Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The head of the Pentagon James Mattis stated that the American military personnel is in Syria with the UN’s approval, thus they are there absolutely legally. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Syrian Arab Republic (SAR) categorically doesn’t agree with such an interpretation of international principles.
“Syria once again states that the presence of American forces or any other military presence in Syria without the consent of the Syrian government is aggression and a violation of the sovereignty of Syria, and also a flagrant violation of the foundations of the UN,” it is said in the official statement of the Syrian Foreign Ministry.
The political scientist and the orientalist Dmitry Egorchenkov agrees with official Damascus that the USA have no right for stays in the territory of Syria. Nevertheless it is obvious that in recent years the American military-political management worries that less, correspond or not its actions to international law.
“The Americans have been especially curiously as of late. Mattis literally said the following: since the UN approves the fight against ISIS, then it is possible to fight against ISIS anywhere. Thus, most likely, it is possible not to ask any national governments, and borders are also not important. Following such logic, it is possible to declare an ISIS cell in any State, and afterwards to enter the American troops there. A very curious line of thinking, as I already said,” stated the expert in conversation with the correspondent of the Federal News Agency.
The position of the Syrian leadership thus remains unchanged, continues Egorchenkov. Any presence of foreign troops on Syrian territory without the approval of the Syrian authorities in Damascus is considered as an occupation.
“In general, within the framework of the existing international law, the position of Damascus is completely justified. Another thing is that Americans consistently deviate from the existing system of international relations. They consider that the spirit of the law is higher than its letter, if this spirit corresponds to American interests. Unfortunately, it concerns not only the Syrian battlefield, but also the notorious story with ‘Russian hackers’ and the Russian media working on the territory of the US. Everywhere the US claims that their adversaries oppose a certain spirit of international law and international relations. They do this simply because in a purely legal sense nothing can be shown to anybody,” explains Dmitry Egorchenkov.
This is a very dangerous tendency, considers the expert, but it is absolutely natural given the developed geopolitical balance of forces. During all the 90’s and the most part of the 2000’s the Americans were global hegemons. The world was a monopolar world. Now China, Russia, and other countries make attempts to destroy this system, but nevertheless, it is still standing. Because of this, the US feels that it has the opportunity to disregard the norms of the UN and the entire system of international law.
“They methodically disregard the rules of the UN, and have been doing this for all the recent years. In the near future this tendency, I think, will only worsen. Unfortunately, now the UN is in a more difficult situation than the League of the Nations was at its time. The UN is an institute of the bipolar world, it was created during the cold war between the USSR and the US. In a situation when one pole of such a bipolar world disappears, and the second actively withdraws itself out of the system of international law, the UN loses all levers of influence on the situation. International law, in the form in which we know it, is dying. The Americans substitute it for their own domestic legislation. Hence the constant claims of the US to transfer its right outside, to make American legislation exterritorial. Hence the sanctions declared by the US against Russia, and the invasion of Syria, and many other things. That’s why we expected to hear more than once words from the lips of representatives of the State Department and the Pentagon similar to those uttered today by Mattis. The American occupation of Syria heads towards the dismantling of the UN,” summarised Dmitry Egorchenkov.
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