Everyone, operating on Syria’s soil, or in its airspace without the approval of the country’s legitimate authorities, violates international law, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Monday.
On Sunday, Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad called on the United States to withdraw from the country’s territory because such presence is illegal.
“We have again and again voiced a very clear position: everyone, who is either on Syrian soil or in Syrian airspace without consent, and without an invitation of the Syrian government, is violating the international law. Russia is operating here at the direct invitation of the legitimate Syrian authorities, as well as the representatives of Iran, as well as the representatives of the Hezbollah [movement],” Lavrov said at a press conference commenting on Mikdad’s words.
The Russian minister added that Moscow cooperated with Damascus within such a framework in order to defeat terrorism, to create conditions for the end of the civil war in the Middle Eastern country and to ensure political settlement of the crisis.
The Russian Aerospace Forces commenced precision airstrikes against the ISIL terrorist group (outlawed in Russia) in Syria, a group that is outlawed in Russia and a range of other countries, on September 30, 2015, following a request from Syrian President Bashar Assad.
The US-led coalition of some 60 nations has been launching airstrikes against the terrorists in Syria and Iraq since 2014. However, the operation in Syria is conducted without the approval of the UN Security Council or Damascus.