Tel Aviv: ‘In the same way, as we cannot stop the Israeli attacks on Iranian airbases in Syria, we are unable to get Iran to withdraw from Syria,’ was the sarcastic remark made by Anatoly Viktorov, the Russian Ambassador to Israel. Viktorov also claimed that the Iranian presence in Syria is valid and Iran is contributing in a big way to the fight against the terrorism in Syria.
During an interview with an Israeli news channel, Ambassador Viktorov endorsed the Iranian deployment in Syria, saying that Iran is playing an important role in Syria. Viktorov also claimed that the Iranian military deployment is legal, as per the criteria set by the United Nations. ‘In response to the Israeli demand, Russia can only request the friends in Iran to withdraw from Syria, but cannot exert pressure for that,’ clarified the Russian Ambassador to Israel.
Viktorov also clarified that Russia has not promised Israel that the Iranian military will be asked to stay 100 km away from the Israeli border. But the Russian Ambassador adopted a somewhat neutral stand, by saying that Russia will not object to the Israeli attacks on the Iranian locations. Only last week, an Israeli official had announced that Russia had promised to ask the Iranian military to stay 100 km away from the Israeli Golan border. But the Russian Ambassador has dismissed the claim.
Israel had warned to continue the attacks, if the Iranian military did not withdraw from Syria. Subsequently, Israeli fighter jets carried out four attacks on Iranian locations, in the span of last one month. Israel had also warned that even Russia will not be able to stop Israel’s attacks.
Meanwhile, the Syrian military has gained control over the area near the Israeli Golan Hills border. The deployment of the Syrian military is also increasing in the area and Israel is worried that the Iranian and Hezbollah soldiers deployed in this, are under the disguise of the Syrian military. Israel had requested Russia to mediate in this matter. The Russian Ambassador seems to have clarified the Russian position in respect of this request.