Practice Relating to Rule 7. The Principle of Distinction between Civilian Objects and Military Objectives

Additional Protocol I
Article 48 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides: “In order to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between … civilian objects and military objectives”. 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 48. Article 48 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 161.
Additional Protocol II (draft)
Article 24(1) of the draft Additional Protocol II submitted by the ICRC to the CDDH provided: “In order to ensure respect for the civilian population, the Parties to the conflict … shall make a distinction … between civilian objects and military objectives”. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. I, Part Three, Draft Additional Protocols, June 1973, p. 40.
This proposal was amended and adopted by consensus in Committee III of the CDDH. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/215/Rev.1, 3 February–18 April 1975, p. 288, § 113.
The approved text provided: “In order to ensure respect and protection for … civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish … between civilian objects and military objectives”. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/215/Rev.1, 3 February–18 April 1975, p. 319.
Eventually, however, the provision was deleted in the plenary because it failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority (36 in favour, 19 against and 36 abstentions). 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.52, 6 June 1977, p. 135.
Convention on Cluster Munitions
According to the preamble to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, States Parties based their agreement on prohibition of the use, development, production, stockpiling, retention or transfer of cluster munitions on various principles of IHL, including “the rules that the parties to a conflict shall at all times distinguish … between civilian objects and military objectives”. 
Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), Dublin, 30 May 2008, preamble, § 20.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 6 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Article 48 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 6.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 2.5 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Article 48 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 2.5.
San Remo Manual
Paragraph 39 of the 1994 San Remo Manual provides: “Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between … civilian or exempt objects and military objectives”. 
Louise Doswald-Beck (ed.), San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994, Prepared by international lawyers and naval experts convened by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995, § 39.
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 5.1 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin states: “The United Nations force shall make a clear distinction at all times … between civilian objects and military objectives”. 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 5.1.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) provides:
In any armed conflict, the right of the Parties to the conflict to choose methods or means of warfare is not unlimited. Therefore, it is prohibited to employ weapons, projectiles and material and methods of warfare of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering and, besides, in order to guarantee the protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 4.01 (general principles).
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides:
210. Although not a basic principle, distinction is said to be a related principle and seeks to ensure that only legitimate military objects are attacked. Distinction has two components. The first, relating to personnel, seeks to maintain the distinction between combatants and non-combatants or civilian and military personnel. The second component distinguishes between legitimate military targets and civilian objects.
504. The law of armed conflict establishes a requirement to distinguish between combatants and civilians, and between military objectives and civilian objects. This requirement imposes obligations on all parties to a conflict to establish and maintain the distinction. …
913. The basic rule in respect of civilians which flows from this is that a distinction must be made between the civilian population and combatants, and between civilian objects and military objectives, in order that military operations will only be directed against military objectives. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, §§ 210, 504 and 913.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
2.11 Although not a basic principle, distinction is said to be a related principle and seeks to ensure that only legitimate military objects are attacked. Distinction has two components. The first, relating to personnel, seeks to maintain the distinction between combatants and non-combatants or civilian and military personnel. The second component distinguishes between legitimate military targets and civilian objects. Military operations must only be conducted against military objectives, including combatants. Non-combatants and civilian objects are protected from attack, that is, they are not legitimate objects of attack. LOAC therefore requires that belligerents maintain the clear distinction between armed forces and civilians taking no direct part in hostilities; that is, between combatants and non-combatants, and between objects that might legitimately be attacked and those protected from attack.
5.4. The LOAC establishes a requirement to distinguish between combatants and civilians, and between military objectives and civilian objects. This requirement imposes obligations on all parties to a conflict to establish and maintain the distinction …
9.13. … a distinction must be made between the civilian population and combatants, and between civilian objects and military objectives, in order that military operations will only be directed against military objectives. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 2.11, 5.4 and 9.13.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) provides: “A distinction must be made between military objectives and civilian objects.” 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 26.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) provides: “At all times, a distinction must be made between … military objectives and civilian objects”. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule III, p. 11.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “The parties to an [armed] conflict must in all circumstances distinguish between … military objectives and civilian objects.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 50; see also pp. 2, 15, 31, 35, 40, 52, 63, 80, 82, 85, 92 and 103.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) provides: “At all times, a clear distinction must be made between combatants, personnel military objectives and civilian objects.” 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 86.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006), under the heading “Command Responsibility”, states: “In all circumstances, a distinction must be made between … military objectives … and civilian objects (civilian objects being defined as all objects that are not military objectives) in order to avoid collateral damage.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 219, § 531.
