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Federation Council Speaker: Syria’s regular army only force really fighting against IS

September 30, 2015, 17:58 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The lawmaker stressed that airstrikes delivered by the United States, France and Australia violate international law

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© AP Photo/SANA, File

MOSCOW, September 30. /TASS/. Syria’s regular army is the only force fighting against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said on Wednesday.

"The current situation in Syria is critical. ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — former name of Islamic State] seizes more and more territories, there is more bloodshed, and a serious humanitarian catastrophe has emerged," Matviyenko told journalists. Syria’s regular army is the only force "that is really fighting against this global evil, with ISIL, with terrorist organizations and gangs fighting on the territory of Syria," she added.

The lawmaker stressed that airstrikes delivered by the United States, France and Australia violate international law. She reminded that "interference into the territory of a sovereign state can only be carried out on authorization of UN Security Council or on request of official legitimate authorities." "Those who participate in this operation have no such permission," she stressed.

Earlier today, the Federation Council has unanimously granted permission to the Russian president to use the nation’s military force in Syria, Kremlin chief of staff Sergey Ivanov told journalists. "The Federation Council unanimously supported the president’s request — 162 votes in favor [of granting permission]," Ivanov said. Russia will use only its Air Force in Syria against the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group upon the request of Syrian President Bashar Assad, Ivanov said, stressing that no ground troops will be sent.

International community’s support

Matviyenko has said she is confident Russia’s actions in Syria will be support by the international community as necessary.

"I think that the absolute majority in the international community will support Russia’s actions as timely and necessary," Matviyenko told journalists commenting on the decision to grant permission to the president to use Russian Armed Forces abroad.

The speaker noted that other opinions can be voiced around the world but the Russian side "treats this calmly as it knows it is right." "In this situation, we could not refuse Syrian President Bashar Assad and continue watching how people die, how women and children die, how historical and cultural sites are being destroyed," Matviyenko stressed. "I think that the time has come when we cannot not act, when we cannot stay away from these global processes," she concluded.

Reforms necessary in Syria

Western partners have started to understand that immediate resignation of Syrian President Bashar Assad is impossible because he can be replaced by terrorists, the speaker continued.

Reforms in Syria are necessary but only after the Islamic State (IS) terrorist organization is defeated, Matviyenko said. "I think that certain shifts emerged in the US’ position. There are no more categorical demands of Assad’s immediate resignation because they understand it will result in chaos and tumult. Russia supports reforms and changes in Syria but they should happen in parallel, while the main priority task now is to defeat terrorism, defeat IS. Reforms should be carried out in parallel with that, and later elections, in other conditions, when the Syrian people will decide themselves who should lead the country," she stressed.

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