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Russian senators condemn US-led coalition’s airstrike in Syria

June 07, 2017, 8:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On June 6, the Air Force of the US-led coalition in Syria delivered a strike on the pro-government forces in a zone of de-escalation in the south of Syria

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©  AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda, File

MOSCOW, June 7. /TASS/. The air strike on pro-government forces in Syria may falsely reassure terrorists of being on the same side with the US-led coalition, the chairman of the Federation Council’s Defense and Security Committee told TASS.

The Air Force of the U.S.-led antiterrorism coalition in Syria on Tuesday delivered a strike on the pro-government forces in a zone of de-escalation in the south of Syria, the staff of the Inherent Resolve operation said in a statement. The operation’s command claimed that the Syrian troops allegedly posed a threat to the forces of the coalition and its partners stationed at the Al-Tanf base.

"Eventually, such actions by the United States undermine the process of political settlement, because they give the terrorists grounds to think that they are not alone in fighting the government forces, that a great power like the United States is also on their side. It may give them some additional power to continue fighting on the territory of Syria, and in Iraq too," Viktor Ozerov said.

He said the coalition’s claims that its airstrike was a defensive measure were baseless.

"During the five years of the US presence in Syria, I have never heard of any accidental strike, delivered by the pro-government forces against the Americans in Syria," the senator said.

He added that Syria, as a UN member, is entitled to initiate a UN Security Council debate on the issue.

"No one consented to the military presence of the US forces in Syria, this act of military aggression can be scrutinized from the point of view of the UN Charter," Ozerov said.

'Do not use military force against legitimate authorities'

"The term ‘defense,’ when applied to forces of the so-called coalition acting on the territory of Syria, can only raise eyebrows. Let me remind you that from the point of view of the international law, the coalition has no authority to conduct such (military) actions, and so the notion of defense will in any way look irrelevant and out of place here," said Konstantin Kosachev, who heads the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament.

He added that such situations can be averted by a simple code of conduct: "Do not use military force against legitimate authorities of a sovereign state, and you will not be threatened in any way." This is the coalition’s second strike at pro-government forces near At Tanf. On May 18, the coalition performed an air strike on troops operating within the established de-escalation zone northwest of At Tanf. According to the coalition’s command, the forces allegedly posed a threat to the US and its partners.


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