THE LEGAL CASE FOR BRITISH MILITARY ACTION IN IRAQ AND SYRIA In addition, the escalating humanitarian catastrophe in Syria meets the standard required by the UK permitting the use of force without a UNSC resolution under the doctrine of humanitarian intervention, provided the UK government can show that there are no other non-military options which would better achieve its humanitarian purpose. The British legal position regarding Operation Allied Force against Serbia in Kosovo in 1999 provides precedent for this interpretation. Subject to the conditions of necessity and proportionality, there is, therefore, no legal barrier to British involvement in military action by the growing international coalition against IS in both Iraq and Syria. By contrast, intervention would not only be consistent with the UK government’s stated policy position and practice over the last 20 years, but also in the British national interest. 15

The legal case for action - Page 15 The legal case for action Page 14 Page 16