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Military operation against Islamic State is within UN, not US competence

Regarding the threat to the world on the part of the Islamic State (IS) radical group, Russia proceeds from the priority of international law and decisions of the UN Security Council, a senior official in the upper house of Russia's parliament told ITAR-TASS.

That is the key difference between the positions of Moscow and the United States, deputy head of the Federation Council's international affairs committee Andrey Klimov said in connection with an international conference on the situation in Iraq and Syria underway in Paris on Monday.

The Paris conference involves five permanent UN Security Council members and representatives of the Arab League - overall, some 20 countries. Russia is represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

"It's not a secret that the world, led by the United States, is getting ready for a war with the Islamic State. On September 11, on the day of the 13th anniversary of terrorist attacks in New York, Barack Obama announced the expansion of a list of participants of the antiterrorism coalition led by Washington to fight the IS," Klimov said.

"The US president hastily drafted a plan of strikes on IS militant positions in Iraq and Syria and intends to act in a way advantageous for Washington," he said. "Damascus and Moscow warn the US that delivering air strikes on Syrian territory would be a direct act of aggression against a sovereign state."

"But Barack Obama and US allies plan to act from the position of strength proceeding from their own ambitions and without considering UN Security Council Resolution 2170 adopted August 15 that did not stipulate bombings of the Syrian Arab Republic's territory," the senator said.

"There is no single reason why the strategy of fight against the IS should be developed and implemented by the United States and its allies. Radical jihadists carry a threat to the entire world - the Middle East, Western countries, Russia," he said.

"So measures to fight the IS should be determined solely by the UN Security Council. In line with international law, the issues of military power and sanctions are solely within its competence," the politician said.

"By making the decision to start delivering air strikes on the personnel and military hardware of the IS in Syria, Washington ruled out the possibility of cooperation with the regime of Bashar Assad to neutralize militants. But it's the Syrian government troops that are currently waging a war against IS militants," he said.

"Should the US start bombing the SAR territory, they will weaken Damascus's positions and thus play into the hands of the Syrian opposition and terrorists. This would only increase the threat to the world," Klimov said.

"To a large extent, the US is to blame for the formation of the IS bandit group. Trying to topple SAR President Bashar Assad, Washington renders assistance, including military, to the Syrian opposition. Its former members and fighters of the so-called Free Syrian Army actively join the ranks of terrorists," the senator said.

"The same developments are occurring now in Syria and Iraq with US participation as ones that took place earlier in Afghanistan. Washington financed the Al-Qaeda movement there, which later became its enemy," he said.

"Now Barack Obama, while trying to look like a fighter against the global evil, may expand the scale of the disaster that threatens not only the Middle East but also Europe and America," Klimov said.

"It's the US policy that provokes a surge of terrorism on the part of radical Islamists. The bar of history will bring initiators of military actions in the Middle East to account," he said.

[Source: By Tamara Zamyatina, Itar Tass, Moscow, 15Sep14]

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