Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Domestic and international legal authority for attacks on ISIL in Syria

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014   No comments

Senior Obama administration officials said on Tuesday that the airstrikes against the Islamic State — carried out in Syria without seeking the permission of the Syrian government or the United Nations Security Council — were legal because they were done in defense of Iraq.

International law generally prohibits using force on the sovereign territory of another country without its permission or authorization from the United Nations, except as a matter of self-defense. American intelligence agencies have concluded that the Islamic State poses no immediate threat to the United States, though they believe that another militant group targeted in the strikes, Khorasan, does pose a threat.

But the senior administration officials said on Tuesday that Iraq had a valid right of self-defense against the Islamic State — also known as ISIS or ISIL — because the militant group was attacking Iraq from its havens in Syria, and the Syrian government had proved unable or unwilling to suppress that threat. Iraq asked the United States for assistance in defending itself, making the strikes legal, the officials said.

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Ahmed Souaiaia

About Ahmed Souaiaia

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