The manual further states:
It must be emphasized that [a responsibility of] command regarding the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law is to:
- respect the principle of discrimination; that is to say, to make a distinction between … military objectives and civilian objects as well as protected objects (medical installations, cultural objects, …). 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 175, § 481.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides in its chapter on the basic principles of the law of armed conflict:
The principle of distinction imposes an obligation on commanders to distinguish between legitimate targets and civilian objects and the civilian population. It is of primary importance when selecting targets. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 2-2, § 12.
In its chapter on targeting, the Manual further provides:
To ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, commanders shall at all times distinguish between … civilian objects and military objectives. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-1, § 4.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states:
1. Distinction. The principle of distinction imposes an obligation on commanders to distinguish between legitimate targets and civilian objects and the civilian population. It is of primary importance when selecting targets.
2. This obligation is, of course, dependent on the quality of the information available to commanders at the time decisions are made. Commanders must make reasonable, good faith efforts to gather intelligence and to review the intelligence available to them. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 204.1–2.
In its chapter on targeting, the manual states:
403. Distinction principle
1. To ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, commanders shall at all times distinguish between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives.
411. Protection of civilians and civilian objects
1. The protection of civilians and civilian objects is a fundamental principle of the LOAC. Parties to a conflict have a duty to distinguish between civilians and combatants as well as between civilian objects and military objectives. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, §§ 403 and 411.
Canada
Canada’s Use of Force Manual (2008) states:
112. Principles and rules governing the use of force that directly relates to the conduct of an armed conflict
1 Distinction. As a general rule civilians and civilian objects shall not be the object of attack (acts of violence against the adversary, whether in offence or defence). Targets shall be limited strictly to military objectives. 
Canada, Use of Force for CF Operations, Canadian Forces Joint Publication, Chief of the Defence Staff, B-GJ-005-501/FP-001, August 2008, § 112.1.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 3 (Instruction for non-commissioned officers studying for the level 1 and 2 certificates and for future officers of the criminal police) that “a distinction must be made at all times between: … military objectives and civilian objects.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section 1.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states that “a distinction must be made between … civilian property on the one hand and …. military objectives on the other”. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 87; see also pp. 16 and 56.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
The Law of War is based on three fundamental principles:
- The principle of distinction;
- The principle of limitation;
- The principle of proportionality.
NB: For the soldier, the principle of distinction is the most important. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 14–16.
In Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides:
II. The fundamental principles of IHL
Just as military operations are based on principles concerning attack, defence, withdrawal, etc., the law of armed conflicts contains a set of well-defined principles. These concrete principles reflect the realities of conflicts. They represent a balance between the principle of humanity and military necessity, and they are valid at all times, in all places, and in all circumstances. It is essential that these rules are known by all combatants. They must permanently be taken into consideration in every activity of assessment, planning, and military training or operation. The following principles can be found throughout the texts of the law of armed conflicts.
II.1. Distinction
At all times, a distinction must be clearly made between combatants and civilians or the civilian population as such …
In the same way, one must always distinguish between military objectives, which can be attacked, and civilian objects, which must be respected. The term “object” covers all types of objects, be they public or private, fixed or mobile. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 12; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 13 and Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 13 and 65.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides:
Chapter 2. Combatants and objectives
In order to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, military leaders must at all times distinguish between civilian populations and combatants, and between civilian objects and military objectives. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 17.
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) instructs soldiers:
Always make a difference between:
a) Combatants and civilians
b) Military targets and civilians. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 37.
