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Part 3 The Post 9/11-Era (2001–), 64 The Military Operations Against the ‘Islamic State’ (ISIL or Da’esh)—2014

Olivier Corten

From: The Use of Force in International Law: A Case-Based Approach

Edited By: Tom Ruys, Olivier Corten, Alexandra Hofer

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2023. All Rights Reserved.date: 22 May 2024

Terrorism — Necessity — Self-defence — Sovereignty — UN Charter — Military matters

This chapter discusses the military operations against the Islamic State (ISIL or Da’esh) in Iraq as in Syria. After recalling the relevant facts and the context, it exposes the legal positions of the intervening states as well as those of the other states. In a third section some doubts are expressed concerning the legality of the operations based on the argument of self-defence, particularly when it implies the bombing of the Syrian territory without the consent of its government. In the same vein, a final section shows that the majority of states has not accepted the ‘unwilling or unable’, ‘limited sovereignty’, or ‘self-help’ necessity arguments, or, for that matter, the permissibility of preventive or pre-emptive self-defence. Accepting such arguments would undoubtedly imply at the very least a new interpretation of the UN Charter.

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