Germany's involvement in the anti-ISIS coalition in Syria and Iraq is based on an overly broad interpretation of international law, particularly Article 51 of the UN Charter. This expansive interpretation of the right to self-defense, an exception to the prohibition of the use of force set out in Art 2(4) of the UN Charter, is one of the many ways in which states violate international law in the fight against international terrorism. In its expansive interpretation Germany has largely followed the US approach.
Germany does not conduct its own airstrikes in the fight against international terrorism but does support strikes through reconnaissance missions and the transfer of data. The domestic debate in Germany about drones and particularly about acquiring armed drones is far from over.
The policy paper Unlimited Use of Armed Drones in the Fight against Terrorism in Syria? Germany Must Oppose the Erosion of International Law analyses Germany's role in the global use of armed drones and demands the German government to change its policy on international law.
Andreas Schüller, the author of the paper, is Director of ECCHR’s International Crimes and Accountability program. The position paper was published by ECCHR supported by a grant from the Foundation Open Society Institute in cooperation with the Human Rights Initiative of the Open Society Foundations.