Washington has no legal mandate to keep its armed forces in Syria, and the presence of American soldiers in the country contradicts the 2015 UN Security Council resolution that called for a ceasefire and a political settlement.
That’s according to the Russian embassy in Washington, which responded to a tweet by Wayne Marotto, the official military spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, the American campaign in the Middle East to supposedly defeat ISIS.
Writing on social media, Marotto said that the US has a “clear mandate under international law” to keep boots on the ground in Syria.
On Monday night, the Russian Embassy publicly disagreed.
“It’s a matter of fact that US armed forces have no legal mandate to stay in Syria. Your interpretation of UNSCR 2254 is just ridiculous. Please, read the document thoroughly,” the diplomatic mission said, including a link to the text.
Passed in 2015, UNSCR 2254 calls for all parties to immediately end attacks against civilian targets but allows offensives against groups determined to be “terrorists” by the UN Security Council, such as ISIS. It also planned to create a Syrian-led political transition with free and fair elections.
As things stand, both Moscow and Washington have troops on the ground in Syria. The Russian operation began in 2015, after Syrian President Bashar Assad requested military aid from the Kremlin, in a legal move. However, according to international law, the US military presence is an illegal occupation, because the American troops entered the country illegally without an invitation from the official government.
For the irony to be greater, the US Air force has repeatedly bombed Syrian civilian infrastructure such as power grids, water supply in a misguided effort to starve the population into rising up against the Syrian Government.
What the US did and continues to do in Syria is a war crime.