Djibouti
Djibouti’s Manual on International Humanitarian Law (2004) states that IHL “has several principles [one of which is] … distinction: the obligation to always distinguish between … military objectives and civilian objects”. 
Djibouti, Manuel sur le droit international humanitaire et les droits de l’homme applicables au travail du policier, Ministère de l’Intérieur, Direction Générale de la Police, 2004, p. 11.
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) provides: “The civilian population and civilian objects must be preserved and distinguished in every circumstance from combatants and military objectives.” 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, Part I, Preamble.
France
France’s LOAC Teaching Note (2000) provides: “The actions of both the commander and the combatant must be guided by the respect of the fundamental principles of … distinction between military objectives and civilian objects, regarding the nature of the target.” 
France, Fiche didactique relative au droit des conflits armés, Directive of the Ministry of Defence, 4 January 2000, annexed to the Directive No. 147 of the Ministry of Defence of 4 January 2000, p. 2.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) provides:
The principle of discrimination, also known as the principle of precaution, requires belligerents to distinguish military objectives that may be attacked, from civilian objects and populations that must not be the object of any wilful voluntary attack. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 13.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “It is particularly prohibited to employ means or methods which are intended or of a nature … to injure military objectives, civilians, or civilian objects without distinction.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 401; see also § 454.
Guinea
Guinea’s Soldier’s Manual (2010), under the heading “Principles of the law of war”, states:
The law of [w]ar rests on three fundamental principles:
1. Principle of distinction
Principle of distinction defines:
- … what can be attacked;
- … what cannot be attacked.
NB: For a soldier, the principle of distinction is the most important one. 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 2.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) instructs soldiers to always make a distinction between military objectives and civilian objects. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 60.
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Military Manual (1982) provides: “The targets of every military operation should be distinguished at all times.” 
Indonesia, The Basics of International Humanitarian Law, Legal Division of the Indonesian Armed Forces, 1982, § 91.
Israel
Israel’s Law of War Booklet (1986) requires that a distinction be made between military objectives and civilian objects. 
Israel, Conduct in the Battlefield in Accordance with the Law of War, Israel Defense Forces, 1986, Chapter 1.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Laws of War (1998) provides:
The attacking party is bound by duty to distinguish between military objectives and civilian objects, and must take into account the presence of civilian objects when planning an attack.
The laws of war sets down several distinctions mentioned earlier. The most important of them is the distinction between military targets and civilian objects. 
Israel, Laws of War in the Battlefield, Manual, Military Advocate General Headquarters, Military School, 1998, pp. 38 and 42.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “One of the fundamental features of the rules of war is the distinction between military targets which it is permissible to attack and civilian targets which it is forbidden to attack.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 23.
The manual further states:
It is the duty of the attacker to distinguish between military targets and civilian targets, and the attacker should take into account the presence of civilian targets when planning the attack. No area in which military targets are combined with civilian targets may be considered as merely another target. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 27.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides: “The parties to the conflict must at all times make a distinction between the civilian population and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. V-1, § 2.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands lists “distinction between civilian and military” as one of five “generally accepted principles of the humanitarian law of war”. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, §§ 0221 and 0223; see also § 1028.
The manual further states that “military action must take account of the distinction between combatants and military aims on the one hand, and civilians and civilian property on the other”. 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0225.
In its chapter on methods and means of warfare, the manual states: “The parties to a conflict should … always discriminate between the civilian population and civilian property on the one hand, and combatants and military targets on the other.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0403.
In its chapter on behaviour in battle, the manual provides: “The parties to a conflict should always distinguish between the civilian population and combatants, and between civilian objects and military targets.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0504.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “A distinction should also be made between military objectives and civilian objects.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1029.
In its chapter on peace operations, the manual states: “Central to the humanitarian law of war is the distinction that must be drawn between civilian objects and military objectives.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1222.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides:
The principle of distinction, also sometimes called the principle of identification, imposes an obligation on commanders to distinguish between legitimate military objectives and civilian objects and the civilian population when conducting military operations, particularly when selecting targets. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 205.
