Aleppo Airstrikes

It does not take much political imagination to get to the point where the situation in Syria, particularly the battle for Aleppo, should invoke the principle of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). When a government turns on its own people -- in this case, largely civilians -- it has lost the right to rule, and foreign intervention becomes a legitimate alternative.

It could be argued that R2P has been the legitimate alternative in the case in Syria for some years. However, R2P requires UN Security Council (UNSC) authorisation, which in turn requires its permanent five (P5) members not to veto such a move.