Chemical Weapons Violations in Syria's Civil War: an International Law Perspective

  • Yordan Gunawan Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta and Facultat de Dret, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain
  • Mhd. Ervizal Rizqy Pane Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta
  • Muhammad Reza Athallah Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta
Keywords: Chemical Weapon, International Law, Syria Civil War


The use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war is a grave violation of international law, as it violates the prohibition on using chemical weapons under customary international law. The war has erupted since Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad responded violently to the peaceful opposition toward the regime. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has confirmed two occasions of using chemical weapons in Syria in 2015 and 2016. However, until recently, there were no necessary measures to protect civilians in Syria from using chemical weapons and prevent any future use of Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons. The study aims to analyze the use of chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war, the violation of the CWC in the Syrian civil war, and the legal protection of Syrian civilians. The study used a normative legal research methodology. The data sources in the study were secondary data obtained from the statutory, analytical, legal, conceptual, and fact approaches. The study's result showed that the Syrian government violated the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 (CWC) and should respond with the action, categorized as an infringement of the international legal norm.


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Author Biographies

Yordan Gunawan, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta and Facultat de Dret, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain

Yordan Gunawan is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Law. He received Bachelor’s degree from the Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta and continued his study at the National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan, Republic of China. Yordan also finished his study at the Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, Switzerland where he got a certificate in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law.

He is currently a PhD Researcher at the Department of International Law and International Relations, Faculty of Law, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain.

His research fields are Public International Law, International Disputes Settlement, Law of International Organization, and International Environmental Law.

Yordan also serves as a Chairman of the Association of International Offices of Muhammadiyah Higher Education Institution (ASKUI PTMA) where he leads more than 90 International Offices in Indonesia, following his previous two terms position as a Director of International Relations Office in the University. Yordan can be reached at

Mhd. Ervizal Rizqy Pane, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta

Mhd. Ervizal Rizqy Pane is a student of the International Program for Law and Sharia (IPOLS), Faculty of Law Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta. He can be contacted at

Muhammad Reza Athallah, Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta

Muhammad Reza Athallah is a student of the International Program of Law and Sharia IPOLS, Faculty of Law Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta. He can be contacted at


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How to Cite
Gunawan, Y., Pane, M. E. R., & Athallah, M. R. (2023). Chemical Weapons Violations in Syria’s Civil War: an International Law Perspective. Amnesti Jurnal Hukum, 5(1), 1-14.