Israel Fears US Sanctions on Russia Will Curb Its Ability to Bomb Syria – News Roundup 2/23/2022

by | Feb 22, 2022

Israel Fears US Sanctions on Russia Will Curb Its Ability to Bomb Syria – News Roundup 2/23/2022

by | Feb 22, 2022

News Roundup from The Libertarian Institute by Kyle Anzalone

NATO’s response to Russia’s troop movements in the Donbas will undoubtedly have global consequences, and Israel has already aired fears that its friendly relations with both Russia and America could complicate its “security interests” in the Middle East.  

Citing an anonymous military official in a Monday report, Israel’s Walla news outlet notes that Tel Aviv’s “close ties with the US could jeopardize its coordination with Moscow vis-a-vis its operations in Syria,” voicing concern that the fresh American penalties could hinder its nearly decade-long airwar on the country.

“US sanctions against Russia put Israel in a very embarrassing position. The United States is a long-standing stable ally, but Israel needs Russia given the circumstances in the Middle East,” the official added.

In 2019, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted an open secret, stating that his country had bombed Syria “hundreds” of times throughout its civil war with Islamist militants. While Tel Aviv insists it is acting against Iranian forces supporting the Syrian state, many of its strikes have hit densely populated cities and terrorized civilians – including areas near the capital of Damascus. 

Publicly, Israeli officials are now attempting to strike a balance between Moscow and Washington. When asked whether Israel would impose its own sanctions on Russia in line with the American penalties, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid had no clear answer, saying only that his government “will consider what course to take.”

Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai was more direct, saying that Israel is avoiding “a clear public position” on the matter, though voiced “great hope” that the crisis “will end without fire, without casualties, and without a military confrontation.” He added, however, that, “Our heart is in the direction of the United States.”

While Israel may see the US sanctions as an impediment to its foreign policy objectives, they could carry a silver lining for Moscow. Alongside Iran, the Kremlin has long backed the Assad government in Syria, where it now maintains multiple military bases. Any halt in Israel’s bombing campaign will likely aid the Moscow-Tehran-Damascus alliance in routing out Syria’s remaining jihadist factions. 

Will Porter contributed to this article. 

 

Quick Links

 

Covid

  • SCOTUS declines a case from Maine healthcare workers who were seeking a religious exemption to a vaccine mandate. [Link]
  • The African CDC will request all covid vaccine donations end until the third or fourth quarter. [Link]

Russia

  • Biden announced new sanctions on Russia. [Link]
  • Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced he canceled his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. White House Press Spokesperson Jen Psaki said a meeting between Biden and Putin was off the table. [Link]
  • Germany suspends the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and says it will reassess its future. [Link]
  • Qatar’s energy minister says no country will be able to compensate for Russia’s supply of natural gas to Europe if it is cut off due to conflict. [Link]
  • The US relocates military equipment and personnel to the Baltics from other areas of Europe. [Link]
  • Putin says the Minsk agreements no longer apply. [Link]
  • A bipartisan group of 43 lawmakers sent Joe Biden a letter saying he must seek Congressional approval before sending troops to Ukraine. [Link]

Israel

  • Defense for Children International – Palestine says Israel is holding the bodies of nine Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces. [Link]
  • Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called on the US to keep terrorism sanctions on Iran’s Revelountrary Guard. [Link]
  • A prisoner swap between the US and Iran could happen soon. [Link]
  • Israel carried out airstrikes in Syria. [Link]

Africa

  • Biden extends an 11-year-old national emergency dealing with the threat posed by Libya. [Link]
  • The Pentagon says a soldier died last week in Niger from a non-combat injury. [Link]

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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