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Legitimacy of US strikes against Islamists in Syria doubtful - Russian FM

September 24, 2014, 18:21 UTC+3
Only a common counter-terrorism strategy, not a legalised “coalition” against the Islamic State (IS) can produce results in fighting terrorism
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F/A-18E Super Hornet reparing to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush

F/A-18E Super Hornet reparing to launch from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush

© EPA/ROBERT BURCK/US NAVY/HANDOUT

MOSCOW, September 24. /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian Foreign Ministry has expressed doubts over the legitimacy of US strikes against Islamic State militants in the territory of Syria.

As the Foreign Ministry stated, the positions of Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq are still being bombed. “In the meantime, Washington claims that these attacks are being carried out by some ‘international coalition’ spearheading the struggle against the aforesaid terrorist organization,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“It goes without saying that in principle any active resistance to terrorists deserves proper evaluation. At the same time the specific context of current events continues to arouse major questions. First and foremost, the United States and the West in general preferred to ignore the terrorist nature of the Islamic State while its militants were fighting with government troops in Syria alone,” the Foreign Ministry said. “The legitimacy of such strikes invites doubts, too, because such steps can be carried out only with permission from the United Nations or unequivocal consent from the official authorities of the country in question, in this particular case, from the government in Damascus.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry also expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the air strikes, because “despite vocal statements about alleged ‘successes’” Islamic State militants continue to block the Kurdish town of Kobane (Ayn al-Arab) in the north-east of Syria, whose residents, should the town fall, will face the risk of reprisals, if not utter extermination.”

“Russia is pressing for systematic and persistent efforts to resist terrorism as the absolute evil,” the Foreign Ministry said. “We are deeply convinced that there must follow in-depth, comprehensive analysis of the problem of terrorism and the causes why it is sprawling over the space of the Middle East and North Africa.

“We are urging all responsible members of the international community to take part in devising a common anti-terror strategy and its translation into life. It is this comprehensive approach, and not a narrow ‘coalition’ for struggle against the Islamic State, that can yield the desired effect and help rid humanity of this plague of the 21st century,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“Besides, the rocket and bombing strikes are being dealt by the United States, France and several Arab states, while other countries, although they have declared their participation in the operation, in reality have confined themselves to humanitarian actions. In other words, a wide coalition is not on the agenda,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The statement says only a common counter-terrorism strategy, not a legalised “coalition” against the Islamic State (IS) can produce results in fighting terrorism.

“We are urging all responsible members of the international community to take part in the development of a common counter-terrorism strategy and its implementation,” the ministry said.

“It is this comprehensive approach rather than a legalised ‘coalition’ against the IS that can produce desired result and help rid mankind of this ‘plague of the 21st century’,” it said.

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