United Nations, Sep 24 (IANS) All measures to fight terrorist groups operating in Syria must be fully in line with the Charter of the United Nations and strictly in accordance with the international humanitarian law, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday.
Ban made the remarks in his opening address here on climate change, after the United States and five Arab countries launched airstrikes against extremist groups in Syria Monday, Xinhua reported.
“The parties involved in this campaign must abide by international humanitarian law and take all necessary precautions to avoid and minimize civilian casualties,” Ban said.
The UN chief said he was aware that the strikes were not carried out “at the direct request” of the Syrian government, but noted that the government was informed beforehand.
“Confronting terrorist groups operating in Syria requires a multifaceted approach,” he said, adding the approach should be designed to address the immediate security risks, to stop atrocity crimes and to eliminate the conditions in which these groups take root.
Speaking at the White House before leaving for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly, US President Barack Obama emphasised that the air campaign had included Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain.
“The strength of this coalition makes clear to the world that this is not just America’s fight alone,” Obama said.
On Wednesday, Obama will preside over a special session of the UN Security Council to address the issue of foreign fighters joining terrorist groups.
“I urge the world leaders gathered in New York, especially those participating in tomorrow’s Security Council Summit on foreign terrorist fighters, to come together decisively in support of efforts to confront these groups,” Ban said.