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The Procedure of the UN Security Council, 4th Edition

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Updated on 12 December 2015

Chapter 7:   DECISIONS AND DOCUMENTS

Section 12:   Communications

 

Syria and Russian Federation report military assistance to Syria

 

On 14 October 2015, the representative of Syria wrote to the Secretary-General and the Security Council President informing them that the Russian Federation had “taken a number of measures in response to a request” from the Syrian Government “to cooperate in countering terrorism and to provide military support for the counter-terrorism efforts of the Syrian Government and the Syrian Arab Army”.  The representative specified that the measures taken by the Russian Federation included “providing air support for ground operations conducted by the Syrian Arab Army in its war against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Nusrah Front and other terrorist organizations”.  The measures also included “striking the bases, camps, munitions depots and command posts of armed terrorist groups that are in the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic.” (S/2015/789)

 

In addition to invoking international law and the UN Charter, the 14 October 2015 Syrian letter also asserts more specifically that the Russian Federation’s military assistance is fully consistent with “international counter-terrorism instruments and Security Council resolutions 2170 (2014), 2178 (2014) and 2199 (2015), all of which reaffirm the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic” (S/2015/789).”

 

The following day, on 15 October 2015, the representative of the Russian Federation forwarded to the Council President a letter from his Foreign Minister (S/2015/792).  In his letter, the Foreign Minister informed the Council President that

 

“in response to a request from the [Syrian President] to provide military assistance in

combating the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other

terrorist groups operating in Syria, the Russian Federation began launching air and

missile strikes against the assets of terrorist formations in the territory of the Syrian

Arab Republic on 30 September 2015.”

 

The Foreign Minister affirmed that this decision “was taken in the light of the extremely dangerous crisis that has unfolded in Syria, which has the potential for further expansion as a result of the activities of international terrorists and extremists.”  He added that eliminating this threat, which “clearly extends far beyond the region of the Middle East and North Africa . . . requires truly collective approaches, based on the norms and principles of international law and the provisions of the United Nations Charter, bringing together each and every force committed to defeating terrorism and ensuring their flexible and efficient coordination”.