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Response to freshwest (Original post)

Wed Sep 4, 2013, 05:54 PM

3. Here goes. You can't figure it out without going back a bit.

The Russia-Syria relationship was rocky. Syria wasn't always a good friend to Russia. In the 70s they taxed Russia's patience with getting involved in Lebanon. But Russia was persistent.

Why? The location. The 2 deep ports. One is their naval base the other a commercial supply route. Syria had many terrorist training camps and Soviet personnel trained there. (!!!!!!) That should make many ears perk up.

Russia needs the location for access to oil and the transport of oil. And for access to the Middle East which it sees as their territory to stop the United States and Israel from taking over.

They believe now, as they have always done, that the US and Israel have militaristic intentions in the region and it is their responsibility to stop them. In the Soviet days antizionism was part of Communist Party Soviet Union official training in schools. Zionism was racism and anticommunism to CPSU. They thought Syria was weak and would be one of the first Israel would strike. Plus, it would give them the ports. They forgave Syria's debt, supplied Syria with weapons and they had access to the Middle East.

Before the Six Day War the Soviets told Egypt, Jordan and Syria that Israel was going to attack and had amassed troops along their borders. So those countries amassed their troops along their Israeli borders. And Egypt blocked the strait. So Israel thought they were going to be attacked. Moreover, there were Russian warships and subs in the area. So Israel launched a preemptive strike which Russia never believed they could win, much less in 6 days.

Some think Russia did it to start the war:

Wednesday, September 10, 2003
Excerpt - How The USSR Planned To Destroy Israel in 1967

This new find casts doubt on that, but personally I think it's typical Soviet CYA. I've seen it too many times not to recognize it for what it is.

By Uri Bar-Noi
Author: Uri Bar-Noi is Lecturer of Soviet history and diplomacy at the Open University of Israel

The Soviet Union And The Six-Day War:
Revelations From The Polish Archives.[*]


Thirty-six years have passed since the June 1967 war between the State of Israel and its Arab neighbors. Despite the passage of time, the role played by the Kremlin in the events which led to this armed conflict and during the war, remains to this day an enigma. Scholars have debated the question of the extent to which the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) was responsible for the outbreak of hostilities in the Middle East on 5 June 1967. Some researchers have argued that Moscow instigated the war in order to increase Arab dependence on Soviet aid, as well as to unify progressive forces in the Middle East and to further consolidate its position in the region.[1] According to one historian, Soviet leaders sought a limited Arab-Israeli war and had no desire to bring about the destruction of Israel. They saw no major risk in a limited armed conflict between Israel and Arab countries, and thought that "…it would be useful to shake up their Arab clients a bit…." Their conception was that the Arab armed forces were well-quipped and sufficiently prepared for any armed conflict with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).[2] snip

America's own political and economic interests.
"Russia's backing of (Syrian President Bashar) al-Assad is not only driven by the need to preserve its naval presence in the Mediterranean, secure its energy contracts, or counter the West on 'regime change,'" said Anna Neistat, an associate program director at Human Rights Watch.
"It also stems from (Russian President Vladimir) Putin's existential fear for his own survival and the survival of the repressive system that he and al-Assad represent. In Putin's universe, al-Assad cannot lose because it means that one day he, Putin, might as well."snip

That last one is the best.

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