Lost in reverie: Mattis claims UN let US intervene in Syria, although it never did

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US Defense Secretary James Mattis has recently claimed that Washington received a mandate to operate in Syria from no less than the UN itself. The problem is the UN never did any such thing as it does not even have any legal capacity to do so.

The UN cannot sanction a foreign invasion of Syria or any other country because it is absolutely impossible under international law, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said, commenting on the issue. “The UN cannot do such things,” he told the Russian media.

He went on to say that “Syria is a sovereign independent state,” adding that “only the Syrian government can invite armed forces of the third countries onto its territory” while “the UN has no such right,” as reported by Rossiyskaya Gazeta daily. The diplomat also said that “the fight against terrorism does not give any states or coalitions a free hand to establish their presence on Syrian territory.”

International law indeed envisages no way for the UN or any other international body to sanction an invasion of one state’s armed forces on the territory of another state. In fact, such actions are regarded as aggression under international law and are strictly prohibited.

UN General Assembly Resolution 3314 on the definition of aggression explicitly states that an “invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State” as well as “any military occupation, however temporary” or “bombardment by the armed forces of a State against the territory of another State” is what particularly constitutes aggression.

However, all these facts did not prevent Mattis from claiming that it was the UN that sanctified the presence of the US troops on the Syrian territory without the consent of the Syrian government. “You know, the UN said that … basically we can go after ISIS. And we’re there to take them out,” the US defense secretary said, referring to the US actions in Syria as he answered a journalist’s question on Monday.

Apparently, he implied that a call by UN on the international community and the US in particular to take action was more than enough to justify the US military’s presence in Syria. Actually, the UN did issue such a call – in Resolution 2249 adopted by the Un Security Council in November 2015.

Resolution 2249 called on UN member states “that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures” and “to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL [Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL)]” as well as other terrorist groups.

However, it urged the states to do so “in compliance with international law” – something that the US officials often neglect when they assess the actions of the US military abroad.

The statements of the US defense secretary also provoked an angry reaction in Damascus. The Syrian government once again stated that the US troops are operating on Syrian territory without its consent and in violation of international law.

“The presence of the US forces or any foreign military presence in Syria without the consent of the Syrian government constitutes an act of aggression and an attack on the sovereignty of the Syrian Arab Republic as well as a gross violation of the Charter and principles of the United Nations,” Syria’s Foreign Ministry said, as cited by the SANA news agency.

It further said that the US presence “only leads to prolonging the crisis and further complicating it,” adding that the real goal of the US in Syria apparently lies in obstructing the peace process. The ministry then once again called for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of US forces from Syrian territory.

The statements made by Mattis are “absolutely baseless” and “irresponsible,” Vyacheslav Matuzov, a political scientist and the head of the Russian-Arab Friendship and Business Cooperation Society, told RT, commenting on the issue. He went on to say that any foreign military presence on the territory of any state can be authorized solely by the legitimate government of that state.

“There is a clear position of the Syrian authorities, according to which the US troops are stationed on the Syrian territory illegally,” he said, adding that there can be “no argument” about the legal status of US forces in Syria.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Three DOG Night must have seen into the future of Mad DOG Mattis because in a song they told of a “liar” If the UNSC remains silent on this one yet certified the national elections of Syria as 100% legit, something must have run amok over there. DC is running things in their special way for their associates’ benefit and those still happy with being AI entrained, hive minded. self serving, and depraved go along to get along citizens are told all this craziness is defending our country. Might be there are more fellow citizens by percentage who resist the fake reality, portrayed every
    way and every day, than any one could say.

  2. Mad Dog Mattis is obviously suffering from advanced stages of Alzheimer’s. Time to remove this idiot from Washington and put him in a nice warm comfortable padded cell. The delusions of this man make it clear he is not operating on a full charge.
    Mattis must be removed from any position of authority.
    America has become a rogue, lawless, criminal state, where anything goes and all those human rights accords it signed in the past have been thrown away. Geneva Convention: gone; every human rights accord: gone; Nuclear proliferation treaty: gone; Regan’s promise to add no NATO in former eastern bloc states:gone; And in its final act of defiance and contempt for the American people, Washington has tossed the Constitution into the trash bin and is shredding the Bill of Rights.
    Those who under some form of delusion continue to believe that Trump will make America great again are just that: deluded.
    America has lost the war in Syria and from now on it should expect more defeats. Its petro dollar now being challenged and in some places already replaced. Washington’s authority is being challenged by Europe. Latin American nations are breaking away. Even Asian nations are now setting up their own trade blocs using their own currency.
    All this spells doom for America all the while it continues to implode from within from social and political crisis.

