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The Armed Conflict(s) Against the Islamic State

Part of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law book series (YIHL,volume 18)

Abstract

International Humanitarian Law in general and the classification of armed conflicts in particular have been the subjects of a vast amount of scholarly writing, international jurisprudence, states’ reports and international reports of IGOs and NGOs. Nevertheless, as exemplified by the armed conflicts with the Islamic State, important questions regarding various aspects of conflict classification remain. Since conflict classification has important practical ramifications, by analysing the armed conflicts with the Islamic State from the perspective of conflict classification, this article aims to frame these open questions and address them. As conflict classification is contingent on the status of the different actors in the battlefield, the article, inter alia, examines the following: whether the Islamic State can be regarded as a national liberation movement for the purposes of conflict classification; how international humanitarian law determines whether a group can be deemed as the Government of a given state; the effect of consent of the territorial state for intervention on the conflict classification; and, in cases where there is invitation of the territorial state for intervention, whether the foreign armed intervention should be considered separately or conjunctively with the ongoing non-international armed conflict of the territorial state.

Keywords

  • Conflict classification
  • Islamic State
  • Syria
  • Iraq
  • Armed conflicts
  • International humanitarian law

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Various states are involved in the Foreign Coalition. However, not all of them participate directly in the armed conflicts against IS. The main states that are involved, to some extent but not necessarily directly, in the Foreign Coalition are as follows: USA; UK; Jordan; Morocco; Australia; Belgium; Canada; Denmark; France; Germany; Italy; the Netherlands; New Zealand; Turkey; Bahrain; Qatar; Saudi Arabia; and United Arab Emirates. See discussion in section II.

  2. 2.

    Also known as ISIS and ISIL—see discussion below in Sect. 2.

  3. 3.

    See, for example, Milanović and Hadzi-Vidanović 2013; Lubell and Derejko 2013, p. 65; Wilmshurst 2012; Kreß 2010, p. 245; Vité 2009, p. 69.

  4. 4.

    Thus, it is beyond the scope of this chapter to examine other possible conflicts which take place in the territories of Iraq and Syria, including armed conflicts between other non-state groups and IS (e.g. the armed conflict between Hezbollah and IS). Also, the legality of armed interventions from the perspective of jus ad bellum does not fall within the scope of this chapter.

  5. 5.

    Accordingly, the Russian military intervention against IS that started on Syrian soil in September 2015 is not examined in this chapter. In any case, the Russian intervention does not add any other significant open questions with regard to classification of conflicts.

  6. 6.

    The organisational roots can be traced further back to 2002, and the activities of the late Abu Musab al Zarqawi in Iraq. For background information on IS, see Blanchard et al. 2014, pp. 10–11; UN General Assembly (2015) Human Rights Council: Report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic. UN Doc A/HRC/28/69, paras 33–39; BBC News (2015) What is Islamic State? http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29052144. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  7. 7.

    See Malik S, Khalili M and Ackerman S (2015) How ISIS Crippled Al-Qaida. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jun/10/how-isis-crippled-al-qaida. Accessed 6 June 2016; Sly L (2014) Al-Qaeda Disavows Any Ties with Radical Islamist ISIS group in Syria, Iraq. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/al-qaeda-disavows-any-ties-with-radical-islamist-isis-group-in-syria-iraq/2014/02/03/2c9afc3a-8cef-11e3-98ab-fe5228217bd1_story.html. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  8. 8.

    Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (2014) Report on the Protection of Civilians in the Non International Armed Conflict in Iraq: 5 June 2014–5 July 2014. http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/IQ/UNAMI_OHCHR_POC%20Report_FINAL_18July2014A.pdf. Accessed 6 June 2016, p. 1, note 3.

  9. 9.

    Ibid.

  10. 10.

    US Department of State (2016) The Global Coalition to Counter ISIL. http://www.state.gov/s/seci/. Accessed 6 June 2016; United States Central Command (2015) Counter-ISIL military coalition concludes operational planning conference. http://www.centcom.mil/news/news-article/counter-isil-military-coalition-concludes-operational-planning-conference. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  11. 11.

    Fantz A (2015) War on ISIS: Who’s doing what? http://edition.cnn.com/2015/11/20/world/war-on-isis-whos-doing-what/. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  12. 12.

    Carter C, Cohen T and Starr B (2014) U.S. Jet Fighters, Drones Strike ISIS Fighters, Convoys in Iraq. http://edition.cnn.com/2014/08/08/world/iraq-options/index.html?hpt=hp_t1. Accessed 9 August 2014.

  13. 13.

    UN Security Council (2014) Letter dated 23 September 2014 from the Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/2014/695.

  14. 14.

