American intervention in the Syrian conflict is illegal in terms of international law, and ground force intervention will have “unpredictable consequences,” Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russian Upper House committee for foreign affairs has said.
Speaking in an interview with the Russian RT service, Kosachev was reacting to an earlier announcement by US defense secretary, Ash Carter, that the US military “may carry out unilateral ground raids” in Syria after its failure to “train Syrian rebels.”
“We won’t hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks. . . or conducting such missions directly, whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground,” Carter told the Senate armed services committee in Washington DC.
Kosachev called on all nations to join the Russian-led coalition against ISIS in Syria, and that Russia is conducting “within the framework of international law” because it is intervening at the direct request of the democratically elected Syrian government—whereas the US intervention consists of supplying ISIS-aligned “rebels.”
“We have no intention of joining any other coalition for the simple reason that they are outside the framework of the international law,” Kosachev said.
Kosachev said that the US campaign is already violating international law and potential troops on the ground, “will further violate international regulations.”
“Any operations—air based operations, ground based operations—in Syria by American forces will be illegal,” Kosachev told RT, adding that Washington had not been invited by Damascus to take part in military operations in a sovereign country.
“They will get trapped; they will get involved in this ongoing conflict and the consequences will be absolutely unpredictable,” Kosachev said, addicting that sending US troops into Syria would be a “big mistake.”
Kosachev also dismissed allegations that Russian airstrikes in Syria have targeted civilians as being part of an “ongoing information war. If there …[is] any evidence …[it] should be presented and Russia is definitely open to making further investigations,” he said.
“But there is no evidence [that has been] presented by the military experts to the Russian military experts.”
The head of the committee blamed the mass media for “deliberately circulating rumors” of Russian airstrikes killing civilian populations in Syria. “This is just an information war against Russia and nothing else,” he told RT.
Kosachev stressed that Russia would not send ground troops into Syria. “No ground operation is possible [in Syria], because that would inevitably involve Russia in the ongoing war,” he said.
Instead, Moscow is committed to finding a political solution in Syria and has facilitated a number of high level talks between Bashar Assad’s government and the opposition representatives in Moscow.
“The problem is that people who come to Moscow … claim that they represent the opposition but later on other groups deny it and we have problems with finding reliable partners,” who would facilitate the political dialogue back in Syria, Kosachev said.
“We try not to interfere but promote a political dialogue inside the country,” Kosachev told RT. “We believe there is no other way to solve the internal problems of Syria but to maintain a political dialogue.”
Meanwhile, the Syrian army has been steadily advancing against the US-backed ISIS “rebels” since the start of the Russian air campaign in Syria. The latest reports from the front are that the Syrian army has now advanced to the outskirts of Palmyra, the ancient city earlier captured by ISIS, and are set to retake the site after the “rebels” were severely weakened by a devastating series of pin-point Russian bombing raids.
An indication of the Russian Air Force’s intensity of attacks can be gauged from the fact they it conducted 71 sorties targeting 118 terrorist targets in Syria in just one day (October 27). Targets included an Al-Nusra Front command center, and other sites in Idlib, Homs, Hama, Aleppo, Latakia, and Damascus provinces.
An Al-Nusra Front command center located in the province of Homs has been destroyed, Major-General Igor Konashenkov told journalists. The makeshift control center, arranged in a two-story building, had four jeeps parked nearby.
“After drones have studied the location, a surgical airstrike inflicted by Su-34 attack plane has wiped off both the building and the vehicles,” he said.
A control center of the Jaysh al-Islam terror group in the Damascus province has also been destroyed, Konashenkov added. The group’s communication in the region is currently disrupted.
The Russian Air Force has destroyed a disguised major supply hub in the province of Idlib, where terrorists stored ammunition and weapons.
“In the Elgab valley, the province of Idlib, an Su-25 assault plane has destroyed a major camouflaged terrorist supply point with ammunition, weapons, and materials,” Konashenkov said.