While Syria and “Israel” have been engaged in a high stakes shooting match which began with Tel Aviv shooting down a so-called “Iranian” drone over Syria, the timing and narrative behind the Israeli attack on Syria, may have everything to do with India.
Indian Premier Narendra Modi has landed in the Levant where he has visited the leaders of Palestine. This morning, when Syria shot down an F-16 belonging to the occupier’s air force, Modi was in Ramallah, not far from where the military action was transpiring across the border.
In spite of New Delhi’s abrupt turn towards the Zionist regime under Modi’s leadership, the Indian Premier clearly wants to demonstrate that he has not closed India’s traditionally open Cold War door to Palestine. The “Israeli” leadership with whom Modi enjoys a close relationship will clearly understand the politicking involved in his trip to Palestine, during which time he will certainly hold private meetings with his Zionist friends as well.
What Tel Aviv is concerned about however, is India’s investment in the Iranian port at Chabahar. India’s traditional status as a non-aligned power, has allowed New Delhi to foment partnerships with Iran, not least because largely Indian authored geopolitical realities have prohibited India from doing business with its two largest neighbours, China and Pakistan. The Iranians consequently, are happy to do business with any respectful power, so long as certain red lines are not crossed. Indeed, Modi’s relationship with “Israel”, which Tel Aviv regime leader Benjamin Netanyahu has described as a “love affair”, has caused concerns in Iran, whose own relationship with Pakistan continues to grow. The Iranian leader recently compared the plight of Kashmiris suffering under Indian oppression to the plight of Palestine, which has long been a central part of Iranian foreign policy. Nevertheless, for the time being, India continues to cooperate with Iran over Chabahar while New Delhi intends to integrate Chabahar into its wider “North-South Transport Corridor” of which Iran will be an important element.
In spite of Iran’s growing scepticism regarding Modi’s India, from “Israel’s” perspective, Modi must choose between Iran and “Israel” and today, Tel Aviv tried to make the decision making process clear for the Indian head of government.
By claiming that the “Israeli” attack on Syria was an anti-Iranian operation, “Israel” has attempted to demonstrate its might vis-a-vis Iran, while Modi is next door in occupied Palestine. Furthermore, with Syria expressing scepticism about doing future business deals with India because of Modi’s political love affair with Netanyahu, “Israel” has further sought to make this choice clear for Modi, as well. The message “Israel” has tried to send India is: abandon Iran and also forget Syria, because we’re a stronger partner.
Ironically, the message Tel Aviv intended to send may well have backfired. At a time when Modi is hastily wasting Indian money on expensive American weapons and aircraft, Modi will have seen that Syria was able to down an American made “Israeli” F-16, ostensibly using the old Soviet weapons that used to form the majority of India’s arsenal.
While Tel Aviv wanted to give Modi a show he would not forget, if anything, they have given Modi food for thought. Whether he realises this, is up for debate.