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UN gave no mandate on deploying US troops to Syria — Russian Foreign Ministry

November 16, 12:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stressed that there is such an impression that the US tries to "withhold part of Syrian territory"

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© AP Photo/Hussein Malla

MOSCOW, November 16. /TASS/. The United States has not received the United Nations’ mandate on deploying its troops to Syria, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.

"We were surprised to hear a statement made by US Defense Secretary James Mattis when talking to the US media representatives on November 13 that the US Armed Forces are in Syria "with the permission of the UN," Zakharova said.

"I want to remind you that the Security Council is the only body under the UN Charter that is entitled to take decisions on using military force in the international community," she said, adding that no such decision has been taken. "The US units are there in disregard of the country’s legitimate government in fact acting as occupants," the diplomat stressed.

Zakharova stressed that there is such an impression that the US tries to "withhold part of Syrian territory." "The task, which is again seen as part of this approach, is to achieve the necessary result of settlement by force," she said.

"We are very concerned by the US attempts to settle in someone’s house while they apparently do not bring peace and calm to that house. We hope that the US will still formulate its fair and legal position on the issue of its presence in Syria, as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier said," Zakharova said.

On Monday, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis argued that the UN authorized the US military presence in Syria. He noted that the US military would remain in the country until the Geneva process on the settlement in Syria yields results.

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