Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday morning boarded a plane for Moscow, saying: “I am now leaving for an important meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The meetings between us are always important and this one is especially so. In light of what is currently happening in Syria, it is necessary to ensure the continued coordination between the Russian military and the IDF.”
Shortly after President Donald Trump had announced the US’ withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran shortly after 9 PM Tuesday, Israel time, the Syrian regime news agency SANA announced that the Syrian air defenses intercepted two Israeli missiles and destroyed them in al-Kiswah area in the Damascus area, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, later reported that Israeli rocket strikes targeted missile depots and platforms belonging to the Revolutionary Iranian Guards in al-Kiswah, killing at least 9 members of the Iranian militia, and wounding several, some of them seriously.
Earlier on Tuesday, the IDF reported “unusual movements” on the Syrian side, which is why municipalities on the Golan Heights were told to open the public bomb shelters. Apparently Iran was mulling a barrage of retaliatory rockets on Israeli civilian populations to follow President Trump’s deal killing, a barrage which would have also avenged earlier Israeli assaults on Iranian strongholds inside Syria.
Russia, who, next to Iran, is the biggest beneficiary of the JCPOA deal, condemned the Trump move, with a Foreign Ministry statement saying, “We are extremely concerned that the United States is once again acting contrary to the opinion of the majority of states and exclusively in its own narrow-minded and opportunistic interests, in flagrant violation of international law,” which is simply untrue. The president’s opting to continue or to revoke the Iran deal is literally part of the Iran deal.
“Washington’s actions are a serious violation of the JCPOA, they bring international discredit to the IAEA, which was proving its high professionalism throughout the realization of the JCPOA,” the statement said, completely ignoring the cogent arguments Trump was making on Tuesday about the disconnect between Iran’s benefits from the deal and its increased terrorism across the Middle East.
Russia announced it would “not abandon the JCPOA and is open to talks with other participants of the Iran nuclear deal.”