According to Reuters, Russia has warned the U.S. not to attack Syrian-aligned troops again in the war-torn country. Reuters reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov relayed the message to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a phone call on Saturday — a phone call the U.S. reportedly initiated.
“Lavrov expressed his categorical disagreement with the U.S. strikes on pro-government forces and called on him to take concrete measures to prevent similar incidents in future,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said, as reported by Reuters. The U.S. has struck pro-Syrian troops numerous times in recent weeks and just recently shot down a Syrian drone — blatant acts of war against a sovereign nation. A Russian general also claimed that the U.S. may even be colluding with ISIS, allowing them safe passage to leave Raqqa as the U.S. military besieges the Syrian city.
The predicament puts the U.S. in an increasingly precarious and contradictory position. As noted by Antiwar, Russia has explicitly stated it does not recognize America’s self-proclaimed deconfliction zones (zones where the U.S. believes only their military should be able to operate), especially as the Western power does not have the approval of the Syrian government. Antiwar also noted that the U.S. originally did not want to recognize Russia’s proposal for safe zones. Despite opposing the idea initially, the U.S. has used it as an excuse to strike Syrian government troops operating within their own country.
The U.S. has no legal justification to be bombing the Syrian government and its associated forces within Syria’s territory. It certainly cannot claim the right to self-defense inside another country — one the United States willingly invaded without authorization.
Russia is actually operating within the dimensions of the so-called international legal framework, and the U.S. is thousands of miles outside of it. If anyone doubts this claim, just re-read this report but switch every mention of the U.S. to Iran or North Korea and see how it reads.
International law is supposed to apply to all countries that are parties to the U.N., not a select few adversaries and non-compliant states.