Germany is involved in the non-international armed conflict against the Islamic State group by providing military support to the coalition airstrikes in Iraq.
Germany is currently involved in 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.
- Germany joined the military coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and in Syria in December 2015 following the French request for assistance after the attacks in Paris in November 2015. On 4 December 2015, German parliament authorized the participation in coalitional airstrikes against Islamic State group targets. In particular, Germany provides air-to-air fuelling assistance and reconnaissance flights to the international coalition. 'Bundestag beschliesst Syrien Einsatz', Artikel, deutsche Bundesregierung, 4 December 2015; 'Bundeswehr beteiligt sich erstmals an Luftangriffen gegen IS', Spiegel Online, 16 December 2015. See also the information provided for by the German armed forces on their mission against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq. Under the support-based approach to determine who is a party to a conflict, such action means that Germany became a party to the non-international armed conflicts in Syria and in Iraq. There are pre-existing armed conflicts in Iraq and Syria, there is sufficiently close link between the action of the German forces and the harm caused to the Islamic State group by coalition airstrikes; and such action takes place pursuant to an official decision of the German government.
- Germany is also a party to the international armed conflict in Syria because the coalition airstrikes in Syria occur without the consent of the Syrian government. In its letter to the Security Council, Germany based its action on the right to collective self-defence in conjunction with Security Council resolution 2249 (2015), see Letter Dated 10 December 2015 from the Chargé d'affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations Addressed to the President of the Security Council, UN doc S/2015/946, 10 December 2015. For a discussion of the lawfulness of the German participation under the use of force framework, see A. Peters, 'German Parliament Decides to Send Troops to Combat ISIS - Based on Collective Self-defense "in Conjunction" with SC Res. 2249', EJIL Talk blog, 8 December 2015.On the relevance of consent for conflict classification, see 'contemporary challenges - relevance of consent' in our classification section.