Wednesday 20 November 2002

No-fly zones: The legal position

Basically, they're not legal! So does that mean that we're in breach of International Law.... Of course it does!!

The two no-fly zones over Iraq were imposed by the US, Britain and France after the Gulf War, in what was described as a humanitarian effort to protect Shia Muslims in the south and Kurds in the north.

The justification was that an acute humanitarian crisis made it necessary to infringe the sovereignty of Iraq in this way.

However, unlike the military campaign to expel Iraqi forces from Kuwait, the no-fly zones were not authorised by the United Nations and they are not specifically sanctioned by any Security Council resolution.

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