|Syria action - UK government legal position|
|#||UK government legal position||WCJ Comments|
This is the Government's position on the legality of UK military action to alleviate the extreme humanitarian suffering of the Syrian people by degrading the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability and deterring their further use, following the chemical weapons attack in Douma on 7 April 2018.
The number of people killed in Douma is allegedly less than 100.
The total number of killed in the Syrian "civil war" (2011-2018) is 400,000, according to 4(i) below.
The "civil war" was created by US/UK/Fr and their allies by creating chaos in the area due to the US/EU regime-change in Iraq and by use of anti-government forces to effect a regime-change in Syria, which are both criminal acts.
The 100 allegedly killed in Douma by chemical weapons is 0.025% of the total killed in the war. The average daily death toll is 160.
The "extreme humanitarian suffering" is the result of the US/UK/Fr waging a proxy war on Syria by training and arming anti-government forces and providing them with other forms of support. Continuation of this criminal activity by US/UK/Fr prolongs this suffering of the Syrian people.
The alleged use of Chemical weapons in Douma still has not been proved, and it is possible that (1) it was used by the US/EU supported anti-government forces or (2) that it is a false-flag operation by US/EU to provide pretext for military action.
But even if to accept that the use of chemical weapons in Douma was by the Syrian Armed Forces, the killing of under 100 persons in the context of continuing military operations is not significant and would not end the "suffering", if this incident did not take place. Nor the military action by US/UK/Fr in response to this alleged incident is of such magnitude as to change the present status.
The Syrian regime has been killing its own people for seven years. Its use of chemical weapons, which has exacerbated the human suffering, is a serious crime of international concern, as a breach of the customary international law prohibition on the use of chemical weapons, and amounts to a war crime and a crime against humanity.
The fact that the UK Government uses the word "regime" to describe the government of the Syrian Arab Republic in a document purporting to state the legal justification of launching a missile strike on Syria is noteworthy in itself.
The word "regime" to describe a government has no legal meaning. It is a political propaganda device to vilify and de-legitimize a government against which the government using this term wants to take some form of hostile action. The use of this word by the UK Government in this document shows that this document is a not genuine legal document, but a propaganda leaflet to justify an act of aggression by name-calling.
It is not uncommon for governments to kill citizens of own countries when they engage in acts of terror or similar criminal acts. The governments of the USA, UK and France have been killing citizens of own countries if they presented danger to the public.
By having created and supported the "civil war" in Syria US/EU Governments have left to the Government of the SAR no choice but to kill the US/EU supported terrorist groups who are bombing and killing Syrian people with US/EU provided weapons.
And, as these groups are operating in populated areas, civilians do get killed as well. Just as when US/EU bomb their "enemies" (the countries they choose to bomb or invade), they often kill civilians as well and call it "collateral damage".
But the phrase "Syrian regime killing its own people" has been used by US/EU politicians and media, as a political propaganda catch phrase to vilify the Government of the SAR and to give a semblance of legitimacy to their own crimes against the people of the SAR.
The "human suffering" in Syria for the past seven years has been caused by the US/EU engineered "civil war", that is, acts of terror against the Syrian population by groups trained, armed and assisted by the governments and non-governmental groups of the USA, UK, France and their allies. Some of these terrorist acts involved use of chemical weapons.
But the UK Government does not see the US/EU waged proxy war against the SAR which includes killing of civilians and use of chemical weapons as crime of war of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity. Just as it does not see as crimes similar activities directly or by proxy by US/EU in other countries (Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, ...).
The UK is permitted under international law, on an exceptional basis, to take measures in order to alleviate overwhelming humanitarian suffering. The legal basis for the use of force is humanitarian intervention, which requires three conditions to be met:
The "overwhelming humanitarian suffering" in Syria is the result of the chaos caused by the US/EU Iraq War, and subsequent intervention in Syria. Before these US/EU activities there was peace in Syria.
No International Law has permitted the governments of the USA, UK and their allies to create "overwhelming humanitarian suffering" in Syria by their direct or proxy interventions.
there is convincing evidence, generally accepted by the international community as a whole, of extreme humanitarian distress on a large scale, requiring immediate and urgent relief;
Yes. There is undeniable evidence of "extreme humanitarian distress on a large scale, requiring immediate and urgent relief" caused by US/EU direct or proxy interventions in Syria.
it must be objectively clear that there is no practicable alternative to the use of force if lives are to be saved; and
Yes. It is "objectively clear that there is no practicable alternative to the use of force if lives are to be saved".
