. This allowed Moscow to participate in the proxy war without exposing its rear to a US attack (Navalny coup?)

b) The bias of the UN was removed in the grand scheme of things. The RISK paradigm enforced by the S-400 (Russia let Turkey make the anticipated mistake, allowing S-400 deployment) pushed the US to the North East and made the local chessboard easier to read.
38. Turkey’s sphere of influence (SOI) in Syria was isolated to Idlib; Qatar and Saud were pitted against each other and removed from the game (lack of leverage); Israel’s SOI shrunk due to the strengthening of Hezbollah’s regional status. The rats started to scatter.
39. The Astana Agreement in many respects is even more genius than the Minsk Agreement. Russia found a way to exploit Turkey’s lack of leverage (after all, the US is ready to unleash a Gulen coup at any moment) and coerce it into reformatting the jihadist matrix (NGO network).
40. As time progressed & the SAA liberated more and more territory, the jihadist groups consolidated time and time again, and the list of terrorist groups became more and more truncated. This is a very interesting aspect of fourth generation warfare that deserves its own thread.
41. Anyway, fast forward to today, and there is only Al Nusra left (Zinki & Ahrar = non-entities). Although we can’t say for sure what “Nusra" (HTS) really is today (terrorists can just change flags and create new allegiances with Ankara’s help), they are the controlling force.
42. Hopefully this helps to understand why Russia was happy to leave Idlib for later. Ankara knows all terrorists in Idlib by name, and they are a burden. Today a relationship with Tehran and Moscow can bring far more fruits than ties with Nusra can. Erdogan is a realist.
43. 1 more point about Turkey: Nusra’s magic capture of most of Idlib and the decimation of Zinki/Ahrar is not a coincidence, nor is it organic. It is Erdogan’s way of handing over Idlib to Assad. Of course, he drives a hard bargain (bring Kurds to heel), but it’s a good deal.

c) Russia indeed controls the tempo not only in Syria, but also in MENA. The little scare we had when the US was close to bombing Syria again was successfully averted because Russia temporarily slowed the tempo down and managed to encircle the US in the media space.
45. Pay attention to how Russia jumped ahead of the MSM/NGOs in the social media time continuum. Moscow reported a lot that the White Helmets were filming a false flag. What happened here is extremely complex and needs a separate thread about NGO media work.
46. So, knowing that the deployment of the S-400 reconfigured the parameters of SyrianWar.exe, it becomes (I hope) possible to at least understand that the situation is not at all black and white. After all, it if was, then there wouldn’t be a need for supercomputers in MoDs.
47. What’s the real reason Israel still bombs Syria? Because it has to in order to “stay in the game”. But things aren’t like they were before. Now Tel Aviv must pass through this RISK paradigm and earn its place at the poker table. But is 1 warehouse in Damascus worth it?
48. It is here that we see the importance of having not just local, but also global leverage. The fact that Israel fights upstream and RISKS much more than what it can possibly hope to gain testifies that its position on the grand chessboard has weakened.
49. Netanyahu was forced to call early elections. He is being investigated for fraud. Hamas & Hezbollah are now stronger than ever before. Iran is entrenching itself further & cementing solid ties with powerful countries. The UN demands to give Golan Heights back to Assad. etc.
50. Another big blow for Tel Aviv is that Syria’s air defence were upgraded, and it is Tel Aviv’s own fault. Just like how Turkey blinked, Tel Aviv was involved in the Ilyushin catastrophe, and it must pay the price for it. RISK. The bear says jump, the snakes ask "how high?"
51. So, Syria is well on the way to being a self-sufficient & independent (not in the American sense, where post-Soviet states are hijacked & turned into liberal springboards) nation, capable of defending itself. Adult. Wanting responsibilities, & not shying away from them.
52. Meanwhile, Israel is dependent on Western aid and becomes more and more childish (Freud used the term “fixation”), incapable of growing up and becoming truly independent. A lot like the US actually, which is the bastard child of London, forever playing the victim.
53. If you aren’t convinced by anything I said and think that Russia is “weak” or prefers to cower in a corner, then please remember the fact presented below. I think Syria understands the message now much more than ever before. RISK = RESPONSIBILITY.
54. A list of some previous threads about the Russia-Syria-Israel triangle:

Russia and Syria - May 2018:

Russia and Israel - May 2018:

Russia-Israel Ilyushin - Sep 2018:

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