Re-assessing the right of self-defense against non-state actors: Airstrikes on ISIS targetsOver the last decades, the global terror acts have largely reshaped the political and legal sphere regarding a parochial scope of legality on the use of force against terror acts. In a legal term, the prohibition on the use or threat of force has been widely accepted as a peremptory norm of jus cogens in a customary rule to the extent of the exceptions internationally accepted as an “inherent right” to self-defense in the UN Charter. Accordingly, Khedri argued that any attempt to expand the use of force outside of the scope of self-defense concept provided in the UN Charter will be regarded as a breach of jus cogens norms. That ‘cornerstone’ of customary and international law exposes states to the uncertainty whether or to what extent to take counter measures that would not exceed the limited range of defensive force in case it faces any attack.

In a concept of actor involvement, the post-1945 conflicts differ with its combination of proliferation of actors; in the recently written article, Onderčo, comes up with a new terminology-“new wars” which describes traditional threats and activities of non state actors in upholding threats to established actors. The broader range of non-state actors has been historically associated with terror acts for the last two decades, and any response taken by a victim state has been regarded as a counterterrorist act if not anti-terrorist. In this respect, the events of 9/11 attack, in which Al-Qaeda was capable of mounting an attack on the U.S. without any state support, became another turning point in the history that stretched a significance of the self-defense concept in response to attacks by non-state actors.


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