A week ago, Aleppo was the scene of the first direct meeting between field commanders from Hezbollah, and Russian officers present on Syrian soil. The meeting was requested by Moscow, and was brought on by Hezbollah’s great presence in the last Aleppo battle, and is thought to lead to permanent communication through security channels in Syria.

 

What gained Russia's interest, according to Lebanese Daily Al-Akhbar’s Elie Hanna, was the fact that Hezbollah’s fighters succeeded in countering the two waves of attack, and then successfully helped run the counterattack in a fierce battle, which quickly made “Jaysh al-Fat’h” ranks fall apart and allowed the resistance to recapture Aleppo.

Upon seeing the result of the battle, the Russians requested the meeting almost a week ago through common military sources. The meeting is considered the “first direct and official” meeting between the two parties, as representatives from both sides have previously met, but in the settings of operations rooms in Baghdad or Syria, and any information exchange went through Syrian or Iranian channels.

The meeting was attended by senior Russian officers, who praised the great potential showed by the Hezbollah soldiers in the battle, and they expressed wonder at their capabilities in fighting and battlefield intelligence, as they has thought that the fast progression of developments on the battlefield suggested an elevated death toll after the great breakthrough scored by the terrorist [which Hezbollah countered].

The results of this meeting will likely be confined to the operational framework, and will not have any implications as far as the worldviews of both parties go, such as their outlook towards Israel, but the Russians have expressed to the Israelis that “although they appreciate Israel…” they believe that “Hezbollah is not a terrorist organization, Iran is not an enemy state, and both Hezbollah and Iran are partners of Russia in its fight in Syria.”