US attack on Syria, illegal: Russia

TEHRAN, Aug.31 (MNA) – Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich says any unilateral US military action against Syria would be in contravention of the international law even if such action was limited.

“Any unilateral military sanction bypassing the UN Security Council, no matter how ‘limited’ it is, will be a direct violation of the international law,” Lukashevich said in a statement late on Friday.

He was reacting to comments made by US President Barack Obama about the possibility of a “limited, narrow act” on Syria over the accusation that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons.

“These threats are unacceptable” and “undermine the possibility to solve the conflict in Syria by political and diplomatic means, [and will] bring about a new round of confrontation and casualties,” Lukashevich added.

“Threats of striking Syria are being issued instead of implementing the decisions of the G8 summit in Lough Erne [and] subsequent agreements to provide the UN Security Council with a comprehensive evaluation by UN experts, who investigate the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria,” the spokesman said.

The rhetoric of war against Syria primarily intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21.

A number of Western countries, including the United States, France, and the UK, were quick to engage in a major publicity campaign to promote war against Syria despite the fact that Damascus categorically rejected the claim that it has been behind the attack.

On Tuesday, August 27, speculations became stronger about the possibility of a military attack on Syria. Media outlets reported US plans for likely surgical attacks, which would be in the form of “cruise-missile strikes,” and “could rely on ... US destroyers in the Mediterranean [Sea].” The plan was said to be awaiting US President Barack Obama’s go-ahead.

On Wednesday, however, the British government, the United States’ closest ally, announced that its support for military intervention in Syria would require a second vote in the country’s parliament. A first non-binding vote in the British legislature on August 29 rejected a British role in a potential war on Syria.

On Friday, August 30, NATO also distanced itself from participating in any military intervention in Syria, with the chief of the Western military coalition, Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, saying he did not “foresee any NATO role” in an international war on Syria.

Nevertheless, Washington has remained defiant, saying that it is willing to go ahead with its plans for a strike on Syria without the approval of the United Nations or even the support of its allies.

Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

Iran, Russia, and China, as well as the United Nations, have warned against war.


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