WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The US armed forces are defying international law by carrying out air strikes and other military operations within the territory of Syria without the consent of the Syrian government, according to analysts.
"The problem is that the United States is operating in Syria without consent of its government," Ohio State University Professor Emeritus of International Law John Quigley said.
US and coalition spokespersons have acknowledged that they are training and advising what they describe as "partner" forces opposed to the Syrian government at At Tanf.
Quigley said he did not believe the US-coalition retaliation marked a general change in policy or expansion of hostilities.
"I think the strike was not part of a general effort to fight pro-Government forces but rather was aimed at protecting the US facility at Tanf," he stated.
The United States "has no right to establish zones into which it will not permit entry," he said.
Ohio Northern University Assistant Professor of History Robert Waters agreed that the air strike did not indicate any change in US policy, but it confirmed President Donald Trump’s determination to protect puppet forces still seeking unsuccessfully to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"Overall, Trump has made clear that he's not going to allow the Syrian government to attack the US-supported opposition — it's the second time in less than a month that US forces have attacked a Syrian government advance on the ‘deconfliction zone,’’ he stated.
"I will go out on a limb. He [Trump] seems to be supporting a de facto partition," he said.
Trump has already allowed his military commanders much more freedom of action than his predecessor Barack Obama had allowed, Waters pointed out.
Since the chemical warfare attack earlier this year that was claimed by the United States to be a Syrian government effort, despite a lack of proof, US forces were seeking to more aggressively prevent the Syrian Army from undertaking larger operations, Waters observed.
"After the chemical weapon attack, US forces are keeping Assad on a short leash," he said.
The new attack could also be part of coordinated US and Arab allied moves to strike at allies of Iraq throughout the Middle East, Waters concluded.