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Russia, Syria Warn that U.S. Strikes in Syria without UN Approval Violate International Law

Sept. 12, 2014 (EIRNS)—Government officials from Russia and Syria have issued statements after U.S. President Obama’s Sept. 10 war speech, warning that U.S. military strikes on Syrian territory without the approval of the Syrian government or without a United Nations authorizing resolution would be a violation of international law.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Sept. 11 that ISIS is the same entity in Iraq and Syria, and "It is necessary to fight this evil in compliance with UN Security Council resolutions, respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq," reported the Russian news agency ITAR-TASS.

Lukashevich further stated, "The U.S. President has spoken directly about the possibility of strikes by the U.S. armed forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) positions in Syria without the consent of the legitimate government.... This step, in the absence of a UN Security Council decision, would be an act of aggression, a gross violation of international law," reported the Fars News Agency (FNA) of Iran.

The Syrian government is also warning that international law must be respected, while reiterating its desire and willingness to fight terrorism, as it had repeatedly said earlier this year at two meetings in Geneva.

The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) quoted Presidential Political and Media Advisor Dr. Bouthaina Shaaban saying that "Russia and China say that any strike on Syria without previous coordination with them and the Syrian government would be an act of aggression," and that the United States shouldn’t take action "without taking into consideration the reaction of those countries, including Syria, Iran, China, and Russia." Speaking on the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen TV channel, she criticized Obama’s statement on terrorism that he would "hunt down terrorists wherever they are."

Fars News Agency also quoted Syria’s Minister of National Reconciliation Affairs, Ali Haidar telling reporters that

"Any action of any type without the approval of Syrian government is an aggression against Syria. There must be cooperation and coordination with Syria and there must be a Syrian approval of any action whether it is military or not."

A spokeswoman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry was quoted by the London Guardian and Fox News questioning the "seriousness" of the coalition against ISIL, since some of the countries pledging to fight ISIL have in fact been supporting the terrorists.