. Each religious minority — Shia Muslim, Greek Orthodox, Maronite, Armenian, and Jews. The religious heads of each community administered all personal status law and performed certain civil functions as well. Syria is known for its diverse cultures and communities and the equality doctrine was complied with during the Ottoman regime.
Finally, in October 2012 the Security Council issued press statements condemning the terrorist attacks in Aleppo and later calling on all relevant parties to implement a ceasefire in honor of Eid al- Adha, Since then, the Council has received significant pressure to refer the case in Syria to the ICC, including from the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Advisers on the Prevention of Genocide and RtoP as well as from over 50 Member States who signed a letter saying as much in mid-January 2013 .
Many voices inside and outside of Syria declared that the international community and the Syrian government had both failed in their responsibility to protect Syrians, a failure that, aparticularly in light of the attacks, reached what some called a tipping point and required an immediate and meaningful response.
Turkey has also effectively taken sides in Syria’s civil war by supporting rebel groups, raising the possibility of direct military involvement in the conflict in the future.
The influx of refugees has started to tip the sectarian balance within Lebanon, which has ignited his- torical hatreds between Sunni and Shia that have already culminated in violence in the form of clashes along the Syrian border and bombings in Beirut.
Khaminwa and Kiptoo
Syria most likely derives from the name of the Neo-Assyrian Empire
established in the 10th century BC. Modern Syria became independent in
1946 following a period of French occupation (1917–20) and Mandate
(1920-1946). In 1958, the Republic of Syria became briefly part of the United
Arab Republic but in 1961 withdrew from the federation. From 1963, the
Syrian Arab Republic has been ruled by the Ba'ath with the Assad family
exclusively from 1970.
Currently Syria is fractured between rival forces on the course of the Syrian
THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE.
Ottoman Syria is defined as the region east of the Mediterranean Sea, west of
the Euphrates River, and north of the Arabian desert.
In 1516 Ottoman Sultan Selim I conquered most of Syria. Therefore, Syria was
part of the Ottoman Empire from 1516 to 1918.
Ottoman rule was not burdensome to the Syrians because the Turks, as Muslims,
respected Arabic as the language of the Koran, and accepted the mantle of
defenders of the faith.
Ottoman administration was such that it fostered a peaceful coexistence
amongst the different sections of Syrian society for over four hundred years.
Syria became a League of Nations mandate under French control in 1920.
In 1920, a short-lived independent Kingdom of Syria was established under
Emir Faisal I of the Hashemite dynasty, who later became the king of Iraq. In
March 1920, the Syrian National Congress proclaimed Faisal as king of Syria
His rule in Syria ended after only a few months following a clash between
his Syrian Arab forces and French forces at the Battle of Maysalun.
French troops took control of Syria and forced Faisal to flee.
Later that year the San Remo conference split up Faisal's kingdom by
placing Syria-Lebanon under a French mandate, and Palestine under British
Syria was divided into three autonomous regions by the French, with
separate areas for the Alawis on the coast and the Druze in the south.
Syria proclaimed its independence in 1941, but it was not until 1 January
1944 that it was recognised as an independent republic.
Syria came under the control of Vichy France until the British and Free
French occupied the country in the Syria-Lebanon campaign in July 1941.
Continuing pressure from Syrian nationalist groups forced the French to
evacuate the last of their troops in April 1946, leaving the country in the
hands of a republican government that had been formed during the
As time elapsed in Syria, the power in turn had increased in the military as
well as the securities. However the parliamentary institutions remained
weak and administration was poor. A lot of conflicts occurred during this
time, outbreak of wars, civilians fighting for land and the power to own
certain zones etc. On 13 November 1970, Minister of Defense Hafez al-
Assad seized power in a bloodless military overthrow ("The Corrective
A group of Muslim Sunnis wanted to assassinate Assad as they did not want
to be ruled by the Shias and did not accept the Ba'ath programme. Assad
has rebels and due to this the outcome was cross fire between the
government and the civilians.
I do believe that at this point of time, is when the rebels,gained power that
lead to numerous wars thereafter.
