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Russia: US no-fly zone over Syria would be illegal

FM Lavrov says using air defense systems in Jordan to potentially shoot down Syria planes would violate international law

Any efforts to enforce a no-fly zone over Syria using air defense systems   deployed in Jordan would be in violation of international law, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday.

“There have been leaks in Western media outlets that the establishment of a no-fly zone over Syria by deploying Patriot air defense systems and F-16 planes in Jordan was being discussed… You do not have to be a big expert to understand that this would still be a violation of international law,” Lavrov was quoted by the Voice of Russia as saying at a press conference in Moscow.

Russia has vehemently opposed any foreign military intervention in Syria since the outbreak of unrest over two years ago.

On Friday, Western diplomats in Turkey revealed that the US was considering imposing a no-fly zone no-fly zone that could help to monitor weapons shipments, according to Reuters.

The report came hours after President Barack Obama authorized sending weapons to Syrian rebels for the first time, after the White House disclosed that the United States has conclusive evidence President Bashar Assad’s government used chemical weapons against opposition forces trying to overthrow him.

Obama has repeatedly said the use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line.”

Russia rejected outright US claims of chemical weapons use in Syria, calling them a fabrication.

“Information about the use by Assad of chemical weapons has been fabricated in the same place as the lies about [Saddam] Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction,” Alexei Pushkov, head of the foreign policy committee in the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, said on his Twitter account on Friday. “Obama is taking the same path as George Bush.”

AP contributed to this report. 

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