Strikes carried out from Russian bombers deployed from Iran for second time; US State Department investigating whether incidents are violation of nuclear deal; Russia denies any violation
Russia again deployed military aircraft from an airbase in Iran to conduct airstrikes in Syria Wednesday, despite international criticism, specifically from the US State Department, that the military cooperation may be a violation of UN Resolution 2231.
On Tuesday, US State Department Mark Toner responded to the incident and confirmed that the United States is investigating whether the incident violates the UN Resolution. He stated in a press conference “It’s unfortunate but not surprising or unexpected. And I think that it speaks to the continuation of a pattern that we’ve seen of Russia continuing to carry out airstrikes and now it appears with Iran’s direct assistance that at last purport to target ISIL targets as well as Nusra targets, but in fact and we’ve seen this continually predominantly target a moderate Syrian opposition forces,” adding that “It only pushes us further away from what we all at least say we’re trying to pursue, which is a credible nationwide cessation of hostilities and a political process in Geneva that leads to a peaceful transition.”
On Wednesday, Russia denied reports that Iran violated any parts of the nuclear agreement in allowing Russia to conduct strikes from an airbase in Iran on targets in Syria. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov responded to criticism from the US State Department Spokesman that the military incident did not in anyway violate UN resolution 2231. He stated that “These aircraft are being used by Russia’s air force with Iran’s agreement as a part of an anti-terrorist operation at the request of Syria’s leadership,” and that “there has been no supply, sale or transfer of combat jets to Iran.”
UN Resolution 2231 prohibits any supply, sale and/or transfer of military aircraft to Iran.