News / Europe

    Russia: US Airstrikes in Syria Violate International Law

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a news conference on the sidelines of the the 69th U.N. General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York, Sept. 26, 2014.
    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a news conference on the sidelines of the the 69th U.N. General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York, Sept. 26, 2014.

    Russia says U.S. and Arab allies bombing Islamic State militants in Syria are violating international law because they have not received permission from authorities in Damascus.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says any use of force against terrorist threats should be done in accordance with international law and with the consent of the countries where that use of force is taking place.

    Speaking to reporters at the United Nations, Lavrov said, "It's very important that such cooperation with Syrian authorities is established, even now that it is an accomplished fact, because excluding Syrian authorities from the struggle that is taking place, the effort that is taking place on their territory not only goes against international law but undermines the efficiency of the effort.

    Unlike Iraq, which has requested airstrikes against Islamic State fighters, U.S. and allied attacks in Syria have been made without the permission of President Bashar al-Assad.

    Ahead of the airstrikes, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki says Syria's United Nations ambassador was informed about Washington's intent to take action, and government forces were warned not to engage U.S. aircraft.

    Psaki says the Obama administration did not request the Assad government's permission, did not coordinate its actions, and provided no advance notification of timing or targets.

    Foreign Minister Lavrov's criticism was the strongest so far at a U.N. General Assembly during which nearly every speaker has warned of Islamic State threats. President Obama appears to have blunted misgivings about U.S. military action in the Middle East by including forces from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Qatar.

    U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says those involved in this military campaign must abide by international humanitarian law, but he appeared to set aside that it was conducted without Syria's approval.

    "I note that the government was informed beforehand," he said. "I also note that the strikes took place in areas no longer under the effective control of that government. I think it is undeniable - and the subject of broad international consensus - that these extremist groups pose an immediate threat to international peace and security."

    U.S. officials also say the strikes are justified in that some of them target the Khorasan group, an arm of al-Qaida, which Washington says poses a threat to the United States and its allies.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
    by: Anonymous
    September 28, 2014 12:17 PM
    Russia continues to outwit the rest of the world. Any educated person who thinks objectively can see this. Western politics has become so crazed as a popularity show that none of the leaders are capable in playing toe-to-toe against Russia. Where are the Henry Kissingers? Where are the John F. Kennedys? Where are the Winston Churchills? Where are the Benjamin Franklins? Oh, that's right. They're the underemployed persons who were blocked by the senior majority because they were smarter than the seniors and threatened to take their spots as future leaders. Perhaps this is a wake up call that people need to start electing and appointing the most qualified leaders rather than those who sleep in the same bed as you do.

    by: bfar from: seattle
    September 28, 2014 9:44 AM
    if America loses the will or permission of allies, then go ahead let the whole World live under the tyrannies . what can you do?
    that is what will happen.
    The ISIL, and Boko Haram, and Latin cartels and on and on --and all the many criminal Gangs around the World --- that's who will rule the World.

    by: Tom Murphy from: Heartland America
    September 27, 2014 1:53 PM
    Of course, Russia is an expert at violating international law. It has violated international law in every way possible or imaginable.
    In Response

    by: HUANG JUN from: CHINA
    September 28, 2014 11:16 AM
    I think you have made mistakes. It was the Soviet Union which played a decisive role in defeatting Japan and liberating China in WWII. The Soviet Union did it because China asked them to help. The USA, Britain and some Western countries at that time were only invaders because they invaded China together with Japan long before WWII. So those Western nations and Japan were of the same nature,
    In Response

    by: Ricardo from: texas
    September 28, 2014 10:43 AM
    Check your regs., the us regime had started this coo now its out of control. What? This isn't the 5 time the us has done this
    In Response

    by: Dan W from: Canada
    September 28, 2014 9:10 AM
    Yeah the Americans taught them how to illegally attack other countries and get away with it very well. China's still learning, but they'll get there too. All thanks to American Imperialism.

    by: Anonymous
    September 27, 2014 4:00 AM
    It will be wonderful once the Syrians arrest bashar al assad and hold him on trial for the deaths of thousands. Now he is a step closer to being brought to justice.

    by: Dennis
    September 27, 2014 3:11 AM
    Russia for far too long has been complicit in dealings with brutal regimes and dictatorships, apart from supplying sophisticated weaponry to fuel conflicts and genocide. What about some honesty please?
    In Response

    by: HUNG MANH from: VIETNAM
    September 27, 2014 11:34 AM
    Really? Are you aiming at the US, which supported the brutal puppet regime in the South of Vietnam and the dictators Ngo Dinh Diem, Nguyen VanThieu to kill millions of Vietnamese innocent people during the Vietnam war? Have you ever heard of My Lai massacre when US troops raped and killed the whole village without being trial?

    by: Sunny Enwerem from: lagos Nigeria
    September 26, 2014 11:12 PM
    Syria actually lost its sovereignty years back when Assad was killing his own people which forced militancy upon him and now he hides in the capital claiming to be the president of no land, and look who's talking of breaking international law when they arm rebels to destabilize its neighbor and claim another countries land by force? Russia just wants to make herself relevant at the UN meeting by saying something against a good course taken by the west to stop ISIL.

