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German parliament condemns US-led strikes on Syria as illegal

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
A Syrian soldier walks down a destroyed street in the former militant-held Syrian town of Douma on the outskirts of Damascus on April 19, 2018, five days after the Syrian army declared that all anti-government forces have left Eastern Ghouta, following a blistering two month offensive on the militant-held enclave. (Photo by AFP)

Jurists at the German parliament have said the recent US-led airstrikes that hit Syria over an alleged chemical attack violated international law.

"The use of military force against a state, as a sanction against the violation of an international convention by this state, is an infringement of the prohibition of the use of violence in international law," experts at Bundestag, Germany’s lower house of parliament, said in reply to a question filed by the far-left Die Linke party.

The experts referred in particular to the United Nations declaration from their 1970 General Assembly, which stresses "the duty of States to refrain in their international relations from military, political, economic or any other form of coercion aimed against the political independence or territorial integrity of any State".

The UN Security Council had also rejected armed retaliation, stressing that it is "incompatible with the objectives and the principles of the United Nations."

The experts also said the UK's declared motive for joining the US in the airstrikes on Syria was "not convincing."

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May said it was "legally and morally right" for the UK to join the attack on Syria to prevent "further human suffering". But the experts said there were questions over "whether the military attacks are really appropriate to prevent further suffering" in the war-torn country.

Early on April 14, the United States, Britain and France carried out a string of missile airstrikes against Syria over a suspected chemical attack against the Syrian town of Douma.

Washington and its allies blamed Damascus for the suspected assault.

The Syrian government strongly denied the allegation and called on the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to send a fact-finding mission for investigations.

Germany did not join in the air strikes but Chancellor Angela Merkel backed the military action as "necessary and appropriate".

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