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The Sukhoi Su-24 Incident between Russia and Turkey

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This note presents an analysis from the viewpoint of public international law of the event that occurred on November 24, 2015, when a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber jet was downed by the Turkish Air Force over the border region between Syria and Turkey. While some of the basic circumstances of the case remain controversial, enough elements have emerged from media coverage to permit for the identification of the main legal issues, if not also to assess the legality of the Russian behavior and of the Turkish reaction in all its details. The known facts warrant the conclusion that the attack and the downing of the Russian jet can be seen as a disproportionate reaction on the part of the Turkish Government and, therefore, as a violation of the prohibition of the use of military force under Art. 2(4) of the UN Charter and under the corresponding customary rule of international law.

About the Author

Etienne Henry
University of Neuchâtel

Visiting Researcher at Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Lecturer, Researcher and Ph.D. Candidate at University of Neuchâtel,

Avenue du 1er-Mars 26, Neuchâtel, CH-2000


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For citation:

Henry E. The Sukhoi Su-24 Incident between Russia and Turkey. Russian Law Journal. 2016;4(1):8-25.

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