Law and War in Syria
The conflict in Syria began on March 15, 2011 with nationwide demonstrations as part of the wider protest movement known as the Arab Spring. Protesters demanded the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, whose family has held presidential power in Syria since 1971. They also sought an end to nearly five decades of Ba'ath Party rule. In April 2011, the Syrian Army was deployed to quell the uprising, and soldiers were ordered to open fire on demonstrators. Opposition forces, mainly composed of defected soldiers and civilian volunteers, became increasingly armed and organized as they unified into larger groups. The conflict has received significant international attention. The Arab League, the EU, the UN, and many Western governments condemned the Syrian government's violent response to the protests. The US and its NATO allies have pressed for al-Assad`s departure, but Russia and China have consistently blocked any UN resolution that would impose sanctions on Syria. On July 15, 2012, the International Committee of the Red Cross assessed the Syrian conflict as a "non-international armed conflict," thus applying international humanitarian law under the Geneva Conventions to Syria. On January 2, 2013, the UN stated that the war's death toll had exceeded 60,000. According to the UN, about 1.2 million Syrians have been displaced within the country. To escape the violence, hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees have fled to neighboring countries. This book provides an overview of the international response to the crisis and is a legal analysis of the conflict.
Publication Date: 3/1/2013