Ashley Deeks

Arming Syrian Rebels: Lethal Assistance and International Law



On the Sunday talk shows, various members of Congress exhorted the United States to increase its assistance to the Syrian rebels, whether by providing them with additional (lethal) equipment, or by establishing a no-fly zone, or by entering Syria to secure its chemical weapons caches.  Last night the Post reported that the Executive Branch is seriously weighing whether to arm the rebels. I wrote here about some of the international legal hurdles that the U.S. would confront in evaluating whether to use force directly in Syria. (A no-fly zone, which some have advocated, would fall into the “use of force” category.) But even the provision of lethal equipment to the Syrian rebels has implications in international law.


Ashley S. Deeks, Arming Syrian Rebels: Lethal Assistance and International Law, Lawfare (May 1, 2013).

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