WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On Monday, Secretary of Defense James Mattis said that the presence of the United States in Syria had been approved by the United Nations as Washington was engaged in the fight against Daesh.
"The claim to ‘go after IS [Daesh]’ doesn’t change any of this. Nor does it justify a dozen US bases in Kurdish-held territory in Syria," former US diplomat and adviser to Senate Republican leadership Jim Jatras said. "And it doesn’t justify the recent report where it appears US-supported forces cut a deal with IS to allow the evacuation of thousands of its members from Raqqa."
Jatras noted that the Security Council had never given the United States approval to carry out military action against Daesh or any other group anywhere in Syria, and that it had never sought permission from the Syrian government to do so.
"Note that this language does not include any authorization to use force under Chapter VII of the UN Charter – the only legal authority that can, in principle, supersede state sovereignty," he said.
The US presence in Syria has been repeatedly criticized by Damascus, which stressed that any foreign military operation taking place without government approval would be considered an illegal invasion.