    Sisk R (2014) Airstrike Agreement Keeps US Air Controllers Away From Combat. http://www.military.com/daily-news/2014/09/29/airstrike-agreement-keeps-us-air-controllers-away-from-combat.html. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  15. 15.

    Hudson P (2014) Cabinet Approves Australian Airstrikes in Iraq. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/terror/cabinet-approves-australian-airstrikes-in-iraq/story-fnpdbcmu-1227078959113. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  16. 16.

    United Kingdom (2014) RAF Conducts First Air Strikes of Iraq Mission. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/raf-conducts-first-air-strikes-of-iraq-mission--2. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  17. 17.

    “But the USA has ruled out using combat troops on the ground, as have Britain and other allies, even while agreeing to provide air power”. See Sanger D and Barnard A (2014) US Defending Kurds in Syria, Expands Airstrikes Against Islamic State Militants. www.nytimes.com/2014/09/28/world/middleeast/us-strikes-isis-in-syria-to-defend-kurds.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=LedeSum&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0t. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  18. 18.

    See sources cited in Akande D and Vermeer Z (2015) The Airstrikes Against Islamic State in Iraq and the Alleged Prohibition on Military Assistance to Governments in Civil War. http://www.ejiltalk.org/the-airstrikes-against-islamic-state-in-iraq-and-the-alleged-prohibition-on-military-assistance-to-governments-in-civil-wars/. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  19. 19.

    See UN Security Council (2014) Letter dated 20 September 2014 from the Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations addressed to the President of the Security Council, UN Doc. S/2014/691, Annex: “It is for these reasons that we, in accordance with international law and the relevant bilateral and multilateral agreements, and with due regard for complete national sovereignty and the Constitution, have requested the United States of America to lead international efforts to strike ISIL sites and military strongholds, with our express consent”.

  20. 20.

    PCIJ, Questions relating to Settlers of German Origin in Poland, Advisory Opinion, 10 September 1923, [1923] PCIJ Rep Series B, No. 6, p. 22.

  21. 21.

    Talmon 1998, p. 115 (“It is generally agreed that the organ representing the State in international intercourse is its government […] The government, consequently possesses the jus repraesentationis omnimodae, i.e. the plenary and exclusive competence in international law to represent its State in the international sphere”); Cheng 1953, p. 184 (“States not only act through their government but through their government exclusively”). See Crawford 2012, p. 151 (“the legal entity in international law is the state; the government is in normal circumstances the representative of the state, entitled to act on its behalf”); Wilde R (2010) Recognition of States—the Consequences of Recognition or Non-Recognition in UK and International Law: Summary of the International Law Discussion Group meeting held at Chatham House on 4 February 2010. https://www.chathamhouse.org/sites/files/chathamhouse/public/Research/International%20Law/040210il.pdf. Accessed 6 June 2016, p. 3 (“In international law, the connection between the two [i.e. the State and the government] is understood in terms of agency: the government is not itself a legal person, but, rather, the agent that acts on behalf of the legal person—the state—concerned. Its acts are the acts of the state”).

  22. 22.

    Charles J Jansen v Mexico, Mexico-US Claims Committee, 1868, reprinted in Moore 1898, p. 2928; American Law Institute 1965, p. 323 (“Customary, recognition of governments is made on a ‘one of the other’ basis”). See also Talmon 1998, pp. 105–107 and the sources cited therein.

  23. 23.

    Shaw 2008, p. 454 (“Recognition will only really be relevant where the change in government is unconstitutional.”).

  24. 24.

    Although it is beyond the scope of this chapter to discuss the topic of recognition of governments, it suffices to say that while it is accepted that a government is not dependent on foreign recognition, states still use the tool of recognition explicitly or implicitly in order to engage in international discourse or to confer legitimacy. See in general, Talmon 1998, pp. 3–14.

  25. 25.

    Great Britain v Costa Rica, Arbitral Award, 18 October 1923, (1948) 1 UNRIAA 369, pp. 381–382 (Tinoco Concessions case); Salimoff & Co and Others v Standard Oil Company of New York, Court of Appeals of New York, (1933) 262 NYS 220, 227; Crawford 2012, p. 152 (referring to the Tinoco Concessions case and stating that “[i]n case of governments ‘the standard set by international law’ is so far the standard of secure de facto control of all or most of the state territory”.); Shaw 2008, p. 455; Lauterpacht 1947, p. 98. See also Chen and Green 1951, p. 117.

  26. 26.

    Dinstein 2014, pp. 95–107 (discussing the topic of recognition of governments and emphasising that “[g]eneral foreign recognition of a Government does not constitute a third condition for its existence, in addition to effectiveness and independence”.); Milanović and Hadzi-Vidanović 2013, p. 279 (“[…] the position in modern IHL is that it is de facto government and not recognition that matters”.); Arimatsu 2009, p. 175, note 97 (“State practice confirms that the legitimacy or de jure recognition of a government is irrelevant for the purpose of categorising a conflict as in the case of Afghanistan 2001”.); Schindler 1979, pp. 128–130.