  3. Imagine that: A military person idolized by duped Americans, promoted to the highest rank with four stars but who lies in your face. I’ll bet he knows all the dirt on the complicity of the corrupt military and Bush and Cheney on 9/11 too; all traitors aiding Israel with the attack. Even Trump used political shenanigans to get the three basketball thugs at UCLA out of charges in China for shop lifting instead of manning up and facing the consequences. Sports has destroyed what is left of higher education too. All selfish Trump cares about is avoiding bad publicity not teaching petty thieves a lesson. In fact isn’t Trump himself also a liar and thief?
    http://nypost.com/2017/11/15/ucla-players-back-in-los-angeles-after-shoplifting-arrests-in-china/ Remember UCLA is involved in the land theft of Veterans lands in Los Angeles as documented in many great articles by Robert Rosebrock.

    • College and so called professional sports is nothing but a criminal money making racket. Illegal gambling and betting on games is commonplace with virtually zero enforcement of the laws against it. It has destroyed our colleges and society. Most games are fixed. All you need to do to fix any game is get to one or two top players and pay or threaten then just like they do with Congress. America should just admit defeat and legalize gambling, drugs and prostitution and party and orgy to the end. If our great Founders were alive today to see the degeneration into the sewer of the country they created they would say you all deserve to go to H. Your wounds are all self inflicted. We tried to help you but you gave us your middle fingers instead. You don’t deserve what we provided for you. America is nothing but a criminal immoral expletive deleted today. It is only a matter of time.

    • wjabbe, you are quite correct. America’s wounds are self inflicted. The delusional state of the majority of Americans has began to take its toll. The idol worship of sports “heroes” is an indication that American citizens are no different than the ancient Romans who idolized the gladiators in the arena.
      However, it appears that NFL football is loosing its grip and may be now in the death throes which can’t come soon enough.
      College sports is fraught with corruption.
      There is a new movement to remove high school and Pop Warner football as the damage to the brains of young people is now becoming a serious problem.
      America needs leadership and it must come from the people, not from corrupted pliticians in Washington.

    • I’m fairly sure that US Founding Fathers would be scandalized, ashamed and disgusted by simply walking in the streets of New York, Los Angeles, or almost any other major Western city. But on the other hand, why would anyone care what a bunch of dead, white, males, and terrorists at that, think about our “vibrant democracy” anyway?

      What some people see as degeneration, others call progress. What some people see as an invasion of foreign peoples, others see as hopeful signs of a world without borders or nationalities. What some see as forced imposition of the most vile kinds of depravity and mental illness, others call acceptance and tolerance of diversity. I am at a loss to see how such diametrically opposed world-views can be joined together again within the area of the North American continent that was once known as the United States of America. No longer United, and now ashamed to call ourselves American (it’s so politically incorrect), there is no USA remaining for which to fight.

      As you note, wjabbe, “America is nothing but a criminal immoral expletive deleted today.” and “It is only a matter of time.” before the whole house of cards collapses. What happens then is anybody’s guess.

    • According to the information of the link the physics professor provides, the three accused shoplifters are college freshmen i.e. 17 or 18 years old. The information of that article further states the shop in which the incident occurred was Louis Vuitton, a French luxury manufacturer some of whose identifiable accessories are popularized. I think it’s ridiculous to mix in this adolescent problem about which no details of the exact circumstances – video? – are presented with the other of a Secretary of Defense!
      The young men are very fortunate that President Trump intervened.

  4. ISIS will very shortly be finished, or redeployed elsewhere by its sponsors. The US can then pavk up and get out. It should be winding down its operations now but seems to be building permanent bases instead.

    They have no intention to leave. They want to disrupt the alliance between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon — four countries that have every bit as much right to form an alliance and trading bloc as four adjacent European countries would have.

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