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The Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons Against the Syrian People: Does It Justify Forceful Intervention?


  • S. Krishnan


The USA continues to deliberate over the use of military force against the Syrian regime under Bashar al-Assad, after its alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians. So long as the UN Security Council does not agree with intervention, any US action is not permissible under the UN Charter. Even the principle of Responsibility to Protect would not be justified in this case, as any action is likely to be short, punitive, and unlikely to end the attacks on Syrian civilians. To determine if international law permits the launching of US military strikes in Syria, it is the UN Charter, and not the Geneva Conventions, which must guide the US government and the American people. Then, there is the so-called humanitarian intervention, or a military campaign calculated to stop widespread attacks on a civilian population, including acts of genocide, other crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

Suggested Citation

  • S. Krishnan, 2017. "The Alleged Use of Chemical Weapons Against the Syrian People: Does It Justify Forceful Intervention?," Jadavpur Journal of International Relations, , vol. 21(2), pages 138-159, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jadint:v:21:y:2017:i:2:p:138-159

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