The Coalition Airstrikes in Syria from the Perspective of the Responsibility to Protect
The discussion paper by Emir Abbas Gürbüz, former intern at the position of the Independent Researcher and currently a lawyer based in Istanbul, discusses the status of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine in the customary international law and the applicability of the doctrine in the case of Syria.
The widespread and massive human rights violations conducted by ISIS draw the international community’s attention to the Middle East. Especially after the humanitarian crisis in the Sinjar Mountains, the international community took action in order to prevent a possible further crisis in the region. However, since the current structure of international law prohibits the use of force at the international level with the exception of uses of force with UN Security Council authorization or for the purpose of self-defence, the legality of the military intervention in Syria remains contentious. In this context, the Responsibility to Protect doctrine has been proposed by many scholars to legitimize the coalition airstrikes in Syria. This essay discusses the status of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine in the customary international law and the applicability of the doctrine in the case of Syria.