  27. 27.

    Dinstein 2010, p. 29; Greenwood 2002, pp. 312–313; but see Wolfrum and Philipp 2002, p. 577 (“To sum it up: however, successful the Taliban were within their reign, the sole legitimate representative of the Islamic State of Afghanistan always was the former government under the leadership of its president Burhanuddin Rabbani. The Taliban were never considered to be the sole legitimate government of Afghanistan.”).

  28. 28.

    See Hadzi-Vidanović V (2013) France Intervenes in Mali Invoking both SC Resolution 2085 and the Invitation of the Malian Government—Redundancy or Legal Necessity? http://www.ejiltalk.org/france-intervenes-in-mali-invoking-both-sc-resolution-2085-and-the-invitation-of-the-malian-government-redundancy-or-legal-necessity/. Accessed 6 June 2016 (stating that “rebel groups control more than two thirds of the country’s territory”).

  29. 29.

    E.g. United States Mission to the United Nations (2013) Remarks at a Press Gaggle Following UN Security Council Consultations on Mali. http://usun.state.gov/remarks/5641. Accessed 6 June 2016 (Susan Rice, the US Permanent Representative to the UN, just before the commencement of the French intervention, commenting that any state “can support and encourage the Malian government’s sovereign request for assistance from friends and partners in the region and beyond [… and that] there was clear-cut consensus about the gravity of the situation and the right of the Malian authorities to seek what assistance they can receive”); Human Rights Watch (2013) Mali: All Sides Must Abide by Laws of War. https://www.hrw.org/news/2013/05/07/mali-all-sides-must-abide-laws-war. Accessed 6 June 2016 (“The current armed conflict between the Malian government and its allies and opposition armed groups is regulated by Common Article 3 to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, to which Mali is a party, and customary international humanitarian law”).

  30. 30.

    Although Libya (i.e. Gaddafi’s governmental forces), and the UK and France did not officially classify their armed conflicts, there was no doubt that these states were engaged in an IAC against each other. See UN General Assembly (2011) Human Rights Council: Report of the International Commission of Inquiry to Investigate all Alleged Violations of International Human Rights Law in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, UN Doc. A/HRC/17/44, para 66; Arab Organization for Human Rights (2012), Report of the Independent Civil Society Fact-Finding Mission to Libya. http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Full%20Report_481.pdf. Accessed 6 June, para 63.

  31. 31.

    Institute for the Study of War (2015) Iraq’s Situation Report: April 21–22, 2015. http://www.understandingwar.org/backgrounder/iraq-situation-report-april-21-22-2015. Accessed 6 June 2016; The New York Times (2015) A Visual Guide to the Crisis in Iraq and Syria. http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/06/12/world/middleeast/the-iraq-isis-conflict-in-maps-photos-and-video.html?_r=2. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  32. 32.

    Al Hayat Media Center (2014) This is the Promise of Allah. https://ia902505.us.archive.org/28/items/poa_25984/EN.pdf. Accessed 6 June 2016; March A and Revkin M (2015) Caliphate of Law—ISIS Ground Rules. https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/syria/2015-04-15/caliphate-law?cid=nlc-foreign_affairs_this_week-041715-caliphate_of_law_5-041715&sp_mid=48469002&sp_rid=cGF1bEB2b25tdWhsZW5kYWhsLmNvbQS2. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  33. 33.

    The New York Times, above n 31; BBC News (2015) Battle for Iraq and Syria in Maps. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-27838034. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  34. 34.

    UN News Centre (2014) New UN report depicts ‘relentless assault’ on civilians inside ISIL-controlled Syria. http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=49338#.VUIqcyFVik. Accessed 6 June 2016; Packer G (2014) The Common Enemy. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/08/25/the-common-enemy. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  35. 35.

    See e.g.: UK’s Prime Minister Office (2014) Summary of the Government’s Legal Position on Military Action in Iraq Against ISIL. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/military-action-in-iraq-against-isil-government-legal-position/summary-of-the-government-legal-position-on-military-action-in-iraq-against-isil. Accessed 6 June 2016; Scheer A (2014) 41st Canadian Parliament, House of Commons Debates 2nd Session, vol. 147, no. 123. http://www.parl.gc.ca/HousePublications/Publication.aspx?Language=E&Mode=1&Parl=41&Ses=2&DocId=6717243. Accessed 6 June 2016; UN Security Council (2014) Resolution 2170 (2014), UN Doc. S/RES/2170.

  36. 36.

    See Al Hayat Media Centre, above n 32; Becker O (2014) ISIS Has a Really Slick and Sophisticated Media Department. https://news.vice.com/article/isis-has-a-really-slick-and-sophisticated-media-department. Accessed 6 June 2016; UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic (2014) Rule of Terror: Living under ISIS in Syria. http://www.refworld.org/pdfid/5469b2e14.pdf. Accessed 9 June 2016, p. 3.

  37. 37.

    Lister C (2014) Not Just Iraq: The Islamic State Is Also on the March in Syria. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-lister/not-just-iraq-the-islamic_b_5658048.html. Accessed 6 June 2016; BBC News (2015) Syria: Mapping of the Conflict. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-22798391. Accessed 6 June 2016; Noble Z (2014) The Government Still Controls Some Parts of This Country. Here’s What It’s Like to Live There. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/11/02/the-government-still-controls-some-parts-of-this-country-heres-what-its-like-to-live-there/. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  38. 38.

    See discussion in Shany Y, Cohen A and Mimran T (2014) ISIS: Is the Islamic State Really a State? http://en.idi.org.il/analysis/articles/isis-is-the-islamic-state-really-a-state/. Accessed 9 June 2016; similarly, on whether ISIS can govern, see Caris and Reynolds 2014, p. 4.

  39. 39.

    Shaw 2014, p. 322; Lauterpacht 1947, p. 39; Jennings 1961, p. 9.

  40. 40.

    Shaw 2014, p. 322; Crawford 1976, pp. 93 and 95.

  41. 41.

    Crawford 1976, p. 106; Shaw 2014, p. 322.

  42. 42.

    Lauterpacht 1947, p. 39; Dugard 2011, p. 47; International Law Association (2012) Sofia Conference (2012): Recognition/Non-recognition in International Law. file:///U:/!YIHL/16.06.03 %20-%20YIHL%20-%20Zamir/final_report_sofia_rev_aug_2014_42022.pdf. Accessed 9 June 2016, p. 4.

  43. 43.

    International Law Association, above n 42; Peters 2010, p. 175.

  44. 44.

    UN Security Council, above n 19; Presidentassad.net (2015) H.E. President Assad’s Swedish Expression Newspaper Interview, April 17, 2015. http://www.presidentassad.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1448:h-e-president-assad-s-swedish-expressen-newspaper-interview-april-17-2015&catid=314&Itemid=468. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  45. 45.

    Eggers 2007, p. 211; Crawford 2006, p. 417; Kaplan 2008, p. 152; Adam 1994, p. 21.

  46. 46.

    Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, opened for signature 26 December 1933, 164 LNTS 19 (entered into force 26 December 1934), Article 1. Crawford 2006, p. 45; Pellet 1992, Appendix: Opinions of the Arbitration Committee, Opinion No. 1, pp. 182–183; Tancredi 2006, p 172; International Law Association, above n 42, p. 6; Eggers 2007, p. 214. However, it should be stated that some scholars have criticised these conditions as being insufficient for the determination of statehood. See, e.g. Grant 19981999, p. 434; Vidmar 2012, p. 704.

  47. 47.

    Dugard 2011, p. 48; Vidmar 2012, p. 704; e.g. UN Security Council (1965) Resolution 217 (1965), UN Doc. S/RES/217 (Southern Rhodesia); UN Security Council (1984) Resolution 550 (1984), UN Doc. S/RES/550 (Cyprus).

  48. 48.

    Duman 2014, p. 2; Abu-Nasr D (2015) Attacks on ISIS Show Local Resistance. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Mar-21/291645-attacks-on-isis-show-local-resistance.ashx. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  49. 49.

    See e.g. Southern Rhodesia, above n 47; Cyprus, above n 47; UN General Assembly (1976) Resolution 31/6. Policies of apartheid of the Government of South Africa, UN Doc. A/RES/31/6 and UN Security Council (1976) Resolution 402 (1976), UN Doc. S/RES/402 (Bantustans States); UN Security Council (1992) Resolution 787 (1992), UN Doc. S/RES/787 (Republic of Srpska).

  50. 50.

    Dugard 2011, above n 47; Vidmar 2012, above n 47.

  51. 51.

    Southern Rhodesia, above n 47; Cyprus, above n 47; Bantustans State, above n 49; Republic of Srpska, above n 49.

  52. 52.

    UN Security Council (2014) Resolution 2161 (2014), UN Doc. S/RES/2161; UN Security Council (2015) Resolution 2199 (2015), UN Doc. S/RES/2199 (condemning any kind of trade with IS and reaffirming Iraq and Syria’s territorial integrity).

  53. 53.

    Al Hayat Media Center, above n 32, p. 5; March and Revkin, above n 32, p. 2; Zelin A (2014) The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has a consumer protection office—a guide to how the militant group overrunning Iraq wins hearts and minds. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/06/the-isis-guide-to-building-an-islamic-state/372769/. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  54. 54.

    UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic, above n 36, p. 3; UN Security Council, above n 35; Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (2014) UN Commission of Inquiry: Syrian Victims Reveal ISIS’s Calculated Use of Brutality and Indoctrination. http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=15295&LangID=E#sthash.es5eEgN4.dpuf. Accessed 7 June 2016.

  55. 55.

    It could be argued that states have a legal obligation not to recognise IS due to its violations of peremptory norms. However, a full discussion regarding the doctrine of non-recognition is beyond the scope of the present article. For further discussion, see: Dugard 1987, p. 135; ICJ, Case Concerning East Timor (Portugal v Australia), Judgment, 30 June 1995, [1995] ICJ Rep 90, Dissenting Opinion of Judge Skubiszewski, para 125  .

  56. 56.

    The customary definition of occupation is elaborated in Article 42 of the Regulations concerning the Laws and Customs of War on Land, Annex to the Hague Convention (IV) respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, opened for signature 18 October 1907, 205 CTS 277 (entered into force 26 January 1910) (Hague Regulations). For a discussion regarding the definition of occupation, see Benvenisti 2012, pp. 43–67.

  57. 57.

    ICTY, Prosecutor v Duško Tadić a/k/aDule”, Decision on the Defence Motion for Interlocutory Appeal on Jurisdiction, 2 October 1995, Case No. IT-94-1-AR72 (Tadić 1995), paras 70 and 184. See also ICC, Prosecutor v Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, Judgment pursuant to Article 74 of the Statute, 14 March 2012, Case No. ICC-01/04-01/06-2842 (Lubanga 2012), para 553; International Law Commission 2011, Article 2(b); UN General Assembly (2006) Human Rights Council: Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Lebanon pursuant to Human Rights Council resolution S-2/1, UN Doc. A/HRC/3/2, para 51.

  58. 58.

    Aldrich 1991, p. 6; Draper 1979, p. 46.

  59. 59.

    This is demonstrated also by the terms used in Article 1(4): “colonial domination”, “alien occupation” and “racist regimes”.

  60. 60.

    Laub Z and Masters J (2015) The Islamic State. http://www.cfr.org/iraq/islamic-state/p14811. Accessed 6 June 106; Adnan and Reese 2014.

  61. 61.

    Akande 2012, p. 49.

  62. 62.

    See also the widely cited definition of NIAC in Tadić 1995, above n 57, para 70 (defining NIAC as “protracted armed violence between governmental authorities and organized armed groups or between such groups within a State”).

  63. 63.

    E.g. Public Committee against Torture in Israel v Government of Israel, Judgement, 13 December 2006, Case No. HCJ 769/02, para 18 (“This law [the law of IACs] applies in any case of an armed conflict of international character—in other words, one that crosses the borders of the state—whether or not the place in which the armed conflict occurs is subject to belligerent occupation”) & para 21 (“[…] the fact that the terrorist organizations and their members do not act in the name of a state does not turn the struggle against them into a purely internal state conflict”); Dinstein 2012, p. 400.

  64. 64.

    Hamdan v Rumsfeld 548 US 557, pp. 625–632; Sassòli 2006, pp. 8–9; Jinks 2006, pp. 188–189; Fleck 2008, p. 605.

  65. 65.

    Tadić 1995, above n 57, para 70 (“A non-international armed conflict exists whenever there is […] protracted armed violence between governmental authorities and organized armed groups or between such groups within a State”). This definition of NIAC has been applied in various ICTY case-law, see, e.g. ICTY, Tadić 1995, above n 57; ICTY, Prosecutor v Fatmir Limaj, Haradin Bala and Isak Musliu, Judgement, 30 November 2005, Case No. IT-03-66-T (Limaj et al.), paras 88-170; ICTY, Prosecutor v Ramush Haradinaj, Idriz Balaj and Lahi Brahimaj, Judgement, 3 April 2008, Case No. IT-04-84-T (Haradinaj et al.), paras 37–60.

  66. 66.

    It should be noted that as Syria and Iraq are not parties to the Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts, opened for signature 8 June 1977, 1125 UNTS 609 (entered into force 7 December 1978), the question of its treaty applicability is irrelevant.

  67. 67.

    Limaj et al., above n 65, para 90; Haradinaj et al., above n 65, para 60.

  68. 68.

    Haradinaj et al., above n 65, para 48.

  69. 69.

    ICTY, Prosecutor v Ljube Boškoski and Johan Tarčulovski, Judgement, 10 July 2008, Case No. IT-04-82-T, para 177.