    September 26, 2014 10:13 PM
    I myself consider the air strikes of the USA and some of its followers are illegal because they are violating the sovereignty to Syria. Otherwise, those airstrike can do nothing to stop the advance of the ISIS because without ground troops, which are the most important factor to regain ground from the ISIS, victory can exist in dreams. In Syria now the only force can stop ISIS is Syrian army. The opposition is unreliable because it is too weak, too coward, and without will to fight. Among the opposition fighters there are many terrorists too. So all of us must support Sir Assad in fighting the ISIS.
    In Response

    by: Tom Murphy from: Heartland America
    September 27, 2014 2:47 PM
    During World War II, when Japan occupied China and many other countries, it was necessary to bomb enemy forces wherever they were without asking permission in advance which would have alerted enemy forces to the raid. Are you saying now that the USA should give back control to Japan of each country where advance warning was not given? In that case, a large part of China would still be under Japanese control.

    by: Igor from: Russia
    September 26, 2014 10:04 PM
    Mr. Lavrov is right. Up to now the only legal representative of Syria in the UN is Mr. Assad's government. That government is trying its best to fight ISIS long before the air strikes of the West. That government is also doing its best to eliminate chemical stock piles to make the Middle East a much safer place by co-operation with the UN and the USA as well. So those in the West cannot violating international laws by attacking inside its territory without the approval of Assad regime. By doing so you are trying to prove that the ISIS has its own legitimate territory because that territory no longer belongs to Syria. And by that actions the West can never expect Syria as well as others to co-operate in similar issues. So the West actions are illegal and MUST be condemned because its action is NOT very much different from that of the ISIS. The only difference is the ISIS use knife to behead people, the USA use advanced weapons to blow their bodies apart.
    In Response

    by: Tom Murphy from: Heartland America
    September 27, 2014 3:12 PM
    Fifty (50) countries are now part of the alliance to defeat ISIS. So they believe that what the USA is doing is correct. People in Russia are isolated from facts and truth by government-controlled (Putin-controlled) media. Without the complete facts, most Russians can become biased to support the views of Putin. Russia needs to stop the killing of journalists by Putin's agents before it attempts to criticize other nations or understand whats happening in the rest of the world.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    September 26, 2014 6:59 PM
    It's unbelievable, and beyond reason that this terrorist group could exist without hearing about them at some time, [but], when the US had to justify their bombing of Syria without Assad's permission, [somehow] this terrorist group showed up as a threat to America and the western countries, isn't it?..... well I'm sure Russia will remember, and use what the US gave them in the future?]..... what goes around. comes back around, and sooner or later, kicks you in the butt?.....[everything the US does, the Russians do later]..... WAIT?

    by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, USA
    September 26, 2014 5:38 PM
    Wonder! After officially informing the Syrian diplomatic personnel , our air- raids had taken place in Syria. If that wouldn't have been, then the Syrian air force would've endeavored to combat our aircrafts out of operations in Syria. Neither any anti-aircraft systems of Syria has ever worked so far as the coalition air-crafts do go for bombardments over the IS positions in Syria. And, the occupied territory of Syria that's remaining under the IS occupations now, that's not the current territory of Syria under president Assad, but that's of the Caliphate that al Baghdadi has established defeating the regime forces in the Syrian civil war. So, the Caliphate territory is under attack, not the existing territory of Syria under president Assad. Here, the Russian foreign minister blunders. As per the diktats of Duma and Kremlin, if Crimea has been included in the current Russian territory on the very ground of the Russian speaking people; and, the Russian govt. had not taken this particular issue to the UN, there's no need for al Baghdadi to take the same issue to the UN for occupying the Syrian territory for his Caliphate.
    It's astonishing while the Russian govt. incorporates illegal territory to its existing one, that does not rake up the international legislations but while the same or so happens elsewhere in this world, the Russian top diplomat speaks of the international law? It's a good tenet in this world.
    Comments page of 2

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora