Military experts with close ties to military and intelligence leaders in Israel alluded to a Russian collusion which contributed to the successful assassination of the Lebanese Hezbollah leader Samir Kuntar in a raid that targeted him in Damascus on Sunday.
One of these experts, Alex Fishman, said that the building that was destroyed was located in the vicinity of the Syrian capital which is protected by the Russian air defence umbrella. Its centre has S-400 missiles and radars that cover large parts of Israel.
Whilst official Israeli authorities welcomed Kantar’s assassination without claiming responsibility for the operation, Israeli analysts focused on the supposed Russian role and pointed out that Moscow has remained silent since the operation. The expert Amos Harel wrote in the Haaretz newspaper yesterday that “the question surrounding (advance) Russian knowledge of the assassination operation will definitely occupy Iran and Hezbollah’s thoughts”.
He pointed out that Moscow had ignored at least three operations carried out against arms convoys near Damascus which were also attributed to Israel.
The Russian expert Vicslav Matuszov said that “it is impossible for Russia to be involved in this conspiracy militarily or through intelligence” and “the Israeli operation was a challenge to Russia to say that the S-400 weapon does not have any benefits”. In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, he rejected the idea that there would be any Russian reaction to the assassination, clarifying that “it is a black mark on Israel who knows very well that Moscow considers Hezbollah a legitimate organisation”.