Weekly IHL Update

UntitledMonday, November 17, 2014

In the News

Tension is increasing in Ukraine as reports of Russian troops on the border suggest a possible new offensive, which subsequently increased tension at the G-20 summit in Australia. Russian president, Vladimir Putin, received a lot of criticism for the situation in Ukraine; Stephen Harper, the prime minister of Canada, reportedly shook Putin’s hand while saying “You need to get out of Ukraine,” and Barack Obama called Russian aggression in Ukraine “a threat to the world.”

Clashes in Yemen this past week killed over 30 people with drone strikes killing about seven al Qaeda militants. As Shi’ite Houthi militants and Sunni al Qaeda supporters continue to fight, Reuters Insight notes that Yemen may be headed toward civil war.

An airstrike last week allegedly injured IS leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi until IS dispelled rumors by releasing a video featuring Al-Baghdadi urging IS supporters to “erupt volcanoes of jihad everywhere.” Another video released by IS on Sunday indicated that American aid worker Peter Kassig was executed. This was later confirmed by the White House.

Around the Web

Killer Robots. Technological advancements demonstrate the growing potential for autonomous weapons in warfare. An ICRC Q&A on the potential use of autonomous weapons in warfare explores how limitations on the means and methods of warfare under international humanitarian law regulate the use of weapons to conduct attacks without human intervention.

Forgotten and Vulnerable. A recent assessment on the impact of conflict on children in Central African Republic (CAR), detailed existing vulnerabilities and advocating efforts to increase response and aid to children within CAR.

Combatants Dressed as Civilians. What are the legal implications when combatants dress as civilians? Through the lens of Israeli undercover units, this paper explores the use and limitations under international law of combatants that operate while disguised as members of the local population.

Sky-Carriers for Drones. In an attempt to expand the range of drones and improve intelligence-gathering operations, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is looking at the feasibility of aircraft carriers that serve as a launch and recovery mechanism for drones.

On the Blog

Conversations on Combating Sexual Violence in Armed Conflict. Innovative ideas and technological developments can be essential to address sexual violence occurring in armed conflict. Get involved in the discussion following the recent Red Cross event on sexual violence in armed conflict by exploring quotes and ideas on Twitter at #SGBVandconflict, watching the recording of the panel discussion, and reading some highlights from the recent even.

Learning the Rules of War from Video Games. Take a look at the interesting overlap of pop culture, gamers, and international humanitarian law, by learning how the Red Cross is using video games as a teaching tool and working with video game developers to create scenarios that reflect important principles of international humanitarian law.

*Inclusion in our “Weekly IHL Update” does not mean that the American Red Cross endorses or agrees with the views and opinions expressed.*

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