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Notre Dame Law School

2018

International Humanitarian Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Popular But Unlawful Armed Reprisal, Mary Ellen O'Connell Apr 2018

The Popular But Unlawful Armed Reprisal, Mary Ellen O'Connell

Journal Articles

The United States and Iran carried out armed reprisals in Syria during 2017 in the wake of chemical and terror attacks. Despite support for their actions even by countries such as Germany and France, retaliatory uses of force are clearly prohibited under international law. International law generally prohibits all use of armed force with narrow exceptions for self-defense, United Nations Security Council authorization, and consent of a government to participate in a civil war. Military force after an incident are reprisals, which have been expressly forbidden by the UN. Prior to the Trump administration, the U.S. consistently attempted to ...