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “For both the conduct of operations and behaviour in action, the main aim for all commanders and individual combatants is to distinguish combatants and military objectives from civilian persons and objects at all times.” 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 41, § 9.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “A distinction must be made at all times between … military objectives and civilian property.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 27.a.(2).(b); see also § 111.b.
The manual further states:
Commanders must take all necessary measures and ensure that their subordinates distinguish between … objects that are considered military objectives and those that are not, both in the conduct of operations and in their behaviour during engagements. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 24.c.(1).
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “A distinction must be made at all times between … military objectives and civilian objects.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 28(a)(2)(b), p. 237; see also § 19, p. 224, and § 61, p. 264.
The manual also states: “The general principles on the means of combat and their utilization are based on the fundamental distinction between … military objectives on the one hand and … civilian objects on the other.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 1, p. 360.
The manual further states: “Commanders must take all necessary measures and ensure that their subordinates distinguish between … military objectives and objects that are not military objectives, both in the conduct of operations and in their behaviour during engagements.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 25(c)(1), p. 228.
Philippines
The Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law (2006) provides:
During an engagement:
1. Know how to distinguish a civilian object from a military objective. There are references that deal with the International Humanitarian Law and the Law Governing Armed Conflicts. Yet the best tool in distinguishing a civilian object from a military objective is your common sense, good judgment and conscience. 
Philippines, Philippine Army Soldier’s Handbook on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law, A Practical Guide for Internal Security Operations, 2006, p. 59, § 1.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
While getting military units ready for combat operations and controlling them during hostilities commanders shall be guided by the principles of international humanitarian law: the principles of legality, distinction, proportionality, humanity and military necessity.
The principle of distinction means making distinction, under any circumstances, between the civilian population and servicemen, as well as between civilian objects and military objectives, which helps ensure protection of civilian persons and objects during combat operations and concentrate the force’s effort against the enemy military objectives. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, § 17.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states:
The aim of the instruction of law of war within the armed forces is to ensure that, in fulfilling their mission, each and every member of them respects the fundamental rules of the law, which is based on the distinction that must be made at all times between military objectives and civilian persons and objects, and protects all civilians and persons not or no longer involved in combat actions, irrespective of the situation, place, time or any other circumstances. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 10; see also pp. 18-19 and 35.
The manual further states: “In every military operation a distinction must be made … between military objectives and civilian goods”. 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, pp. 18–19; see also p. 35.
(emphasis in original)
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “A fundamental element to be considered at all levels of planning, conduct and execution is the distinction between military objectives and non-military objectives.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 4.1.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states that “a fundamental principle that must be taken into account at all levels of the planning, command and execution of military operations is the need to distinguish between military objectives and … civilian objects”. 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 4.1; see also §§ 1.3.b and 4.2.b.
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) provides: “The parties shall always distinguish between … civilian property and military objectives.” 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.2.1.5, p. 41.
The manual considers that the principle of distinction as stated in Article 48 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I is part of customary international law. 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 2.2.3, p. 19.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: “To guarantee the protection of the civilian population and the maintenance of civilian objects, the parties to the conflict shall always distinguish between … civilian objects and military objectives.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Article 25(1).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
12 The four basic principles of the international law of armed conflict
158 …
- the principle of distinction;
12.1 The principle of distinction
159 Hostilities must be directed exclusively against combatants and military objectives. Respect for this rule is only possible if combatants and military objectives can be distinguished from protected persons and objects. 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, §§ 158–159. In the second sentence of § 159, the German language version notes: “Respect for this rule is only possible if combatants and military objectives can be distinguished or, respectively, are locally separated [“unterscheidbar bzw. örtlich getrennt”] from protected persons and objects.”
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) provides: “A distinction shall always be made between … military objectives and civilian objects.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule III, p. 11.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
Principle of distinction means that during preparation for and conduct of combat a clear distinction must be made between civilians and combatants [and] between civilian objects and military objectives with a view to ensuring protection of the civilian population and civilian objects from the consequences of hostilities and to concentrating the actions of forces exclusively against the enemy’s military objects. 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 2.1.7.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states: “Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between civilians or other protected persons and combatants and between civilian or exempt objects and military objectives.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 12.19; see also § 13.25 (maritime warfare).
With regard to internal armed conflict, the manual states:
15.9. Attacks are to be directed only against objects or areas which, at the time the attack is launched, are of tactical or strategic military importance.
15.9.1. There is no definition of military objectives or attacks in the treaty law dealing with non-international armed conflicts. Nevertheless, the definitions used in respect of international armed conflicts should be treated as applicable. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, §§ 15.9.– 15.9.1.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004), as amended in 2010, states:
Since military operations are to be conducted only against the enemy’s armed forces and military objectives, there must be a clear distinction … between objects that might legitimately be attacked and those that are protected from attack. The principle of distinction … separates legitimate targets, namely military objectives, from civilian objects. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, as amended by Amendment 3, Ministry of Defence, September 2010, §§ 2.5–2.5.1.
15.9. Attacks are to be directed only against objects or areas which, at the time the attack is launched, are of tactical or strategic military importance so as to amount to military objectives. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Joint Services Publication 383, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, as amended by Amendment 7, Ministry of Defence, May 2013, § 15.9.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) provides: “The requirement to distinguish between combatants and civilians, and between military objectives and civilian objects, imposes obligations on all the parties to the conflict to establish and maintain the distinctions.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 5-3(b).
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “The principle of distinction is concerned with distinguishing … military objects from civilian objects so as to minimize damage to … civilian objects.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 5.3.2.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
India
The Report on the Practice of India states that India’s laws and regulations applicable to internal conflicts do not explicitly mention the distinction between civilian objects and military objectives. The report indicates, however, that domestic legislation concerning terrorist activities confer certain powers on armed forces as well as police personnel which enable them to destroy arms dumps, prepared or fortified positions or shelters from which attacks are made, as well as structures used as training camps for armed volunteers or utilized as hide-outs by armed gangs or absconders, etc. 
Report on the Practice of India, 1997, Chapter 1.3, referring to Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958, Armed Forces (Punjab and Chandigarh) Special Powers Act, 1983, Section 4(b), Punjab Disturbed Areas Act, 1983, Section 5 and Armed Forces (Jammu and Kashmir) Special Powers Act, 1990.
Ireland
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 48, is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the two additional protocols to [the 1949 Geneva] Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(b).
Peru
Peru’s Decree on the Use of Force by the Armed Forces (2010) states: “A distinction must be made between military objectives and objects which are not military objectives.” 
Peru, Decree on the Use of Force by the Armed Forces, 2010, Article 7(b).
Spain
Spain’s Royal Ordinances for the Armed Forces (2009) states: “In the conduct of any operation, [members of the armed forces] must take into account the principle of distinction … between civilian objects and military objectives in order to protect the civilian population.” 
Spain, Royal Ordinances for the Armed Forces, 2009, Article 111.
Colombia
In 2006, in the Constitutional Case No. T-165/06, the First Appeals Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
[W]ith regard to the conduct of hostilities, it is important to note that IHL is ruled by fundamental principles, such as the principles of distinction, limitation and proportionality. Indeed, … the principle of distinction imposes on weapon bearers the obligation to distinguish in their military actions … between military objectives and civilian objects. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. T-165/06, Judgment of 7 March 2006, pp. 7–8.
Colombia
In 2007, in the Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
[T]he essential principles of international humanitarian law have acquired ius cogens status, based on the fact that the international community as a whole has recognised their peremptory and imperative nature … Among the essential principles of international humanitarian law with ius cogens status applicable in internal armed conflicts … [is] … the principle of distinction. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, p. 76.
The Court further held:
The principle of distinction, one of the cornerstones of international humanitarian law, flows directly from the obligation to protect the civilian population from the effects of war as in times of armed conflict it is only acceptable to weaken the enemy’s military potential. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, p. 76.
