CYIL Vol. 7, 2016
JAN ONDŘEJ – MAGDA UXOVÁ CYIL 7 ȍ2016Ȏ that Russia had increased its military assistance to Syria and that this was done on the demand of the Syrian state. Another part of the Russian president’s statement stresses that the support for the Syrian army is helping it in its legal fight against terrorist groups. The support will be only in the form of air assistance and not in the fighting operations on the ground. This support will be restricted by the time of the offensive operations of the Syrian army. 57 Similar to Iraq, where the air strikes of the USA and their allies are conducted with the agreement of the Iraqi government, in Syria Russian forces operate with the agreement of the Syrian government. Much more questionable is the intervention of the USA and their allies on the territory of Syria. The ambassador of the USA to the UN Samantha Power wrote in a letter addressed to the secretary general of the UN of 23 September 2014 about the reasons which give the USA authority under international law to conduct air strikes against ISIL in Syria based on the right to self-defence in order to help Iraq defend itself. 58 The USA refers to Article 51 of the UN Charter on the right to self-defence and claims that Iraq faces a serious threat of continued attacks of ISIL from its camps in Syria. These ISIL camps are used as bases for training, planning, financing and practical support for attacks across the border in Iraq and against the people of Iraq. The government of Iraq therefore asked the USA to lead the international forces in their attacks against the military bases of ISIL in Syria. With the aim to prevent continued attacks against Iraq, to protect the citizens of Iraq and to fulfill the objective of reestablishing Iraqi control over its borders. Higgins 59 similarly states that the USA rely on individual and collective self-defence of Iraq. She also notes that no UN resolution was adopted in this direction. She considered interesting the fact that the intervention in Syria are according to UN Legal Counsel justified by the right to collective self-defence in international law. The letter of the US ambassador of 23 September 2014 also states that ISIL and other terrorist groups in Syria are posing a threat not only to Iraq but to other countries, including the USA and their partners in the region. States must be able to protect themselves in accordance with the right to self-defence as expressed in Article 51 of the UN Charter, in case the government of the state where the source of the threat lies is unwilling or unable (here Syria is meant) to prevent use of their territory for such attacks. 60 S. Power in this way indicates that Syria is “unwilling or unable” to act against ISIL. The USA therefore claimed the same controversial right by arguing in a similar way as they had before for justifying their interventions 57 Ibid . 58 Contemporary Practice of the United States. United States Deepens Its Engagement with ISIL Conflict. American Journal of International Law , 2015, vol. 109, No. 1, p. 203. 59 HIGGINS, Rosalyn. The United Nations at 70 Years: The Impact upon International Law. International and Comparative Law Quarterly . 2016, volume 65, p. 14. 60 Contemporary Practice of the United States. United States Deepens Its Engagement with ISIL Conflict. American Journal of International Law , 2015, vol. 109, No. 1, p. 204.
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