Syria Strike 'Attempt to Have Go at Russia', Boost Influence in Syria - Lawyer

© AP Photo / Hassan AmmarSyrian government supporters wave Syrian, Iranian and Russian flags as they chant slogans against U.S. President Trump during demonstrations following a wave of U.S., British and French military strikes to punish President Bashar Assad for suspected chemical attack against civilians, in Damascus, Syria, Saturday, April 14, 2018
Syrian government supporters wave Syrian, Iranian and Russian flags as they chant slogans against U.S. President Trump during demonstrations following a wave of U.S., British and French military strikes to punish President Bashar Assad for suspected chemical attack against civilians, in Damascus, Syria, Saturday, April 14, 2018 - Sputnik International
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Syrian targets have been hit by US, UK and French missiles after Donald Trump announced that he was launching precision strikes on Syria. Greg Barns, a prominent human rights lawyer, Spokesman for the Australian Lawyers Alliance and member of the Julian Assange legal team, has given his take on the recent developments in Syria.

Sputnik: Why have the US and allies decided to take the step, considering there has been no proper investigation into the attack in Douma?

Greg Barns: I think they did so for their domestic political purposes. I mean Donald Trump’s polling numbers are sinking, and he is under pressure from the independent investigator into his affairs. Theresa May is a failing British Prime Minister, and Macron in France has large-scale demonstrations. This proved convenient. What they did of course was illegal, it’s illegal under the UN Charter, because the only way in which military force can be used is either if the Security Council authorizes it, which didn’t happen; alternatively, if it’s about self-defense.

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So, it’s all very well for the United States, France and the UK to forminate and point the finger at countries like Russia and Syria about breaches of international law, when they themselves have committed an even greater breach of international law in what they’ve done. 

Sputnik: Do you think there will be any action against them or any repercussions? 

Greg Barns: Unfortunately, I don’t. I mean these are countries which use international law to suit themselves, and as I said, point the finger at other countries and pretend to be subscribing to international law when they have no intention of doing so. 

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Sputnik: Do you think we are going to see the OPCW investigation go forward?

Greg Barns: Well, you would hope that it went forward, because if it found, for example, that there was a lack of evidence to support the claim, it would show yet again that the US and its allies are prepared to trash international law when it suits them, simply because they’ve got ulterior motives. There's no doubt also that this is an attempt to have a go at Russia, it’s an attempt to try to exercise on behalf of Israel more influence in relation to Syria.

READ MORE: Ankara: Assad Should Not Rule Syria, West Should Have Conducted Op Long Time Ago

The reality is that (I mean, the Russian Foreign Ministry is right) that Syria has a chance at peace, now, and here we go, you know, we're blowing the place up. Even Conservatives in the US are saying that it’s very dangerous at this particular point in time to be escalating Syria, when the country is in a position now where it can start to look at peaceful options going forward.

I think what this suggests is the Unites States has been chafing at the bit to get back into Syria, having been beaten at its own game by Russia and Iran, which have been in the place consistently now for a number of years.

The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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