Ban says U.N. prohibits unauthorized military strikes

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday that military strikes are prohibited without authorization from the U.N. Security Council.

Ban made the remarks on Tuesday during a press briefing. He clarified the responsibility of the council after U.S. President Barack Obama released a statement about the intent to launch a military strike against Syria if the strike is approved by Congress. There is currently a stalemate in the council after horrendous attacks in the Ghouta area of Damascus on August 21.

"As I have repeatedly said, the Security Council has primary responsibility for international peace and security," Ban said. "For any course of actions in the future, depending upon the outcome of the analysis, the scientific analysis, will have to be considered by the Security Council for any action. That's my appeal - that everything should be handled within the framework of the United Nations Charter."

When asked if the position taken by President Obama is illegal, Ban said he hopes the process in Congress has a positive result.

"I have taken note of President Obama's statement," Ban said. "And I appreciate his efforts to have his future course of action based on the broad opinions of American people, particularly the Congress, and I hope this process will have a good result."

Ban was also asked why the U.N. chemical weapons investigation team was limited only to determining if chemical weapons were used, as opposed to finding out who was responsible. Ban said the decision was based on the recognized standards of the international community.

"This is the United Nations' decision and my decision," Ban said. "The mandate of this team is to determine the use of chemical weapons - whether there was or not the use of chemical weapons. It's not to determine who has used against whom. We do not have that kind of mandate at this time."