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Iran-Israel confrontation in Syria won’t morph into massive war, vows expert

May 21, 13:38 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The presence of Iranian forces in Syria depends on what the settlement of the domestic conflict in this country will end with, expert notes

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© AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

MOSCOW, May 21. /TASS/. The confrontation between Iran and Israel in Syria will remain and the strikes will continue, but a massive war between the two countries is hardly probable, said chief research scientist of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the RAS Institute of Oriental Studies Irina Zvyagelskaya at a presentation of the report on the situation in the Middle East at a Valdai Discussion Club venue.

"We do not rule out that Iran’s forces may remain there [in Syria.] And this would mean that Israel will hit them, both them and Hezbollah," she said.

"The Iranians will strike back, not on the Israeli territories, but on the Golan Heights. Still, I don’t see a massive war here; I see tensions running high."

The presence of Iranian forces in Syria depends on what the settlement of the domestic conflict in this country will end with, Zvyagelskaya noted. In her opinion, if the country’s government remains strong after overcoming the crisis, it won’t need Iran’s support anymore. However, a weak Damascus will need to preserve the Iranian presence.

"The only thing that I think will fail is the creation of bases: this is Iran’s excessive buildup, so almost everyone will oppose it," she added.

The Middle East report

The report of the Valdai Discussion Club "Russia in the Middle East: Harmony in Polyphony" was presented at the club’s venue in Moscow on Monday. It contains the analysis of the current situation in the Middle East and Russia’ role that it is currently playing in the region and may play in the future.

The authors of the report are Doctor of Historical Sciences, chief research scientist of the Center for Arab and Islamic Studies at the RAS Institute of Oriental Studies Irina Zvyagelskaya and head of the RAS Institute of Oriental Studies Vasily Kuznetsov. The authoring team is headed by Doctor of Historical Scientist, RAS academician Vitaly Naumkin.

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