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Minister: US Military Action in Syria Unapproved by Damascus Would Be Act of Aggression

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Any US military action on Syrian territory would be considered an act of aggression unless they were approved by Damascus, Ali Haidar, the Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation Affairs, said Thursday.

MOSCOW, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - Any US military action on Syrian territory would be considered an act of aggression unless they were approved by Damascus, Ali Haidar, the Syrian Minister of National Reconciliation Affairs, said Thursday.

"Any action of any type without the approval of Syrian government is an aggression against Syria," the minister said as quoted by Reuters.

Earlier in the day, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said that US airstrikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria without a UN Security Council mandate would be an act of aggression and a blatant violation of international law. There is reason to believe that Syrian government forces could also come under fire with serious consequences for further escalation of the Syrian crisis, according to Lukashevich.

On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama addressed the nation, setting out a long-term strategy for defeating the IS that includes authorizing US airstrikes against the group in Syria.

The armed conflict has been ongoing in Syria since March 2011 and has claimed the lives of almost 200,000 people, according to the UN. Government troops are confronted by militias belonging to different armed groups. The most active is the IS, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which led an assault on the northern and western regions of Iraq in early June, and announced the creation of an Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria on June 29.

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aggression, military action, Ali Haidar
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