In 1994, Assad's son Bassel al-Assad, who was likely to succeed his father,
was killed in a car accident. Assad's brother, Rifaat al-Assad, was "relieved
of his post" as vice-president in 1998. Thus, when Assad died in 2000, his
second son, Bashar al-Assad was chosen as his successor. In the same year,
he was chosen as president and thereafter civilians thinking if a new hope
which they have not gotten till today. Under Bashar-Al-Assad Syria was
exposed in the sense that, the U.S. Raised allegations against it by claiming
Syria was acquiring weapons of mass destruction and further later on that
Syria had links with terrorist groups. Despite all that, a number of riots took
place and the government ended up killing many civilians due to rebel
groups already having formed during the ottoman rule.
The United Nations Security Councils
input?.. Year 2012…
The UN security General for Political affairs, B. Lynn Pascoe informed the UN
Security Council that sources in Syria had reported “the use of artillery fire
against unarmed civilians; door-to-door arrest campaigns; the shooting of
medical personnel who attempt to aid the wounded; raids against
hospitals, clinics and mosques and the purposeful destruction of medical
supplies and arrest of medical personnel”.
The Syrian government also allegedly denied access to international
monitors, humanitarian groups and human rights organizations while
simultaneously shutting off local social media communications.
The deal failed to end the violence, which by then had become a de
facto civil war.
UNSC.. Year 2012….
The League of Arab States and the Gulf Cooperation Council, were
hesitant to respond, and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) was
unable to reach a consensus on decisive action to end the conflict.
After nearly a year of fighting, former Secretary-General Kofi Annan was
appointed as Joint Special Envoy for the UN and the League of Arab States
on 23 February 2012. Annan quickly set forth a six point peace plan, which
included commitments from all parties to work with the Special Envoy, a
ceasefire, and the access to and timely provision of humanitarian
The UNSC then authorized the deployment of a UN Supervision Mission in
Syria (UNSMIS) of 300 unarmed observers to facilitate the peace plan in
April 2012, but activities were suspended in June when the observers’
presence failed to quell the violence and the mission’s mandate came to
an end on 19 August 2012.
By late July, fatalities and casualties had mounted to 19,000 and tens of
thousands of civilians remained displaced, seeking refuge in neighboring
countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey.
The following month, Annan resigned from his position, citing the lack of
political unity within the UN as a major obstacle to finding a solution to the
crisis, and was replaced by Lakhdar Brahimi.
In August 2013, a series of videos, photographs and reports from the ground
from Syria indicated that a new chemical weapons attack had killed a high
number of civilians in rebel-held areas outside of Damascus, in “the world's
most lethal chemical weapons attack since the 1980s.” The footage
showed a large number of children among the victims of the attacks in
The international community called for an immediate investigation of the
use of chemical weapons after the attack on civilians.
The team of United Nations inspectors probing the possible use of chemical
weapons returned from Syria on 31 August after two weeks of investigation.
It reported that there was “clear and convincing evidence” that Sarin gas
had been used in Ghouta, though it stopped short of declaring which side
had deployed them. While the Secretary General also refrained from
assigning blame, he did state on 16 September “this is a war crime”.
The Security Council showed rare unity on Syria by passing Resolution 2118
on 7 September 2013, which requires Syria to destroy its current stockpile of
chemical weapons. It further prohibits Syria from using, developing,
stockpiling, and transferring chemical weapons. Should Syria not fulfill the
terms of the resolution, whose compliance will be overseen by the OPCW,
the Security Council may consider penalties under Chapter VII of the UN
In July and December 2014, the UNSC adopted two additional resolutions –
2165 and 2191 – which, among other things, authorized UN aid operations
into Syria from neighboring countries without requiring the consent of the
It not only re-iterated the need for ceasefire in heavily populated areas, but
also affirmed that the Syrian government has the primary responsibility to
protect the Syrian population.
In addition, the resolution clarified that the UN agencies and other
necessary humanitarian organizations could deliver aid from across the
borders of neighboring countries and that to impede the delivery of aid by
“withholding consent for the opening of all relevant border crossings”
would be in violation of international humanitarian law.
the resolutions, and the hope they provided, have rung hollow for Syrian
civilians. They have been ignored or undermined by the parties to the
conflict, other UN member states, and even by members of the UNSC itself.
In the 12 months since Resolution 2139 was passed, civilians in Syria have
witnessed ever-increasing destruction suffering and death. Humanitarian
needs have increased by nearly a third compared with 2013.