And this is why the Government of the SAR with the help of the Russian Federation and others are conducting military operations against the US/EU supported terrorist groups to end their criminal activities, to restore peace in Syria, and in such way to "save lives".
the proposed use of force must be necessary and proportionate to the aim of relief of humanitarian suffering and must be strictly limited in time and in scope to this aim (i.e. the minimum necessary to achieve that end and for no other purpose).
The Governments of the SAR and of the RF are seeking to limit the use of force to the minimum, but continued support for the anti-government groups by the US/EU results in continuation of the humanitarian suffering of the Syrian People.
The UK considers that military action met the requirements of humanitarian intervention in the circumstances of the present case:
The situation in Syria does meet requirements for a military intervention.
The questions are: (1) "Against whom?" and (2) "By whom?".
Against the country seeking to defend itself from a foreign intervention, or against the countries who are seeking to replace the legitimate government by a government of their choice and have caused the humanitarian suffering of the Syrian People?
The answer to this and the second question will be given in the Conclusion at the end of this table.
The Syrian regime has been using chemical weapons since 2013. The attack in Eastern Damascus on 21 August 2013 left over 800 people dead. The Syrian regime failed to implement its commitment in 2013 to ensure the destruction of its chemical weapons capability. The chemical weapons attack in Khan Sheikhoun in April 2017 killed approximately 80 people and left hundreds more injured. The recent attack in Douma has killed up to 75 people, and injured over 500 people. Over 400,000 people have now died over the course of the conflict in Syria, the vast majority civilians. Over half of the Syrian population has been displaced, with over 13 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. The repeated, lethal use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity. On the basis of what we know about the Syrian regime's pattern of use of chemical weapons to date, it was highly likely that the regime would seek to use chemical weapons again, leading to further suffering and loss of civilian life as well as the continued displacement of the civilian population.
If to accept that the figures are correct, the total killed by use of chemical weapons is 955. This is 0.23% of the total killed of 400,000. And, if such use would not happen, the total number of deaths would have been 399,045, still a massive humanitarian disaster.
And what is the cause of these 400,000 deaths, displacements, and need for humanitarian assistance?
It is the US/EU military intervention by proxy or directly for the purpose of a "regime-change", i.e. overthrowing of the legitimate government of the Syrian Arab Republic and replacement of it either with US/EU imposed government, or more likely with chronic chaos similar to the present situation in Libya (result of another US/EU criminal intervention).
So, the cause of the "humanitarian suffering" in Syria, which the UK Government believes justifies its military intervention against the SAR, is the US/EU illegal involvement in Syria and the neighbouring countries.
And, even if the UK military intervention would have prevented further use of chemical weapons, it would have made very little difference to the situation in Syria.
Actions by the UK and its international partners to alleviate the humanitarian suffering caused by the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime at the UN Security Council have been repeatedly blocked by the regime's and its allies' disregard for international norms, including the international law prohibition on the use of chemical weapons. This last week, Russia vetoed yet another resolution in the Security Council, thwarting the establishment of an impartial investigative mechanism. Since 2013, neither diplomatic action, tough sanctions, nor the US strikes against the Shayrat airbase in April 2017 have sufficiently degraded Syrian chemical weapons capability or deterred the Syrian regime from causing extreme humanitarian distress on a large scale through its persistent use of chemical weapons. There was no practicable alternative to the truly exceptional use of force to degrade the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability and deter their further use by the Syrian regime in order to alleviate humanitarian suffering.
As it was shown in 4(i) above, the use of chemical weapons had very little effect on the "humanitarian suffering" in Syria, which was caused by the criminal involvement in Syria by the USA and their allies, of which UK is part.
In these circumstances, and as an exceptional measure on grounds of overwhelming humanitarian necessity, military intervention to strike carefully considered, specifically identified targets in order effectively to alleviate humanitarian distress by degrading the Syrian regime's chemical weapons capability and deterring further chemical weapons attacks was necessary and proportionate and therefore legally justifiable. Such an intervention was directed exclusively to averting a humanitarian catastrophe caused by the Syrian regime's use of chemical weapons, and the action was the minimum judged necessary for that purpose.
From all the above it follows that:
(a) the "humanitarian suffering" was caused by the actions of the government of the USA and their allies (inc.UK),
(b) the number of deaths due to use of chemical weapons was negligible compared to the total number of deaths in the "conflict", and the action by the UK Government which this their document seeks to justify was a mere gesture, having no impact on reduction of the "humanitarian suffering", except of prolonging this suffering by delaying the presently ongoing operations by the Syrian Government to end it. Although due to the limited nature of the US/UK/Fr action such delay would be insignificant.
(c) It has not been proved that the alleged use of chemical weapons in Douma was by the Government of the SAR, rather than by other actors, or has not happened at all. And there are pending investigations into the alleged incident.
