Friday, August 11, 2017

US illegally extending its presence in Syria

How can the people of Earth tolerate this bully nation intruding and forcing its unwanted self on sovereign lands all over the planet?
If we are against bullies in the school playgrounds, why are we not totally and completely against a bully in the various lands of planet Earth?  Are we all afraid of the bully's brute strength? Have we no courage to speak of whatsoever? Do we need divine intervention to take care of the bully while we sit on our behinds and remain dumb, deaf and mum?

Sharmine Narwani at TheAmericanConservative
Is the Expanding U.S. Military Presence in Syria Legal?
Washington has gone rogue.
In July, the White House and Pentagon requested authority from Congress to build further “temporary intermediate staging facilities” inside Syria in order to combat ISIS more effectively. This request, it must be noted, comes in the wake of devastating ISIS defeats in Syria, mostly by the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and its allied forces.

Shortly afterward, the Turkish state-owned Anadolu news agency revealed previously unknown details and locations of ten U.S. bases and outposts in northern Syria, several of them with airfields. These are in addition to at least two further U.S. outposts already identified in southern Syria, on the Iraqi border.

When asked about these military bases, a CENTCOM (U.S. Central Command) spokesman told me: “We don’t have bases in Syria. We have soldiers throughout Syria providing training and assist to the SDF (the mainly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces in the north of the country).” How many soldiers? “Roughly 1,200 troops,” says CENTCOM.

Yet when questioned about the international law grounds for this U.S. military presence inside Syria, CENTCOM didn’t have a response on hand. They referred me to the Office of the Secretary of Defense whose spokesman obstinately cited U.S. domestic law—an issue quite irrelevant to Syrians. He, in turn, referred me to the White House and State Department on the international-law angle. The State Department sent me back to the Department of Defense, the White House pointed me in the direction of the National Security Council (NSC), and the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel blankly ignored my repeated requests.

It isn’t hard to conclude that official Washington simply doesn’t want to answer the “international law” question on Syria. To be fair, in December 2016, the Obama administration offered up an assessment on the legalities of the use of force in Syria, but perhaps subsequent ground developments—the SAA and its allies defeating ISIS and Al Qaeda left, right, and center—have tightened some lips in the nation’s capital.....

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