International Community Mostly Lukewarm About Obama's ISIS Airstrikes

A round-up of international reactions to President Obama's call to battle ISIS.

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Earlier, we noted the diversity of response that President Obama's speech about the coming campaign against ISIS engendered. Now, foreign governments are starting to weigh in.

We'd be burying the lede if we ignored that Russia—bless their hearts—just went for it:

As Reuters reported, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich added this:

It is essential to fight this evil in strict compliance with the practices of international law, U.N. Security Council resolutions and the U.N. in general... and with strict respect for the territorial integrity of Syria and Iraq."

It goes without saying that as the European Union sits on another package of sanctions against Russia for its ongoing violations of Ukraine's sovereignty, this condemnation rings a little hollow.

Russia, which has long been Syria's arms dealer and international advocate, is reflecting the view of the Assad regime, which is (suffice it to say) not a fan of U.S. airstrikes inside of Syria.

Russia also infamously sits on the United Nations Security Council and so this statement has other ramifications beyond its hilarious irony.

You may also remember that Russia was instrumental in brokering a deal last year to rid Syria of its chemical weapons arsenal, a task which the U.S. fears may not have been entirely completed.

Elsewhere, China issued a statement that expressed understanding about the need to confront ISIS. The foreign ministry added a "but" (via Reuters):

At the same time, we also uphold that in the international fight against terrorism, international law should be respected and the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of relevant nations should also be respected."

And, as the AP reported, Great Britain and Germany said they will not be participating in the campaign of airstrikes against ISIS.

The Washington Post noted Iran's generally unenthusiastic response, despite the fact that a muscular American approach to ISIS is a major strategic benefit to Iran. From their foreign ministry:

The so-called international coalition to fight the Islamic State group, which came into existence following a NATO summit in Wales and is taking shape, is shrouded in serious ambiguities and there are severe misgivings about its determination to sincerely fight the root causes of terrorism.”

The Post added that Egypt used the occasion to talk about its struggle with extreme Islamist groups and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, unsurprisingly, was a big fan of the president's plan to combat Islamic fundamentalism.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.