Statistics as at 2014…
People are not protected: 2014 was the deadliest year of the conflict in
Syria, with at least 76,000 Syrians killed
Aid access has not improved: 4.8 million people in need reside in areas
defined by the UN as "hard to reach", one million more than in 2013
Needs have increased: 5.6 million children are in need of aid, a 31%
increase since 2013 .
The humanitarian response has decreased compared to needs: in 2013,
71% of the funds needed to support civilians inside Syria and refugees in
neighbouring countries were provided. In 2014, this had declined to 57%
Separate analysis by another group of charities says 83% of Syria's lights
visible from space have gone out.
The latest development happened in February 2014, the Security Council
broke its deadlock and unanimously passed Resolution 2139 to ensure
access for humanitarian aid in Syria, urging all parties to lift sieges of
populated areas, and condemning the use of barrel bombs and terrorist
acts by Al Qaeda-linked organizations. However, the omission of sanctions
has weakened the significance of the resolution. Secretary-General Ban Ki-
moon is due to report back on the implementation of the resolution after 30
Despite the adoption of Presidential Statement 2013/15, Resolutions 2139
(2014) and 2165 (2014), the protection situation has worsened. Reportedly,
over 1,000 civilian deaths have occurred in August (2014), the deadliest
[month] since the start of the war. Civilians live in appalling conditions.
Consequences of the Crisis..
As a consequence of the Civil
war in Syria, is the regional
spillover of the political and
humanitarian fallout from the
Syrian conflict has begun to
dramatically change the
landscape of the Middle East
Turkey has been and will continue to be significantly affected by the
ongoing civil war in Syria. The enormous number of Syrian refugees alone
will impose many financial and governance challenges.
The vast refugee flows from Syria constitute a poten- tial security threat if
not managed properly. Syrian conflict may exac- erbate existing ethnic
and religious tensions within southern Turkey.
The Turkish state is strong, and none of these challenges represents an
existential threat, Turkey is likely to experience limited spillover of vio- lent
conflict from the Syrian civil war.
Lebanon’s particularly high risk of conflict spillover stems from its crippled
government, divi- sion among its internal security forces, and continued
external/Iranian support to Hizbollah.
Lebanon remains the largest recipi- ent of refugees from Syria yet has no
official camps to host them.
The influx of international aid to Syrian refugees arriving in Leb- anon further
affects much of Lebanon’s indigenous populace, which had suffered long
before Syria’s current problems began.
Lebanese citizens must now also compete for wages with refugees who
work for less.
Syrian and Iraqi social structures are intertwined—the two countries share
similar elements of instability, long and porous borders, and tribal
connections, and they are both considered focal points of religious rivalry in
Numerous fighters from both sides have already taken part in the fighting
both against and with the Syrian regime. Sunni tribes perceive a potential
victory as an advantage in their own political struggle against the Shia
religious political parties in power in Baghdad.
Competition between Iraq’s Sunni and Shia com- munities is made worse
by the spillover of violence from Syria.
The potential for violent conflict from the civil war in Syria spreading into
Jordan is relatively high. All of the key factors leading to spillover point in this
Primary among these factors is that, as a transit point for external support
to the rebels, Jordan opens itself up to retribu- tion from Hizbollah, Iran’s
Quds Force, and other agents of the regime in Damascus.
Attacks against Jordanian government and Sunni civilian targets inside
Jordan could make the country a secondary battlefield for jihad and force
the Jordanian security services to use extreme measures to maintain
order—a move that could make matters worse.
Finding ways for Jordan to contain or return the refugees to Syrian territory
and to ease out of its role as a transit point for external support to the rebel
factions in Syria would go a long way to curbing the potential for the
spillover of violence from the war next door.
All of the factors leading to the spread of violent conflict from civil war and
insurgency are present in the Levant.
There is a high prob- ability that the fighting in Syria, if left unchecked, will
spill over into Turkey and Jordan, where both countries are engaged in
providing external aid to the rebels and where both are serving as hosts to
serious numbers of refugees with ethnic ties to their own populations.
Policy measures that are focused solely on the effects of the spill- over
(such as helping Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan deal with the flow of
refugees within their borders) are unlikely to be sufficient—like a doctor
treating only the visible symptoms of an infectious disease: The patient and
others standing nearby will continue to be at risk.
