Russia's Lavrov questions legality of US airstrikes on Syria

UNITED NATIONS - Russia questioned on Friday the legality of US and Arab air strikes in Syria to target Islamic State militants because the action was taken without the approval and cooperation of Moscow's ally Damascus.

The United States, which has long called for the dismissal of Syrian President Bashar Assad, began air and missile strikes on strongholds of Islamic State in Syria this week, backed up by some Gulf Arab allies. Washington forewarned Damascus of the action, but did not seek approval for it.

"We believe that any action taken globally, including use of force, to overcome terrorist threats should be done in accordance with international law," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

Lavrov said that approval was also needed of the country where the action was to take place.