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Professor: US Airstrikes in Syria Require Damascus' Consent to Be Lawful

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Although Damascus was informed about the US airstrikes against the Islamic State targets in Syria, they still required the consent of the Syrian government to be lawful, John Quigley, Emeritus Professor at The Ohio State University, told RIA Novosti Tuesday.

WASHINGTON, September 23 (RIA Novosti), Lyudmila Chernova - Although Damascus was informed about the US airstrikes against the Islamic State targets in Syria, they still required the consent of the Syrian government to be lawful, John Quigley, Emeritus Professor at The Ohio State University, told RIA Novosti Tuesday.

"The airstrikes in Syria require the consent of the government of Syria in order to be lawful," Quigley said. "In recent days, the government of Syria indicated it would not consent to such airstrikes."

The professor noted that this morning, in response to the airstrikes, the Syrian government issued a statement indicating that it had been informed in advance by the United States.

"In that statement, Syria did not indicate whether it objects to the airstrikes. If Syria does not make clear its objection, it may be considered to consent," he explained.

On Tuesday, the United States and a number of its Arab allies carried out a series of airstrikes against ISIS insurgent positions across Syria.

The ambassador of the Syrian Arab Republic in Russia Riyad Haddad confirmed that Damascus knew of the upcoming operation in advance, however, denied any coordination with the US Air Force.

According to Haddad, the United States had informed Damascus of the upcoming airstrikes a few hours before the launch of the operation.

Quigley said that at this time Damascus has a couple of options.

"Countries that are the victim of aggression often complain to the UN Security Council. That is one option for Syria," he emphasized. "Since ISIS is fighting against the government of Syria, the government might choose to consent."

"ISIS has carried out significant violations of human rights in the territory it has captured in Syria and Iraq. Hopefully the government of Syria, the government of Iraq, the United States and other states can work together to return civil government to the territories ISIS controls," Quigley concluded.

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), 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 over which it had control.

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