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“Sustainable Self-Defense”? How the German Government justifies continuing its fight against ISIL in Syria

“We have defeated ISIS in Syria”, US President Trump, tweeted on 19 December 2018. “We just took over 100% caliphate. That means the area of the land.”,…

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Justifying Self-defense against Assisting States: Conceptualizing Legal Consequences of Inter-State Assistance

Cause for thought: Israel’s airstrikes directed against Iran and Syria Israel has acknowledged to have repeatedly struck Iranian military targets in Syria. While confrontations…

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Private Investigators Helped Germany Arrest Two Former Syrian Secret Service Officers

On 7 February 2019, the investigative judge of the German Federal Court of Justice issued arrest warrants against two former secret service officers from the Syrian government,…

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Pigs, Positivism, and the Jus ad Bellum

Now that the dust from the U.S.–U.K.–French operation against Syria has settled, I want to follow up on something I said when news of it first broke.

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The Attack on Syria and the Contemporary Jus ad Bellum

The United States, Britain, and France have attacked various chemical weapons facilities in Syria. Even before they acted, a number of commentators claimed that…

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Unlawful Reprisals to the Rescue against Chemical Attacks?

Donald Trump has threatened Syria with a ‘big price to pay’ for an alleged chemical attack on 7 April in a Damascus suburb. Last year, in similar circumstances,…

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Turkey’s Military Operations in Syria

Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) carried out ‘Operation Euphrates Shield’ for 216 days from August 2016 to March 2017 in the triangle between Azaz, Jarablus and al-Bab in northern…

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The Turkish Operation in Afrin (Syria) and the Silence of the Lambs

Operation Olive Branch On 20th January 2018, the Turkish military started to attack the Kurdish-populated region of Afrin in Syria (“Operation Olive Branch“). With its…

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Excusing Illegal Use of Force: From Illegal but Legitimate to Legal Because it is Legitimate?

The US missile strikes on Syria have, inter alia, revived the debates on humanitarian intervention, the argument of ‘illegal but legitimate’ and more generally on the exceptions to…

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Justice for Syria? Opportunities and Limitations of Universal Jurisdiction Trials in Germany

During the ongoing conflict in Syria, horrific international crimes are being committed on a daily basis. With impunity for these crimes prevailing on an international level, the attention…

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