By Alexander Mercouris
UN Security Council resolution authorises 'all necessary means' to be used against groups associated with al Qaeda
November 24, 2015 "Information Clearing House" - "RI" -
Russia’s diplomats...have now obtained UN Security Council as well as Syrian government approval for Russia’s military campaign.
They have also got the UN Security Council to scotch the myth of the “moderate jihadis” once and for all.
Back in September, when it became clear the Russians were intending to act in Syria, Russia Insider predicted the Russians would try to get a Resolution from the UN Security Council to give additional legal cover for their military action.
This is in contrast to the US, which avoids the Security Council whenever it can, and which usually prefers to act unilaterally without a UN Security Council mandate.
Thus US bombing of the Islamic State in Syria was doubly illegal under international law because it was carried out without permission from either the UN Security Council or from the Syrian government.
Russia's military action by contrast is completely legal. It has the permission of both the UN Security Council and the Syrian government for it.
It took weeks for the Russians to get their Security Council Resolution. This was because the US did everything it could to stand in the way. However, after weeks of hard work, Russia’s diplomats have finally got the Resolution Russia wanted.
What changed the position was the terrorist outrage in Paris.
After the Paris attack the French backed Russia’s proposal for a UN Security Council Resolution. At that point the US could no longer block it. The US cannot veto a Resolution backed by its own ally France, especially in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack.
Something that suggests some people in the US might be unhappy with this development is the absence from the Security Council table of one person who would normally be expected to be there for such an important vote.
This was Samantha Power - the US’s UN ambassador - a hardline liberal interventionist and one of the most aggressive voices within the US administration calling for regime change in Syria and confrontation with Russia.
Her relations with Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s exceptionally able UN ambassador, are said to be poisonous (see the photo at the bottom of this article).
It looks as if voting for the Resolution was more than Samantha Power could bear. That probably explains why she stayed away. In her absence it was left to her deputy, Michele Sison - a career diplomat - to speak and vote for the US....
The UN has also released - along with the full text of the Resolution - a summary of the debate in the Security Council that preceded the vote.
The key words in the Resolution are these:
“(The Security Council) Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da’esh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Da’esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaida, and other terrorist groups”The Security Council has not only backed Russia’s military campaign (“all necessary means”), but it has also made clear that Russia is fully entitled to extend this campaign to “all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups”.
The Resolution names amongst these terrorist groups the Al-Nusrah Front.
Russia is therefore fully authorised to bomb all the various jihadi groups in Syria that it is bombing. Even the US has been forced to admit - at least in the Security Council - that the talk of Russia bombing the wrong people - the “moderate jihadis” - is nonsense.
To read the full text of the UN Resolution, and further comments: