Russia Warns Israel: Hands off Syria, as PFLP threatens Guerrilla Strike

The Iranian press is reporting that Russian President Vladimir Putin has vehemently warned Israel against further airstrikes on Syria. Putin is said to be accelerating shipments of anti-aircraft batteries to Syria.

Meanwhile Syrian leader Bashar al-Asad’s decision to permit guerrilla attacks on Israel from Syrian soil was welcomed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a small radical group with offices in Damascus. Whether the leftist group still has any significant operational capacity has yet to be seen.

The USG Open Source Center translates an article from Izvestia:

Russian Newspaper Claims Syria Planning To Attack Israel Through Palestinian Group
Report by Timur Khursandov and Konstantin Volkov: “Syria To Fight Israel With Palestinian Hands”
Izvestiya Online
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Document Type: OSC Translated Text

On 7 May it became clear that statements emanating from Damascus to the effect that the recent Israeli Air Force attack on Syria would not remain unpunished were not just an idle threat. Izvestiya has learned that Syrian President Bashir al-Asad has decided to fight the Israelis with the hands of others — the task will be undertaken by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which is traditionally sponsored from Damascus and is essentially subordinate to it.

“We have received a clear signal — a green light to carry out operations in the Golan Heights,” the PFLP’s official spokesman Anwar Raja told Izvestiya. “There was no immediate direct discussion, but I think that there is no need for this, because for us, this is a natural decision.”

He added that the PFLP’s leadership plans to discuss the details of upcoming operations with the Syrian authorities soon.

“I do not rule out that we will discuss this directly with the Syrian authorities in the very near future,” Raja noted. “We welcome this decision, which is natural on the basis of the role that Syria plays in supporting the Palestinian resistance.”

Representatives of the Syrian authorities were unable for comments at the time that this issue was published.

Experts, in turn, believe that Al-Asad had to resort to the aid of the Palestinians because beggars cannot be choosers. In the words of Near East Institute President Yevgeniy Satanovskiy, the Syrians have no one else to send against Israel.

“Hamas does not want to go to war, nor does Hezbollah. Both groups fear that if combat operations begin, Israel will undertake them in earnest. It is for the same reason that Al-Asad does not wish to activate the Syrian Army against his neighbor either,” the expert explained to Izvestiya.

At the same time, in his opinion, PLFP operations are not dangerous for Israel.

“An attack by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine poses no threat to Israel,” Satanovskiy believes. “The latter is quite capable of liquidating terrorists.”

The expert, who is currently in the Golan Heights himself, noted that no panic is noticeable in the region.

“The Golan Heights are calm right now,” Satanovskiy says. “Heightened security measures have been introduced, the skies have been closed to flights by civilian aircraft, and therefore the airports situated in northern Israel are not functioning either.”

As for Al-Asad’s opponents in the various Sunni Muslim groups, according to Satanovskiy, they are in a state of confusion. It turns out that their perennial foe Israel is fighting on their side, and they are so far undecided as to how to react to this.

(Description of Source: Moscow Izvestiya Online in Russian — Website of large-circulation daily that is majority-owned by Yuriy Kovalchuk’s National Media Group and usually supports the Kremlin; URL:

16 Responses

  1. Could it be Russia is just embarrassed about how easily Israel seems to be override the billion-dollar Russian air defense system sold to Syria and Iran?

    • That is the peace dividends that US promised her citizen and the rest of the world after the collapse of USSR. On the contrary US military budget gone up to over trillion dollar, they need to fan the flame of wars.

      • You seem to be ignoring the decade between the fall of the Berlin Wall and 9/11.

        link to

        US military spending dropped by about 30% in constant dollars, and more as a % of GDP, at the end of the Cold War.

        • Gee, what happened to that 30% drop in military spending? Anybody else see where it went? Drop in the bucket? Is that an actual number of dollars cut out of the Pentagram share of the pie, or just a factoid statistic? Really, I would like to understand that argument and where the claimed drop in spending actually shows. It seems the other data in the linked site points to a long-term huge pile of money continuing to be dumped into the MICmachine, and failing to produce anything but more of the same.

          I hope everybody reading this stuff goes and looks at the link that JfL posted, link to It sure looks to me like the US is spending a buttload of money on its military, far more than any other “civilized country.” And it sure seems with all the FAILS of so many of the great tech innovations that “we” are so busy fielding, and the patent inability to pick a “war” we can “win” in any of the traditional senses, “we” are not getting much “bang for the buck.” Great Game Changers, like the XM-25, and the various latest F-series aircraft, even drones with a significant failure rate, AND JUST WHAT IS/ARE THE MISSION(S) THAT ALL THIS CRAP IS BEING PROCURED TO SUPPOSEDLY EFFECTUATE? In the meantime, all these people with investments of various sorts, money, career, ego, in WarisaRacket, are speaking Great Thoughts on the Nature of Warfare of the Fourth Generation:

          link to

          and a now aging classic, “Why do we lose 4th generation wars?” from the blog of “Fabius Maximus,” which bills itself as “A discussion about geopolitics, broadly defined, from an American’s perspective — about ways to reignite the spirit of a nation grown cold.” From 4 January 2007, Serious Writers use the military/British convention in writing dates.

          And even more dated, from 2006, fer Jaysus’ sake, there’s stuff like this:

          link to

    • I’m sorry, Curtis, I couldn’t hear you over the sound of Osama bin Laden’s bullet-ridden corpse splashing into the Indian Ocean.

      You were saying something about “over his head?” I hear the water is pretty deep off Pakistan.

  2. Well, I missed watching the Daily Show last night so I will get my quotidian dose of comedy courtesy of the spokesmen for Russia & Iran.

    Hypocrisy and malevolence define the foreign policies of those two states when it comes to the question of Syria. Frankly, I think the cause of justice and peace for the citizens of Syria would be greatly advanced by the destruction of the Assad air force by Israel.

    One can only hope.

    • While the US is behind Israel, there is no Russia, Iran and much less Syria that can confront Israel. The rest is blah, blah, blah

  3. I wonder how far Assad will go risking a flattening from the Israeli air force? Like Lincoln, Assad’s hands are quite to full with his civil war to gain a new, more powerful foe.

  4. Wow, Russia threatening Israel? We should also be threatening Russia about Israel. Russia selling all the weapons.

  5. War is a crime against humanity.

    Russia, China and most other nations want peace. May 8 commemorates Victory in Europe Day (VE Day). Russia’s toll was greatest. For many, war horrors still echo.

    Vladimir Putin spoke on the occasion. He stressed Russia’s commitment to peace, saying:
    “We remember what the tragedy of war means, and we will do everything, everything that we can to ensure that no one ever dares unleash another one, to ensure that no one threatens our children, our home, our land.”

    • This is the Russia that has increased its military spending while the US has been reducing ours, right?

      The Putin who fought the Chechen War, right?

      • Joe, when Russia reduced its military spending, the US continually humiliated it by moving into its former empire, surrounding it with NATO dependencies, grotesque Yankee pimps setting up corrupt energy deals, backing local gangsters stealing everything that could be moved. The US backed Yeltsin’s disastrous neoliberal policies that collapsed life expectancy in Russia, overseen by Jeffrey Sachs, then he sent in the military when the parliament resisted him. When 9/11 occurred, Putin tried to be our “partner” in exchange for some respect, and Cheney basically spit on him when they were at the 2005 commemoration of the end of WW2. From that time on, Putin has been giving us hell, and that has made him very popular.

        If we treat countries like dirt until they become our enemies, what do you expect? And by the way, our real military spending is still half a trillion dollars, more than the rest of the world combined.

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