Russia says buffer zone in Syria needs UN approval
Russia says there will be no legal basis for any unilateral attempt to set up a buffer zone in Syria and such a move needs to be approved by the UN.
“The UN Security Council must take the decision on such zones,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, Alexander Lukashevich, said on Thursday.
Lukashevich emphasized that any one-sided attempt by a country or a coalition to create the buffer zone is “illegitimate.”
The Russian official made the remarks in an apparent reference to the so-called US-led coalition against the ISIL Takfiri terrorists. His comments came after Turkey called for the establishment of a buffer zone in Syria in the face of ISIL threats.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that Ankara is ready to launch ground operations against ISIL only if a buffer zone was set up between Turkey and Syria.
Since late September, the United States and its Arab allies have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL positions inside Syria, without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate. The US also started its airstrikes on Iraq in early August.
The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the ongoing “unsanctioned” US-led airstrikes against ISIL positions in Syria would “further fan the flames of radical opinion” in the region.
NATO has also reacted to the Turkish appeal for the buffer zone, with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg saying that the proposal is not an issue that could be dealt with at this stage.
The NATO chief added that expecting Turkish forces to lead a ground operation in Syria is not realistic.