Ms. Vivian Gichuhi
Outbreak of the war
The Arab League
Conventions Syria is a party to
The Arab Spring can be defined as a series of anti-government
protests, uprisings, and armed rebellions in various countries in the
It began in Tunisia in December 2010.
It was an expression of deep resentment at the ageing Arab
Anger at the brutality of the security apparatus.
Hardline Islamists concern to enforce strict religious norms
It can be traced back to 26th January 2011to protests which
developed into a consolidated uprising in March 2011.
There have been many different theories which have been put across
as to how the conflict began.
Common to all of them is that it began in the city of Deraa where
pro-democracy protests erupted after the arrest and torture of some
teenagers who painted revolutionary slogans.
Bashar -Al- Assad authorized security forces in the economically
depressed, largely Sunni southern city of Deraa to use lethal violence
against demonstrators peacefully protesting against gratuitous police
brutality. Instead of going to Deraa to apologize, hand out
compensation, and bring lawless officials to justice.
public protests were fuelled by failure to punish the perpetrators.
The other theory is based on sectarianism.
It is argued that without a doubt the Alawite identity of the ruling
family deepened the sense of bitterness and frustration felt by people
whose dignity was under assault by contemptuous rulers.
Assad preferred to assault peaceful protesters with armed force it
was, by definition, putting mostly Alawites against mostly Sunnis.
Sunnis accounted for most of the protesters.
Alawites accounted for most of the troops, intelligence operatives,
and police willing to do the regime's bidding.
1)The Arab League peace plans
2)Russian Peace initiatives
3)Koffi Anan Peace plans
4)Eid al-Adha cease fire attempt
The Arab League began its efforts to stop the Syrian Conflict by
establishing an Arab League Monitors for Syria who were to monitor
the situation in Syria and provide a report.
The Council of the Arab League passed various resolutions
concerning the Arab plan to resolve Syria Crisis.
Passed by 19 of 22 members of the AL.
Iraq and Lebanon, two of Syria's largest economic partners
abstaining from the vote.
Under this resolution the AL for the first time imposed economic
sanctions on one of its members. (Although Syria’s membership had
been suspended two weeks before the resolution was passed).
1) Banning the travelling of top Syrian officials and figures to Arab countries as well
as freezing their deposits in the Arab countries.
2) Stopping transactions with the Central Bank of Syria.
3) Stopping the governmental trade transactions with the Syrian government, with
the exception of the strategic commodities that affect the Syrian people.
4) Freezing the financial assets of the Syrian government.
5) Stopping the financial transactions with the Syrian government.
Called on the international community to support the government of
national unity in order to enable it to fulfill its functions.
Requests the Chair of the Committee and the Secretary-General of
the League of Arab States to brief the United Nations Security
Council in support of this plan, in accordance with the resolutions of
the Council of the League of Arab State.
In 2012 the Russian foreign ministry suggested “informal” talks in Moscow between the
Syrian regime and opposition, and said the Syrian authorities had already agreed to the
Russian offer. Abdel Baset Seda, a member of the Syrian National Council’s executive
committee announced that the SNC had not received any formal invitation for such talks, but
would decline if one arrived.
In 2013 Russia again announced it was trying to broker talks in Moscow between the
Syrian government and opposition, but that the U.S. and Russian negotiators failed to agree
on whether or not Assad should be forced out of office.
Launched in March 2012 intended to commit both the Syrian
regime and opposition to a cease fire and commit the Syrian
regime to initiate deliberations with the opposition on their
aspirations and concerns.
After Annan on 12 April had assumed that both parties had
agreed to a cease fire, the UN on 1 May had to admit that both
parties were violating it.
Lakhadar Brahimi an Algerian diplomat appealed on both the
Syrian government and the armed opposition to stop the killing
during the Islamic festival of Eid Al-Adha.
Government and most of the opposition groups said ‘yes’ to
Its success lasted for a short while after which both parties
accused the other of not having stopped its violence.
The conference was proposed by the UN with the aim of
bringing the Syrian regime and opposition together to discuss
a transitional government.
The transitional government was to have full executive
Geneva II Conference 2014
The most notable success is the recent passing of the
UN Security Council Resolution 2139 demanding
access for humanitarian aid convoys.
1) Geneva protocol of 1925 signed by Syria in 1968 against the use of
chemical or biological weapons. Known as Protocol for the
Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or Other
Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare.
