Israel worried US sanctions on Russia could affect Syria operations
'The US is a long-standing, stable ally, but Israel needs Russia given the circumstances in the Middle East'
Israeli officials are reportedly worried that potential sanctions on Russia by the United States in response to a possible invasion of Ukraine would harm Israel’s security interests in Syria.
Citing unnamed security officials, Walla! News said Israel’s close ties with the US could threaten its coordination with Moscow on operations in Syria.
The officials said such correspondence is vital to prevent Iran and its proxies from further establishing themselves in Syria.
“US sanctions against Russia put Israel in a very embarrassing position,” Walla! News quoted an official.
“The US is a long-standing, stable ally, but Israel needs Russia given the circumstances in the Middle East.”
Western powers, including the US and the United Kingdom, have threatened sanctions on Russia in the event of Moscow invading Ukraine.
Recently, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin officially recognized the breakaway separatist regions in Ukraine, prompting the US to sanction those territories.
World leaders subsequently condemned Putin’s recognition, with many calling for sanctions on Russia.
Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Jerusalem “will consider what course to take” when asked about joining potential sanctions on Russia, Channel 12 News reported.
The Israeli army has conducted consistent airstrikes in Syria over the past decade in efforts to suppress Iranian-backed forces and hinder the transfer of weapons through the region to Tehran’s proxies.
Putin is considered an ally of Syria’s President Bashar Assad, and Russia is seen as using its presence in the country to gain a footing in the Middle East.
Ynetnews reported that Israeli military officials recently held talks with Russia about calming tensions in Syria.
The report stated that Israel may limit its air campaign in the region as a result.