Russia's Ambassador to Israel, Anatoly Viktorov, has stated that the Kremlin "condemns" Israel's air strikes on Syria. Viktorov called the attacks a violation of international law.
"In our contacts with Israeli colleagues," the ambassador told Israel's i24NEWS last night, "we are trying to persuade them to get rid of such behaviour because these military activities do not contribute to the stabilisation of the military situation here."
He asserted that the air strikes on Syria, many of which target both Syrian and Iranian military sites and personnel, violate international law and the country's sovereignty. Viktorov stressed that they are "attacks on the territory of a sovereign state," and also touched on the legitimacy of Iran's presence in Israel's neighbour. "Iran is in Syria at the legitimate request of the Syrian government," he explained, "and this is legal according to the UN Charter."
Expanding on his support for Iran's military and political presence in Syria, Viktorov described Tehran as one of Moscow's "close partners" in the conflict. Iranian militias and Russian troops are fighting alongside each other "against terrorism," he insisted.
While Russia condemned the continued Israeli air strikes, however, Ambassador Viktorov emphasised the importance of the ties and understanding between his country and Israel. "We also recognise [Israel's] legitimate security concerns," he added, not least because of the Iranian presence near its northern border.