2) Common Article 3 to the 1949 Geneva Conventions.
Article 3 covers situations of non-international armed conflicts.
These conflicts vary and may include traditional civil wars, internal armed
conflicts that spill over into other States or internal conflicts in which third
States or a multinational force intervenes alongside the government.
The Article establishes fundamental rules from which no derogation is
3) Additional Protocol II (non- international conflicts)
The aim of the Protocol is to extend the essential rules of the
law of armed conflicts to internal wars.
Syria is not, however, a party to 1977 Additional Protocol II so
its provisions are not directly applicable.
Mass Atrocities, Proxy Wars and Foreign
By Valentine Khaminwa
• Widespread and often systematic acts of violence against
civilians by state or non-state armed groups, including killing,
causing serious bodily or mental harm, or deliberately inflicting
conditions of life that cause serious bodily or mental harm.
• Broad definition – goes beyond declared war and armed
Examples of Mass Atrocities
• Cambodian genocide 1970s
• Forced disappearance, abduction and killing in Argentina
• Massacres in Zimbabwe in the 1980s
• Target violence e.g. 2007-8 post-election violence in Kenya.
• Whether conflict is legitimated or not, mass atrocities as
witnessed in the case of Syria are always illegal
Competing legal principles
Competition. Derogation. Reservation. Lack of ratification. Enforcement
• Humanitarian intervention
• State responsibility to protect
• The principle of cultural relativism
• The principle of equality
• Justification, perceived emergency
Seventy years since the Holocaust and 21 years after Rwanda, the UN still
lacks a comprehensive policy framework .
• A war instigated by a power that does not participate in the
• The Korean War 1950-1953
• Proxy – relative term applicable to all wars:
• 1915 - Armenia
• 1933 – The Holocaust
• 1975 - Cambodia
• 1994 – Rwanda
• 1995 Bosnia
• 2003 – Darfur
• War by another definition – America, discrimination
Foreign Interests in Syria
• Saudi Arabia
• Regional neighbors
• International bodies and NGOs
• Armed Groups in the Conflict
• Effects of the War
ALLIED TO THE ASAAD GOVT
• Syrian Armed Forces: they are approximately 178,000
• Al Baʿath Brigades
• Shabiha militias
• Al Abbas
• Syrian Resistance
• Arab National Guard
• Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine
• Jaysh al-Muwahhideen
Law of War
limit the effects of war( war is inevitable)
Source of this Law
Originally C.I.L but now codified under the Geneva Conventions, its
protocols, an array of other Conventions, military manuals
Minimum amount of organization
Minimum level of intensity
Gravity of the Clashes
The numbers of casualties
The number of groups
Prosecutor v Tadic case;
Conflict of a Non International
Int’l Law developed along Rousseau's maxim
War is a relationship between state- state
Applicable laws- Geneva Conventions, A.P.1, I.C.C.P.R and C.I.L
Overview of I.H.L principles as well as Conventions violated
Prohibition of attacks against those hors de combat
Prohibition on the infliction of unnecessary suffering
Principle of proportionality
Notion of necessity
Principle of humanity
Rules that govern NIAC are way
Prohibition of attacks against those hors de combat
Prohibition on the infliction of unnecessary suffering
Principle of proportionality
Notion of necessity
Principle of humanity
Overview of I.H.L principles as well as Conventions
Cultural property violation
Chemical weapons violation
Right to life -ICCPR
Prohibition of torture-ICCPR
Right to fair trial-ICCPR
*There are approximately about 6.5 million people that have
*Rights that need to be protected but are not
*The right to protection as part of the general population
*The right To family Unity
*Protection and prevention of recruitment of child soldiers below
Mapipiran Massacre v Columbia
*There are about 3 million refugees in Syria’s immediate neighbors.
*They too have rights that need to be taken care of
*Right of entry
*Principle of non Refoulement
Kituo Cha Sheria and others v The Attorney General and another
*Right to identity papers
*Right to apply for asylum
Re: Matter of Fauziya Kasinga
Samow Mumin Mohammed and others v Attorney General
*Economy in shambles..
*Prevented children from going to school
The U.N continues to call for a political solution to the problem.
The U.N security council should/may intervene
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE?
Revolution in law
WHAT WILL PROB. HAPPEN