BREAKING: Russia approves use of Air Force in Syria

11:37, 30 September 2015
World
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Updated

Vladimir Putin request to Russian parliament required under country's law immediately approved, paving the way for "open Russian intervention in Syria," according to The Telegraph.

REUTERS

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad asked Russia's Vladimir Putin for military aid, the Kremlin's chief of staff Sergei Ivanov said on Wednesday, The Telegraph reports.

Assad "has appealed to the leadership of our country with a request for military aid," Ivanov said after Russian senators gave their unanimous approval to allow the armed forces to carry out air strikes in Syria. He said: 

Already a range of states are conducting rocket bomb strikes in Syria and Iraq, including the United States. France recently joined those operations. But these actions violate international law. To be in accordance with international law, one condition must be observed: either a UNSC resolution, or a request for military assistance from the state on whose territory those strikes are to take place. In that connection, I want to announced that the Syrian government has appealed to the leadership of our country with a request for military aid.

Sergei Ivanov, the head of the presidential administration, has been speaking to Russian state television: "I want to say the result of the vote was a unanimous approval of the Russian president’s request."

"Importantly: this is specifically about Syria. I want to underline that this is not about any kind of political objective or ambitions that we have been accused of by our western partners. It is only about international interests of Russian Federation," said Ivanov. "Already a range of states are conducting rocket bomb strikes in Syria and Iraq, including the United States. France recently joined those operations."

He added that "these actions violate international law. To be in accordance with international law, one condition must be observed: either a UNSC resolution, or a request for military assistance from the state on whose territory those strikes are to take place."

The Kremlin has insisted this morning that Moscow is not going to send ground troops to Syria, but will only use its air force "in order to support the government Syrian forces in their fight against the Islamic State" group.

Earlier Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia would only enter the war inside Syria as Bashar Assad's request. It is not yet clear whether such a request has been received.

In March 2014, Russia's Federation Council unanimously agreed to the President's request on the use of Russian armed forces in the territory of Ukraine. Subsequently, Russia annexed Crimea, and in the summer of last year, the resolution was recalled.

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