Five French MPs, who came to Syria to meet President Bashar al-Assad, said Russian airstrikes are very effective in weakening ISIL.
"Russia is conducting a realistic foreign policy. It is in the interest of global peace," said Nicolas Dhuicq, a member of the Republicans Party (LR), following a meeting with President of the Syrian Parliament Jihad al-Lahham.
Dhuicq expressed hope that a broader coalition to fight ISIL is needed to bring peace in Syria. Another French delegate, Thierry Mariani, also welcomed Russian airstrikes and stressed that "anything that contributes to the fight against terrorism is welcome," Le Figaro reported.
The position of French MPs visiting Syria runs counter to that of the official stance of the French government which condemns Russia's actions. When Russia began bombing ISIL targets on September 30, French President Francois Hollande said they wouldn't contribute to the fight against terrorism.
Aside from Mariani and Dhuicq, the delegation consists of Yannick Moreau, Jean Lasalle and Michel Voisin.
Syria has been in a state of civil war since 2011, with forces of the country's President Bashar Assad fighting opposition factions and numerous extremist groups, including Islamic State (ISIL) and the Nusra Front.
Since 2014, a US-led coalition has been bombing IS terrorist positions in Syria without the approval of the UN Security Council or the Syrian authorities.
On September 30, Russia launched a multinational aerial campaign aimed at assisting Damascus-led forces in their fight against terrorist groups trying to oust President Bashar al-Assad. The operation was authorized by legitimate Syrian authorities. Russia, Syria, Iran and Iraq agreed in September to cooperate on security and intelligence sharing in Syria and set up an information center in Baghdad to coordinate their efforts.