Belgium is involved in the non-international armed conflicts against the Islamic State group by undertaking airstrikes in Iraq and Syria as part of the international coalition led by the United States. It is also involved in the international armed conflict in Syria.
Belgium is currently a party to a series of armed conflicts. For further information on who is considered a party to an armed conflict, see ‘contemporary challenges – multinational forces: who is a party to the conflict?’ in our classification section.
- Belgium is a party to the non-international armed conflict in Iraq against the Islamic State group. Belgium joined the international coalition led by the United States in September 2014 and conducted its first airstrike against the Islamic State group in Iraq in October 2014. Belgium and the Netherlands take turns in undertaking airstrikes as part of the international military coalition. See the information provided by the Belgium Ministry of Defense.
- Belgium became a party to the non-international armed conflict in Syria against the Islamic State goup after extending its airstrikes against Islamic State group targets into Syria in July 2016. See 'La Belgique étend ses frappes contre l'Etat islamique en Syrie', Le Monde, 13 May 2016; A. J. Rubin 'Belgium's Anti-ISIS airstrikes expand from Iraq into Syria', The New York Times, 13 May 2016; C. Wasinski, 'Après 40,000 bombes, quelle logique d'action pour les F-16 belges en Irak et en Syrie?', Le soir, 13 June 2016. In its letter to the Security Council, Belgium argued that the intervention was based on the right to collective self-defence upon request of the Iraqi government because the Islamic State group was operating from safe havens in Syria. Letter Dated 7 June 2016 from the Permanent Representative of Belgium to the United Nations Addressed to the President of the Security Council, UN doc S/2016/523, 9 June 2016.