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US Air Strikes on IS Targets in Syria to be Considered Aggression – Syrian Official

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Any US air strikes against Islamic State (IS) positions in Syria conducted without consent from the Syrian authorities shall be regarded as aggression, Fayez Al-Sayegh, a member of the Syrian parliament, told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

MOSCOW, September 10 (RIA Novosti) - Any US air strikes against Islamic State (IS) positions in Syria conducted without consent from the Syrian authorities shall be regarded as aggression, Fayez Al-Sayegh, a member of the Syrian parliament, told RIA Novosti on Wednesday.

“We reject bombing of IS targets in Syria without coordination with the country’s government. Syria’s Foreign Minister has declared [the government’s] readiness to cooperate with a regional or international coalition against IS, owing to the fact that Syria possesses all the information and expertise on battling this terrorist organization. But if [the fight] is conducted without consent with Syria, it will be considered as aggression towards Syria,” Al-Sayegh said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

According to the lawmaker, Syria is ready to use “any necessary measures” against those who carry out aggression towards the country.

Earlier this week, the New York Times reported, citing a senior official in the Obama administration, that the US president was ready to authorize airstrikes in Syria as part of the US military operation against the Islamic State.

Obama is set to address the nation in a televised speech on Wednesday, unveiling the United States' future strategy against IS. US forces have already carried out some 150 airstrikes on IS targets in Iraq.

The Islamic State, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is a Sunni jihadist group that has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq, declaring a caliphate on the territories under its control later that month.

The group is known for its brutal tactics and harsh interpretation of sharia law. The United Nations has characterized ethnic and religious cleansing carried out by IS as crimes against humanity.

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