  70. 70.

    Ibid.

  71. 71.

    Limaj et al., above n 65, para 168; ICTY, Prosecutor v Slobodan Milošević, Decision on Motion for Judgement of Acquittal, 16 June 2004, Case No. IT-02-54-T (Milošević), paras 28–29.

  72. 72.

    Haradinaj et al., above n 65, para 49; ICC, Prosecutor v Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, Decision on the Confirmation of Charges, 29 January 2007, Case No. ICC-01/04-01/06-830-tEN, para 211.

  73. 73.

    Milošević, above n 71, para 30.

  74. 74.

    Haradinaj et al., above n 65, para 49; International Law Association (2010) The Hague Conference (2010) Use of Force: Final Report on the Meaning of Armed Conflict in International Law. http://www.ila-hq.org/download.cfm/docid/2176DC63-D268-4133-8989A664754F9F87. Accessed 9 June 2016.

  75. 75.

    The New York Times, above n 31; Institute for the Study of War (2015) above n 31; see also: Laub and Masters, above n 60.

  76. 76.

    See discussion between notes 34–36.

  77. 77.

    Lister, above n 37; BBC News, above n 37; Ellis R (2015) War Against ISIS: Successes and Failures. http://edition.cnn.com/2015/05/18/asia/isis-success-and-failure/. Accessed 6 June 2016; Bender J (2014) As ISIS Routs The Iraqi Army, Here’s A Look At What The Jihadists Have In Their Arsenal. http://www.businessinsider.com/isis-military-equipment-breakdown-2014-7?op=1. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  78. 78.

    Schindler 1979, pp. 150–151; Rosas 1976, p. 283; Gasser 1983, p. 147; Dinstein 2010, pp. 26–28; Milanović and Hadzi-Vidanović 2010, pp. 302–303; Greenwood 1996, pp. 270–272; Hoffmann 2010, pp. 20–22; Moir 2002, pp. 46–47.

  79. 79.

    ICJ, Case Concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v United States of America), Judgment, 27 June 1986, [1986] ICJ Rep 14, para 219.

  80. 80.

    Lubanga 2012, above n 57, para 540.

  81. 81.

    Tadić 1995, above n 57, para 77; ICTY, Prosecutor v Duško Tadić, Judgement, 15 July 1999, Case No. IT-94-1-A (Tadić 1999), para 84; ICTY, Prosecutor v Tihomir Blaskić, Judgement, 3 March 2000, Case No. IT-95-14-T, Declaration of Judge Shahabuddeen (“[…] foreign intervention does not of necessity deprive an internal armed conflict of its internal character altogether […]”).

  82. 82.

    Byron 2001, p. 83 (suggesting that “a purposive interpretation of the Geneva Conventions leads to the conclusion that the substantial intervention of foreign troops in an armed conflict would convert the conflict into an international one”); Aldrich 2000, p. 63.

  83. 83.

    For a general discussion regarding the “global approach/view”, see Stewart 2003, pp. 333–335; see also Cryer 2002, pp. 43–45; Aldrich 2000, pp. 62–63; Byron 2001, pp. 82–83.

  84. 84.

    This limited support is manifested in implicit statements in support of the “global approach” that are not limited only to cases of intervention in favour of the non-state group. E.g. see Tadić 1999, above n 81, para 84; Democratic Republic of Congo Military Prosecutor v Bongi Massaba, Criminal Trial Judgment and Accompanying Civil Action for Damages, 24 March 2006, Case No. RP No 018/2006; RMP No 242/PEN/06, para 85.

  85. 85.

    See Fleck 2008, p. 605; Akande 2012, p. 62; Solis 2010, p. 154; Wills 2011, pp. 173 and 177; Moir 2002, p. 51.

  86. 86.

    See states previously listed, above n 1; US Department of State (2016), above n 10.

  87. 87.

    Pictet 1960, p. 23, note 8; Schmitt 2002, p. 374; Dinstein 2010, p. 1; Lubanga 2012, above n 57, para 541.

  88. 88.

    Parkerson 1991, p. 42 (“If, however, the third state intervenor fights alongside the government forces, then the intervening state is effectively grafted onto the domestic state in a kind of ‘agency’ relationship so that the relationship of the intervening state with the rebels is the same as that existing between the two internal parties to the conflict. Consequently, for that relationship the conflict remains ‘non-international,’ and common Article 3 determines the extent of application of humanitarian law”); Lubell 2012, p. 438 (making this argument with regard to a possible classification of the hostilities between the US and non-state groups in Pakistan: “[it could] be argued that when the US is targeting Pakistani militants as part of a joint operation with the Pakistani government, such operations could come within the scope of the non-international armed conflict between Pakistan and these groups”).

