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Part 3 The Post 9/11-Era (2001–), 65 The Saudi-led Military Intervention in Yemen’s Civil War—2015

Luca Ferro, Tom Ruys

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: 23 June 2024

Countermeasures — Armed conflict, non-international — Self-defence — Proportionality — Humanitarian intervention

This chapter addresses the intervention in Yemen’s civil war launched by Saudi Arabia on 26 March 2015. The intervention was supported by Gulf Cooperation Council and other Arab countries, and received technical and logistical support from the United States and the United Kingdom. After retracing the origin and development of the internal conflict, the contribution provides an overview of the legal positions of its main protagonists and the reaction (or lack thereof) by other States. Closer scrutiny of the operation’s legality nonetheless reveals that the self-defence justification, which is primarily relied upon, does not provide a convincing legal basis. Moreover, the intervention is problematical from the perspective of the intervention by invitation doctrine and exposes its indeterminacy and proneness to abuse. As a result, the authors argue in the final section that if the concept of ‘counter-intervention’ (as a possible exception to the prohibition on intervention during civil war) is to be more than an empty shell, it should be subject to a proportionality test.

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