Exclusive: U.S. defends Syria airstrikes in letter to U.N. chief

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 23, 2014 1:26 PM

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States led airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria because Damascus has "shown it cannot and will not confront these safe havens," the United States wrote to the United Nations in a letter on Tuesday.

In the letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said the strikes were necessary to eliminate the Islamic State threat to Iraq, the United States and its allies.

She said the action was justified under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter, which covers the individual or collective right of states to self-defense against armed attack.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Howard Goller)