So, even if the alleged incident did justify military action, and the UK Government had the authority to order it, there was no reasons for the UK Government not to wait for the results of the investigations.
Since the US/EU/Fr military action was taken after the alleged use of chemical weapons and due to its limited scope cannot deter further use of chemical weapons, the action, if to assume that it was taken in good faith, was not "preventative", but "punitive".
And to punish a suspect on a mere suspicion, without waiting for the outcome of the pending investigation was clearly illegal.
Based on the above, the military action by the USA, UK and France against the Syrian Arab Republic had no valid legal basis for the simple reason, that it was taken on the basis of mere allegations before waiting for the results of the pending investigations.
Nor can punishments be administered by states on their own initiative. They need to be authorized by the UN Security Council to do so.
And this entitles the Government of the SAR to claim damages from the aggressor countries for any damage caused by their illegal actions.
Is use of chemical weapons by a country attacked by a super-power a criminal act?
The use of chemical weapons in WW1 has provoked public outrage and was prohibited by the Geneva Protocol in 1925. But since that time much more powerful and destructive weapons have been developed and used. Thus, in 1945 at the end of WW2, when Japan was all but defeated, the USA has dropped two atomic bombs on Japan killing some 120,000 people and tens of thousands died later due to radiation exposure. This act was justified by "ending the war earlier". And development of nuclear weapons of even greater destructive power by the "great powers" has been going on up till now. Also other weapons of mass extermination are being developed and used by the USA and their allies, like phosphorus, thermobaric, cluster bombs, etc.
So, if the use by the USA of weapons of mass destruction to "end the war earlier" by killing 120,000 people was justified, would not the alleged use by the SAR of chemical weapons killing a 100 people be justified on the same grounds?
Is there a different law for "super-powers" and smaller countries?
The situation in Syria, however, does meet requirements for a military intervention. And the questions are: (1) "Against whom?" and (2) "By whom?".
The most basic principle of Justice is that the one who commits an act of unjustified violence against another commits a criminal act of aggression, and all people should unite against the aggressor and come to the defence of the victim.
Syria did not attack the USA, the UK, France, or any other country. It was the USA and their allies who conspired against the Syrian Arab Republic with a view to replacing its legitimate government with a government of their own choice, or with an endless chaos of different groups within Syria fighting each other (like in Libya).
From the above it follows that the criminals are the governments of the USA and their allies (inc. UK and France). And it is them that the military action should be taken against with the objective of bringing the criminals to justice, disbanding their armies and forcing the new governments of these countries to pay reparations to the SAR, similar to what was done to Germany in 1945 for their wars of aggression.
But who has the powers to stop the criminal activities of the USA and their allies and to enforce justice?
All the countries of the world should unite to perform this task.
Why this has not happen?
Why, instead of uniting against the aggressors to protect the victim and enforce justice, countries either joined the criminals in their crimes or did nothing?
Because the USA is the most heavily armed country with the most destructive weapons, and many governments of smaller countries are under their domination ideologically, economically, militarily, and politically.
And for that reason the USA and their allies can invade and bomb other countries with impunity, as it happened in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and other countries.
The pattern of this criminal activity is: (1) vilify and de-legitimize the government by calling it "regime", then (2) bomb, invade or create a civil war by use of "anti-government forces".
This is clearly not "International Law", talking about which the UK Government seeks to justify its illegal action.
Any vestiges of International Law have been destroyed by the lawless wars and interventions by the USA and their allies this century. The world is being ravaged by a lawless, murderous, destructive, destabilizing "super power" creating mass human suffering on a gigantic scale.
So how will the world liberate itself from this dangerous, murderous, destructive, destabilizing super-power?
The USA and their allies will destroy themselves by their own lawlessness, immorality, corruption. This can take some time but the signs of this happening are already clearly visible.
The political leaders of these countries are losing trust and respect of their own people. But the establishment is so morally and intellectually degenerate that no honest and competent leaders can be found to replace the discredited governments.
This is a very dangerous moment, because the governments of these countries want to re-establish their influence and power over the people and to do that they create enemies and seek to unite the people by vilifying these enemies and posing as law enforcers. And this is what the present vilification of the governments of the SAR and of the Russian Federation are. They are attempts to regain the "High Moral Ground" by the USA, UK, France within their own countries and on the international stage.
But more and more people see through their political demagogy and turn away from them. And it is this process that will finally rid Mankind from these murderous, destructive, corrupting "regimes" in the true sense of this word (not governments, but self-serving conspiratorial gangs of political demagogues).
And this will stop and prevent the humanitarian suffering in the countries victims of the US/EU wars of aggression and interventions and replace super-power lawlessness with just, workable International Law.