Syrian Coalition Memorandum to EU Stresses Russia’s Aggression Illegal

Head of the Legal Committee Haitham al-Maleh submitted a memorandum to the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini containing a legal study on the unlawfulness of the Russian aggression on Syria. In addition to documenting war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Assad and Russia, the memorandum emphasizes that the Russian airstrikes on Syria violate international and humanitarian laws.

Maleh confirms that Russia is directly occupying Syria and bombing civilians using forbidden weapons such as cluster bombs and ballistic missiles in collaboration with the Iranian-backed militias, primarily the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, Hezbollah militia, and foreign militia of several nationalities.

One month after the beginning of the Russian aggression on Syria, the Russian airstrikes have almost exclusively targeted civilians and the Free Syrian Army. This proves beyond doubt that the goal of Russian interventions is to aid Assad crush the revolution and destroy what remains of vital facilities and infrastructure in Syria. The Russian aggression has caused more civilians casualties and exacerbated refugee crisis as tens of thousands have been forced out of their homes as a results of the Russian military escalation.

The memorandum indicates that the aggression violates the United Nations Charter paragraph 4 of Article II which prohibits the use of force in international relations. It also violates Article XXIV which obliges Russia to maintain international peace and security as a permanent member of the Security Council.

Maleh added that Russian aggression violates article 51 which allow states to use force in self-defense, noting that Russia and Syria do not have common border, and there is no attack from the Syrians on Russia.

Moreover, Maleh pointed out that Russia violates UN Security Council resolution No. 2170 of 2014, which stipulates that the decision to combat terrorism needs to be referred to the UN Security Council.

Maleh concluded the memorandum stressing Bashar al-Assad and his government have long lost legitimacy, according to international law, and Russia cannot provide him with military aid. When the people claim their right to self-determination, as in the case of Syria, the government forfeits the legitimacy to rule, which applies to the case in Syria after the breakout of the revolution back in 2011.

(Source: Syrian Coalition / 06.11.2015)

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