Since the 2011 onset of the Syrian civil war, Russia and Tehran have established a strong military presence in order to support pro-Assad forces. However, analysts have begun to continually detail Russia and Syria’s growing frustration with the Khomeinist regime.
For months now reports about Russian military police carrying out raids against Tehran’s militia, stationed in Syria have been reported. During a May 2019 raid on the Aleppo airport for example, several members of the IRGC militia leaders who were directly under the supervision of Quds Force Commander Qassem Soleimani, were arrested, further raising tensions. Similar episodes have occurred over the past two years and continue to escalate as each side tries to carve out its own spheres of influence in Syria.
On Saturday, an Israeli aircraft struck Khomeinist regime’s Quds force operatives and Shiite militia targets in the Aghraba district, south of Damascus, all of whom have also been under Soleimani’s direct supervision. The sites were said to be hostile outlets planning to launch armed drones at Israel.
During the Saturday raid, two members of the Lebanese Shiite forces and one Iranian who had been trained by and working for Soleimani, were killed.
Now as Israel begins to target Tehran’s forces in Syria, both the Syrian and Russian sides have kept quiet. Neither side has either issued a statement on the attack, nor have they attempted any retaliation toward Israel. It is important to point out that Russians and Syrian air defense systems were purposely turned off, in order to stay off the path of Israeli air raids.