Israeli Strike in Syria
Posted: January 31, 2013 Filed under: Nuclear
I’m sitting at a cafe in the Marais district of Paris, waiting for my entrecôte to arrive, and just read about the Israeli airstrike in Syria, apparently targeting a shipment of missile parts which the Israelis expect were heading to Hezbollah for use against Israel.
I thought I would just give my quick reaction to the incident, and others can weigh in too. My opinion is heavily influenced by the current state of chaos in Syria, and indeed I’m quite confident that this circumstance is the sine qua non of the Israeli government’s extraordinary decision to strike within Syrian territory.
From a strictly formal international legal perspective, I suspect that this strike is, notwithstanding the current unrest in Syria, still a violation of Article 2(4) of the UN Charter, and is not justified by Article 51 or the customary law principle of anticipatory self defense.
However, this is a situation in which I completely understand Israel’s motivations and reasoning, and I think that those reasons are compelling.
So my quick assessment of the incident is that, while it was probably technically illegal, I would have done the same thing under these circumstances if I was the Israeli PM.