LOAC Principles in Current Events: War vs Armed Conflict

by Jessica Poarch
October 4, 2012

Yesterday, mortars from the ongoing conflict in Syria crossed the border and killed 5 civilians in Turkey. In response, the Turkish government “pounded targets inside Syria on Thursday in retaliation…” In spite of the damage caused to the Turkish people, the Prime Minister of Turkey’s staff came out with statements against war with Syria. This is a clear example of the differences between “armed conflict” and “war.” Turkey has not made a formal declaration of war against Syria, therefore no state of “war” exists. However, an armed conflict does exist between the two nations. International Armed Conflict is defined as the “recourse to armed forces [by one or more states] against another state, regardless of the reasons or the intensity of [the] confrontation.” It is clear therefore that an International Armed Conflict exists between Turkey and Syria.

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