  89. 89.

    ICC, Prosecutor v Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Decision Pursuant to Article 61(7)(a) and (b) of the Rome Statute on the Charges of the Prosecutor Against Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, 15 June 2009, Case No. ICC-01/05-01/08-424, para 246.

  90. 90.

    See the similar argument that uses a different example in: Farley 2011, p. 73 (arguing that due to the intervention of the USA in Yemen’s NIAC with AQAP in support of Yemen, “the United States is in a non-international armed conflict with AQAP even though the hostilities between the United States and AQAP, standing alone, are insufficient to constitute an armed conflict”).

  91. 91.

    Article 3 of the Hague Regulations, above n 56; Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, opened for signature 12 December 1977, 1125 UNTS 3 (entered into force 7 December 1979) (AP I), Article 91; ICJ, Case Concerning Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v Uganda), Judgment, 19 December 2005, [2005] ICJ Rep 168 (Armed Activities), para 214 (“According to a well-established rule of a customary nature […] a party to an armed conflict shall be responsible for all acts by persons forming part of its armed forces”); Henckaerts and Doswald-Beck 2005, rule 149 (Responsibility for violations of International Humanitarian Law).

  92. 92.

    In extraterritorial use of force, it is generally accepted that IHRL applies when the foreign state has some control over a territory or a said individual that needs protection (see discussion in Happold 2013, pp. 453–463). Nevertheless, it is controversial whether IHRL in general and the right to life in particular are applicable in small operations, like targeted killings, which do not involve any control of the foreign state over the state or the individual (Droege 2007, pp. 334–335). While it is beyond the scope of this chapter to assess this question in depth, it is submitted that it is untenable to argue that IHRL and the right to life are not applicable in small operations like targeted killings. Thus, it is submitted that IHRL will be applicable even in limited military foreign interventions which do not involve territorial control or even ground forces. Any other position would mean that a foreign state is prohibited by IHRL from torturing an individual but could still kill the individual in a targeted killing because IHRL would be applicable only in the former scenario due to the control of the foreign state over the said individual. The position of wide applicability of IHRL to the extraterritorial use of force is supported by various scholars (e.g. Droege 2007, p. 335; Kreß 2010, p. 259, note 49; Kretzmer 2005, p. 185). But see Happold 2013, p. 458 (“Arguments have also been made that international human rights law applies more widely, to all extraterritorial uses of force […] However, although it has some support in the jurisprudence of the International Court of Justice and the American Commission on Human Rights and in legal doctrine, the current case law of the European Court of Human Rights argues the contrary”).

  93. 93.

    Schindler 1979, p. 131 (stating that “[i]f troops of a third State take part in an armed conflict, and if these troops are not integrated in the forces of a party to the conflict, the third State itself becomes a party to the conflict within the meaning of the Geneva Conventions and the Protocol”).

  94. 94.

    Akande 2012, p. 55 (“The forces of a co-belligerent are not usually regarded as part of the armed forces of a Party”).

  95. 95.

    See discussion between notes 61–65.

  96. 96.

    Sivakumaran 2012, p. 168; International Law Association, above n 74, p. 30.

  97. 97.

    It should be emphasised that this is just an indicator. It is possible that despite the fact that the territorial state is unable to deal with the non-state group under the platform of law enforcement, the foreign state would be able to use law enforcement mechanisms.

  98. 98.

    See discussion between notes 52–55.

  99. 99.

    Akande 2012, pp. 73–79. The ICJ implicitly supported this approach when it applied the law of IAC in Congo to the armed activities that took place, without the consent of Uganda, outside of the province of Ituri, which was held under Ugandan occupation. The ICJ application of the law of IAC was despite the fact that the Uganda used force in the territory of Congo primarily against non-state groups (see Armed Activities, above n 91, para 214). For further support of this approach, see also Fleck 2006, p. 607 (“The internationalization of an armed conflict has also been assumed when a state is engaged in military operations against a transnational group on the territory of a foreign state without the agreement of the latter, such as during the Israeli-Hizbollah war in Lebanon 2006”); Sassòli 2006, p. 5 (“the law of international armed conflicts applies when a state is directing hostilities against a transnational armed group on the territory of another state without the agreement of the latter state”); Stewart 2007, p. 1043.

  100. 100.

    Lubell 2012, p. 433.

  101. 101.

