- Iran is advancing its ideological goal of Israel’s destruction by expanding its own and proxy forces in Syria
- Israel responds by attacking them and destroying Iranian missiles on delivery to Lebanon via a route across Syria
- As the conflict intensifies, the two countries are finding themselves ever closer to an open, all-out war
The downing of a Russian plane by Syrian anti-missile defenses on September 17, 2018, led to an unprecedented crisis between Israel and Russia. Moscow blames Israel for the mix-up, turning a blind eye to the shortcomings of its Syrian ally in a bid to deflect criticism at home over the costs of the intervention in Syria and the unreliability of Syrian teams handling sophisticated Russian equipment.
The target attacked by Israeli Air Force F-16s was a site near Latakia, where Iran’s equipment for upgrading missiles was in transit to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The incident highlights the danger of the proxy war between Israel and Iran as part of a larger conflict. The number of parties involved – Israel, Russia, Syria, Iran and Hezbollah – points to the risk of the protracted Syrian conflict exploding into an all-out regional war.