Russia demanded Monday that Jerusalem provide explanations following reports that Israeli jets had carried out multiple airstrikes on two targets in Syria, reportedly killing two Hezbollah operatives.
Moscow, considered a main backer of Syria’s ruling regime, said it had turned to the United Nations to bring Israel to account for the strikes, which reportedly targeted weapons shipments at two sites outside Damascus.
“Moscow voices deep concern over the dangerous development of events. Their circumstances should be clarified. In any case it is certain that the use of force is unacceptable in interstate relations and deserves disapproval,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Monday in a statement published on the Russian Foreign Ministry’s website.
“It is important to prevent additional risks of further destabilization of the extremely tense situation in Syria and in the Middle East region as a whole,” he added.
Russia sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon decrying the “aggressive actions of Israel” and issued “an appeal to prevent the recurrence of such attacks in the future,” the statement in Russian read.
Moscow remains a staunch supporter of the Bashar Assad regime in Syria, repeatedly blocking attempts at the UN Security Council over the years to pass resolutions against his government.
Earlier Monday, the Syrian and Iranian foreign ministries condemned Israel for the airstrikes, calling the operation an act of aggression that proved Israel was “in the same trench” with extremist groups fighting the Syrian government.
Arabic media reported Monday that two alleged Israeli airstrikes the day before had targeted advanced Russian-made air-defense missiles bound for Hezbollah.
The reports said that eight Israeli fighter jets were involved in the attacks, one of which took place near Damascus international airport and the other at an airfield in the Dimas area, northwest of the Syrian capital and near the Lebanese border.
Israel made no official comment on the report, but ministers in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government vehemently denied that the alleged airstrikes were ordered by Netanyahu to boost his ratings as election campaigns begin in earnest.
Israel has reportedly carried out several airstrikes in Syria since the revolt against Assad began in March 2011. Most of the strikes were said to have targeted sophisticated weapons systems, including Russian- and Iranian-made anti-aircraft batteries, believed to have been slated for delivery to Lebanon’s Hezbollah, a staunch ally of Assad and Iran.