Sputnik spoke to Professor Hans Köchler, President of the International Progress Organisation to get more insights into the issue.
Sputnik: So, where exactly does a strike by the US and its allies against Syria sit within international law, and while Washington accuses Russia of disregard for international norms, is it not the US that would be guilty of such a thing if it goes ahead with these strikes?
Hans Köchler: Such an airstrike, under the circumstances is they exist, as of today, would be a unilateral use of force in violation of the United Nations’ Charter and it would constitute an act of aggression.
The situation is quite clear: as long as the Security Council of the United Nations does not order or authorise the use of force, not any single country, or an alliance of country, has the right to use military force. So it is the US that violated the international law under these conditions.
Sputnik: The UK has expressed some reservation about joining any military coalition, with a majority of the UK parliament opposed to a vote in support – do you see this having an impact upon US and French resolve as it did in 2013, or is it likely they will go ahead anyway?
Hans Köchler: I’m afraid that it would not make a real impact because it is, as it seems now, for the United States an issue of power politics and for the president of the US, also an issue to follow up on his bellicose statements. The United States has demonstrated earlier that they are ready to go it alone when they deem it appropriate for themselves. Unfortunately it’s the law of the jungle that rules.
Sputnik: And finally, this is of course over the alleged chemical weapons attack that the US and its allies blame on Bashar al-Assad, but how can we know that if it did happen, it was not factions of the islamist opposition, who we know have resorted to such tactics in the past?
Hans Köchler: That would only be possible if there would be an objective investigation and one would have to allow first of all the organisation that exists for the purpose of investigation to carry out its investigations and to act according to its mandate, namely the OPCW, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
They have announced that they will send a team of experts to the area and thus far as we know the Syrian government has already made a similar request and expressed its agreement. So first one will have to ascertain the facts, and only then may one consider on other steps, but one cannot proceed in the exactly opposite way as now seems to be the case.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of Hans Köchler and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.