    Wills 2011, p. 177 (“The majority view, espoused by the ICRC and many leading experts in the field, is that a conflict between states must be one in which their governments are pitted against each other. Therefore conflicts in which the armed forces of one state are engaged in an armed conflict with non-governmental forces based in another state fall outside the scope of the laws of international armed conflict. Such conflicts will always be non-international, regardless of whether or not the government of the state in which the armed groups are based has consented to the use of force in its territory, regardless of whether or not the intervention is authorised by the Security Council and regardless of whether or not the intervention is lawful”); Blank and Farley 2011, p. 183 (“[it] is not clear that the territorial state’s consent has any impact on the characterization of the armed conflict. Underlying the whole body of the law of armed conflict is a preference for fact-driven, objective analysis irrespective of technicalities”).

  102. 102.

    Lubell 2012, p. 433.

  103. 103.

    Ibid (however, Lubell states that this may “change if the non-state actor became aligned with a State”).

  104. 104.

    See discussion between notes 55–56.

  105. 105.

    See also Milanović and Hadzi-Vidanović 2013, pp. 301–302 (arguing that lack of consent can lead to an IAC between the territorial state and the foreign state).

  106. 106.

    Pictet 1958, p. 20; Sandoz et al. 1987, para 62; see also Schindler 1979, p. 131; Akande 2012, p. 4; Schmitt 2012, pp. 459–460; Dinstein 2010, pp. 28–29; Kolb and Hyde 2008, p. 76. But see sources that support the argument that there is a requirement of intensity: Greenwood 2008, p. 48; Solis 2010, p. 151; International Law Association, above n 74, p. 28.

  107. 107.

    E.g. Milanović and Hadzi-Vidanović 2013, p. 274.

  108. 108.

    With regard to states parties to AP I, the law of IAC covers also armed conflicts between states and national liberation movements: AP I, above n 91, Article 1(4).

  109. 109.

    See discussion between notes 77–81.

  110. 110.

    See UN General Assembly (2001) Draft Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful Acts with Commentaries, UN Doc. A/56/10.

  111. 111.

    Ibid, p. 73, para 6.

  112. 112.

    Rosen 1991, p. 112, para 13 (“As in the case of other expressions of the will of the State, it may be tacit or implicit, provided, however, that it is always clearly established”).

  113. 113.

    UN General Assembly, above n 110, p. 73, para 8.

  114. 114.

    The Savarkar Case (France v Great Britain), Arbitral Award, 24 February 1911, (1961) 11 UNRIAA 252, pp. 252–255.

  115. 115.

    The Guardian (2014) Syria offers to help fight Isis but warns against unilateral air strikes. www.theguardian.com/world/2014/aug/26/syria-offers-to-help-fight-isis-but-warns-against-unilateral-air-strikes. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  116. 116.

    The Guardian (2014) Isis air strikes: Obama’s plan condemned by Syria, Russia and Iran. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/11/assad-moscow-tehran-condemn-obama-isis-air-strike-plan. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  117. 117.

    Sana (2014) Ki-Moon: Syria didn’t ask to carry out airstrikes on its lands, but it was informed of the operation. http://sana.sy/en/?p=13942. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  118. 118.

    The Syria Times (2014) Minister al-Moallem: dual policy a recipe for more violence and terrorism. http://syriatimes.sy/index.php/arab-and-foreign-press/14651-minister-al-moallem-dual-policy-a-recipe-for-more-violence-and-terrorism. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  119. 119.

    BBC News (2015) Assad says Syria is informed on anti-IS air campaign. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-31312414. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  120. 120.

    Ibid.

  121. 121.

    A Syrian government spokesperson has reportedly stated, “We are facing one enemy. We should cooperate”: Arimatsu L and Schmitt M (2014) The Legal Basis for the War Against ISIS Remains Contentious. http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/06/legal-basis-war-isis-syria-islamic-state. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  122. 122.

    Atwood C and White J (2014) Syrian Air-Defense Capabilities and the Threat to Potential U.S. Air Operations. http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/syrian-air-defense-capabilities-and-the-threat-to-potential-u.s.-air-operat. Accessed 6 June 2016.

  123. 123.

    UN General Assembly, above n 110, p. 73, para 8 (“In considering the application of article 20 to such cases it may be necessary to have regard to the relevant primary rule.”).

  124. 124.

    Pictet 1958, p. 20; Greenwood 2008, p. 72.

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  • Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, opened for signature 26 December 1933, 164 LNTS 19 (entered into force 26 December 1934)

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  • Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, opened for signature 12 December 1977, 1125 UNTS 3 (entered into force 7 December 1979)

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Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Tamar Drori for her excellent research assistance. In addition, I would like to express my thanks to Dr Paul von Mühlendahl and Dr Peretz Segal for their useful comments. Any errors or omissions are of course entirely mine.

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Zamir, N. (2016). The Armed Conflict(s) Against the Islamic State. In: Gill, T. (eds) Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law Volume 18, 2015. Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, vol 18. T.M.C. Asser Press, The Hague. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-6265-141-8_4

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