'Illegal' US Airstrikes May Delay, but Not Stop Syria Peace Process

14.04.2018

One of the main aims of the US strikes on Syria was to block the achievements in the peace process after the recent summit between Russia, Iran and Turkey, where consensus was reached on putting forward the peace process and restructuring in the war-torn country, writes Valdai Club expert Nourhan El-Sheikh.

The airstrikes on Syria, carried out by the US-led coalition, go against the international law. There was no sanction of the UN Security Council to do such things. They violated the sovereignty of Syria – and the United States, Britain and France should be judged for it. It is also coming as a unilateral action based on nothing, because the committee, which should investigate what happened in Douma and find out if there really was a chemical attack has not started its work yet. All those arguments weaken the US, Britain and France situation, giving very good and very strong argument to Russia and Syria to judge them within and outside the UN.

I think what Russia decided today, inviting the Security Council to discuss the situation and to have some hopefully firm decisions, is a very important step. The Russian and Syrian arguments will be very strong within the Security Council. However, such states as Saudi Arabia and Qatar declared support for the strikes, so it could be difficult to reach a consensus on that in the Arab world. But some other Arab countries, like Egypt, will not agree with the strikes and ask for a peaceful process to settle the Syrian crisis. Therefore Russia should also lead a diplomatic effort within the UN against the United States, and Russia can do a lot on that. 

Syria Airstrikes: Is All-Out War a Distinct Possibility Now? Andrey Sushentsov, Richard Weitz
In the early hours of Saturday, the United States, supported by the United Kingdom and France, launched airstrikes on a number of targets in Syria in response to alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government forces in Damascus’ suburb of Douma. The attacks were personally announced by US President Donald Trump.

These strikes could, of course, put some obstacles to the peace process. One of the main aims of the strikes was to block the achievements in the peace process we had after the recent summit between Russia, Iran and Turkey, where consensus was reached on putting forward the peace process and restructuring in Syria. I think the US was not satisfied with the summit results and decided to block or at least to delay their implementation. It also wants to be involved and to have its share in the reconstruction of Syria. But their actions were not successful, they may delay this process for some time, but will not block it. I think that the understanding among Russia, Iran and Turkey is very important, because it pushes this process forward more and more.
Views expressed are of individual Members and Contributors, rather than the Club's, unless explicitly stated otherwise.

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