Practice Relating to Rule 15. The Principle of Precautions in Attack
Section A. Constant care to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
(8) … [T]he commander assigned to the mission must take the precautions required to ensure respect for international humanitarian law.
(9) Before taking a final decision, the commander must assess the options resulting from his analysis.
He must then assess the following factors:
(a) obstacles to the mission;
(b) precautions required under international humanitarian law;
(c) the estimated cost of the planned operation (for example, expected casualties among his own troops and civilian casualties and material damage in relation to the military advantage that can be expected to be gained).
The commander takes a decision based on his final assessment of these factors and then chooses the solution that poses the least danger to civilians and civilian property (for example, more movement and manoeuvring and less fire, action that involves less risk for the civilian environment) and is in compliance with international humanitarian law.
The manual further states: “An attacking commander must do everything in his power to protect civilians.”
The manual also states: “In general, in the conduct of military operations, constant care must be taken to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects.”
The manual also provides:
(12) When the tactical situation permits, commanders should provide the civilian authorities with information on the likely course of military operations and the risks they could pose for the civilian population and civilian property.
(13) Such information often includes recommendations for specific action and/or behaviour (for example, recommendations to take shelter or stay away from specific areas or routes used by the armed forces).