Trying to Make Sense of the Senseless: Classifying the Syrian War Under the Law of Armed Conflict

25 Michigan State International Law Review 556 (2017)

40 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2017

See all articles by David A. Wallace

David A. Wallace

United States Military Academy, West Point

Amy McCarthy

Department of Law

Shane Reeves

United States Military Academy, West Point

Date Written: August 21, 2017

Abstract

In hopes of promoting both humanity and accountability this article intends on answering the question: what type of conflict is taking place in Syria? To conduct this analysis it is important to understand the political history of Syria and thus the article begins with a brief historical background section. Sections on the various state and non-state actors battling within Syria as well as a general overview of how conflicts are classified under international law follows. The article concludes with a classification determination for the Syrian hostilities and a reminder that all parties to the conflicts are obligated to comply with the law of armed conflict.

Keywords: Syria, Russia, Law of Armed Conflict, IHL, conflict classification, Non-international armed conflict, international armed conflict, NIAC, IAC, Common Article 3, Common Article 2, Geneva Conventions, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, Al-Qaeda, ISIS, Syrian Democratic Forces, Kurds, transnational armed groups

JEL Classification: K33

Suggested Citation

Wallace, David A. and McCarthy, Amy and Reeves, Shane, Trying to Make Sense of the Senseless: Classifying the Syrian War Under the Law of Armed Conflict (August 21, 2017). 25 Michigan State International Law Review 556 (2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3023360

David A. Wallace

United States Military Academy, West Point ( email )

600 Thayer Rd
West Point, NY 10996
United States

Amy McCarthy

Department of Law ( email )

600 Thayer Rd
West Point, NY 10996
United States

Shane Reeves (Contact Author)

United States Military Academy, West Point ( email )

600 Thayer Rd
West Point, NY 10996
United States

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