Eyitayo Adewumi (PhD), Moboluwarin E. Ajetomobi


The establishment of United Nations is to promote peace, security and development in the international space. The United Nations made use of principles to resolve crisis, war and threats to the international community through international laws. This study explored the humanitarian and military interventions of the UN as a panacea to the Syrian crisis. The study adopted qualitative research method in order to assess the extent to which the humanitarian and military interventions by the United Nations could be a solution to the Syrian conflict. Data for the study was sourced mainly from secondary sources such as desk top study, published books, internet sources, journals, international organisations documentaries, published reports and databases.  The theoretical framework adopted for the research was the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) theory. The study found out that the initial peaceful protest movement against an oppressive regime in Syria had evolved to a complicated multi-layered war, which had further degenerated into a protracted Syrian crisis with no end in sight. The study further found out that the numerous initiatives of the United Nations in attempts to resolve the Syrian crisis only resulted in temporary ceasefire that could not be said to be altogether successful due to the counter aggression of the rebels. The study also established that the Humanitarian intervention which was one of the United Nations attempts in Syria to an extent was more successful due to the assistance it was able to give to the citizens through provision of food, shelter and medical personnel and relief. It was discovered that the military intervention on the other hand, further fuelled the crisis because of its means of force, as such, this did not yield the expected result of resolving the Syrian crisis, but rather it fuelled it.  In the foregoing, the study concluded that the Syrian conflict took a totally different turn from its initial focus at inception due to the poor management of the conflict, and the resultant increase of casualties due to the military intervention. Therefore, the study recommended among other things, that the UNSC should prioritize what is important, which is international security rather than their self-interest. Member States of the United Nations should adhere to international customary law, international humanitarian law and international human right law in order to broker lasting peace in Syria. 


United Nations, Crisis, Humanitarian Intervention, Military Intervention, Syria.

Full Text:



Abdenur, A. E., & Sochaczewski, M. (2016). Brazil in the field of humanitarian aid: mapping out its role in the Syrian conflict. Humanitarian Crises, Cooperation and the Role of Brazil, 67-101.

Aboualfa, S. (2016). Foreign intervention in the Syrian Civil War under the scope of International Law. Accessed from intervention-in-the-syrian-civil-war-under-the-scope-of-international-law-b076d4f504 on 08/04/2021.

Allison, R. (2013). Russia and Syria: Explaining Alignment with a Regime in Crisis. International Affairs, 89(4), 795–823. doi:10.1111/1468-2346.12046.

Averre, D., & Davies, L. (2015). Russia, humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect: the case of Syria. International Affairs, 91(4), 813-834.

Barrow, A. (2012). Summary of UN Effort In Syria. Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Accessed from efforts-syria on 08/04/2021

BBC News. (2021). Why has the Syrian War Lasted 10 Years? Accessed from on 08/04/2021.

Berti, B. (2015). The Syrian refugee crisis: Regional and human security implications. Strategic Assessment 17(5), 41–53.

Bunche, R. (2021). Syria: Global Centre for the Responaibility to Protect. Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies. New York. Available at:,crimes%20and%20crimes%20against%20humanity. [Accessed on 15/04/2021]

Charap, S., Treyger, E., & Geist E. (2019). Understanding Russia's Intervention in Syria. CA: Rand Corporation.

Cuncliffe, P. (2011) (eds). Critical Perspectives on the Responsibility to Protect: Interrogating Theory and Practice. Routledge: New York.

El Taraboulsi-McCarthy, S., Metcalfe-Hough, V., & Willitts-King, B. (2016). Foreign policy and humanitarian action: An agenda for inquiry [HPG Working Paper]. Overseas Development Institute

Evans, G. (2013). The Responsibility to Protect: Theory and Practice. China Institute of International Studies (CIIS). Conference on Responsible Protection: Building a Safer World, Beijing, 17

Evans, G. & Sahnoun, M. (2002) “The Responsibility to Protect.” Foreign Affairs 81.6, p.102 International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, (2001) The Responsibility to Protect.

Jafarova, E. (2014). Conflict resolution in South Caucasus: Challenges to international efforts. Lexington Books.

Karim, S. (2017). Syrian crisis: Geopolitics and implications. BIISS Journal, 37, 107–132

Moslemi, B., & Babaeimehr, A. (2016). Principle of Sovereign Equality of States in the Light of the Doctrine of Responsibility to Protect. International Journal of Humanities and Cultural Studies (IJHCS) ISSN 2356-5926, 1(1), 687-697.

Ogunnowo O.E & Chigozie F. (2020). International Law and Humanitarian Intervention in the Syrian Civil War: The Role of the United States. Sage Journal, 10(2).

Pierini, M. (2016). In search of an EU role in the Syrian war. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Rumki, B. (2004). The United Nations: Structure & Functions of an International Organisation. Sterling Publishers Private Limited. 4th Ed. ISBN 8120727754, 9788120727755.

Scanlon, H. Eziakonwa, A & Myburgh, E. (2007). AFRICA’S RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT. The “Responsibility to Protect” Centre for Conflict Resolution.

Seeberg, P. (2015). The EU and the Syrian Crisis: The Use of Sanctions and the Regime's Strategy for Survival. Mediterranean Politics, 20(1), 18-35.

Tyyskä, V., Blower, J., DeBoer, S., Kawai, S., & Walcott, A. (2017). Syrian Refugee crisis in Canadian media. Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement.

Wolff, S. (2014).Military Intervention in Syria: the worst or just one among many bad options? University of Birmingham. military-wolff.aspx


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2021 Eyitayo Adewumi (PhD), Moboluwarin E. Ajetomobi

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.










 ISSN (Print):   2695-2319

ISSN (Online): 2695-2327





Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.