Saudi Arabia is involved in the non-international armed conflict against the Islamic State group as part of the international coalition led by the United States. It is also involved in the international armed conflict in Syria. Leading the international coalition against Houthi rebels in support of the Yemeni government, Saudi Arabia is also involved in the non-international armed conflicts in Yemen.
Saudi Arabia 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.
- Saudi Arabia is a party to the non-international armed conflict in Syria against the Islamic State group. Saudia Arabia joined the first US-led airstrikes in September 2014 and reportedly undertook a series of airstrikes in the first days of the campaign. 'Syria: US Begins Airstrikes Against Islamic State', BBC, 23 September 2014. However, since then, and with their involvement in the non-international armed conflict in Yemen, their participation has been minimal. C.Mills, ISIS/Daesh: The Military Response in Iraq and Syria, Commons Briefing Papers SN06995, 9 November 2016, p 27.
- Due to its participation in the airstrikes against the Islamic State group in Syria without the consent of the Syrian government, Saudia Arabia is also a party to the international armed conflict in Syria. On the relevance of consent for conflict classification, see 'contemporary challenges - relevance of consent' in our classification section.
- Saudia Arabia is also a party to the non-international armed conflicst in Yemen. Upon request of Yemeni President Hadi, Saudia Arabia initiated airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen in March 2015. In Autumn 2015, Saudia Arabia deployed ground troops to Yemen. 'Yemen Air Strikes: A Guide to the Countries Backing Saudi Arabia', Associated Press, 10 April 2015; 'Number of Saudi-led Coalition Troops in Yemen "Rises to 10,000"', Reuters, 8 September 2015. In the same sense, see Final Report of the Panel of Experts on Yemen Pursuant to Security Council Resolution 2140 (2014), UN doc S/2017/81, para 29.