Israeli Air Strikes on Syria Undesirable, Says Russian Security Official

Russian Security Council Secretary added that 'Iran is contributing a lot to fighting terrorists on the Syrian soil and stabilizing the situation there'

Russian President Putin gives a news conference following talks with Turkish President Erdogan, Moscow, April 8, 2019.
\ SPUTNIK/ REUTERS

Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said on Tuesday that Israeli air strikes on Syria were undesirable.

Israel has repeatedly attacked what it describes as Iranian targets in Syria and those of allied militia, including Lebanon's Hezbollah. The strikes have caused friction between Israel and Russia, which apart from Iran is Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's other major foreign backer. 

Read more: Contradicting Trump, top Putin adviser says U.S. drone downed in Iranian airspace

Russia's national security adviser has rebuffed U.S. and Israeli attempts to isolate Iran and is urging both countries to show "restraint" toward the Islamic Republic.

Patrushev spoke at a three-way meeting Tuesday with his Israeli and American counterparts in Jerusalem. He says attempts to present Iran "as the main threat to regional security" or to equate it to international terrorist groups are "not acceptable."

He added that "Iran is contributing a lot to fighting terrorists on the Syrian soil and stabilizing the situation there."

Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, earlier called for the three countries to agree on expelling foreign forces from neighboring Syria. He says Israel will not allow Iran to establish a permanent military presence there.

Patrushev called on Israel and the U.S. to encourage a political settlement in Syria.