(footnote in original omitted)
The Court also held:
The general duty to distinguish between civilians and combatants is an essential duty binding the parties to any non-international armed conflict to differentiate at all times between civilians and combatants in order to protect civilians and their property. Indeed, parties to a conflict are bound to make every effort to distinguish between military objectives and … civilian property. This rule is found in international treaties applicable in internal armed conflicts and is binding on Colombia. It forms part of customary international humanitarian law and has attained ius cogens status. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, p. 78.
[footnote in original omitted]
The Court further held that a “specific sub-rule of the principle of distinction is the obligation binding parties to a conflict to take every feasible step to distinguish between military objectives and civilian objects”. 
Colombia, Constitutional Court, Constitutional Case No. C-291/07, Judgment of 25 April 2007, p. 94.
(footnote in original omitted)
Israel
In its judgment in the Public Committee against Torture in Israel case in 2006, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated:
Opposite the combatants and military objectives stand the civilians and civilian objectives. Military attack directed at them is forbidden. Their lives and bodies are protected from the dangers of combat, provided that they themselves do not take a direct part in the combat. That customary principle is worded as follows:
“Rule 1: The parties to the conflict must at all times distinguish between civilians and combatants. Attacks may only be directed against combatants. Attacks must not be directed against civilians.
Rule 6: Civilians are protected against attack unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities.
Rule 7: The parties to the conflict must at all times distinguish between civilian objects and military objectives. Attacks may only be directed against military objectives. Attacks must not be directed against civilian objects.” (J.M. HENCKAERTS & L. DOSWALD-BECK, CUSTOMARY INTERNATIONAL LAW pp. 3, 19, 25 (Vol. 1, 2005), hereinafter HENCKAERTS & DOSWALD-BECK).
This approach – which protects the lives, bodies, and property of civilians who are not taking a direct part in the armed conflict – passes like a thread throughout the caselaw of the Supreme Court. 
Israel, High Court of Justice, Public Committee against Torture in Israel case, Judgment, 14 December 2006, § 23.
Israel
In its judgment in Physicians for Human Rights v. Prime Minister of Israel in 2009, concerning the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip consequent to the start of Israeli military operations (“Cast Lead”) there in December 2008, Israel’s High Court of Justice stated: “One of the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law is the principle that distinguishes combatants and military targets from civilians and civilian targets, and grants protection to the latter.” 
Israel, High Court of Justice, Physicians for Human Rights v. Prime Minister of Israel, Judgment, 19 January 2009, § 21.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Report on the Practice of Bosnia and Herzegovina provides several examples of alleged respect for and violations of the distinction between civilian and military targets. 
Report on the Practice of Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2000, Chapter 1.3.
Botswana
The Report on the Practice of Botswana asserts that the Government of Botswana endorses the principle of distinction as found in Article 48 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Report on the Practice of Botswana, 1998, Answers to additional questions on Chapter 1.3.
Denmark
In 2008, in a joint cost benefit analysis of a possible introduction of a national moratorium on all cluster munitions, Denmark’s Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
[The] provisions, which are outlined below, are generally recognized as being an expression of customary international law. …
The purpose of international humanitarian law is to protect the victims of war as much as possible. The central provision in this regard is API [1977 Additional Protocol] Article 48, which states that: “Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between […] civilian objects and military objectives …”. 
Denmark, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, A Cost Benefit Analysis of a Possible Introduction of a National Danish Moratorium on All Cluster Munitions, 1 April 2008, p. 15.
Djibouti
In 2010, in the History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Higher Education stated: “The [Additional] Protocols of 1977 have reaffirmed and spelled out in detail … [the principle] of distinction: ‘(…) [P]arties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish … between civilian objects and military objectives … (art. 48, Protocol I; see also art. 13, Protocol II).ˮ 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, 2010, p. 188.
The ministry also stated: “When parties to the armed conflict plan or launch an attack, they have to distinguish … between civilian objects and military objectives. – According to article 48 of [1977] Additional Protocol I of the Geneva Conventions.ˮ  
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, 2010, p. 203.
Egypt
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Egypt invoked the requirement to “distinguish between … civilian objects and military objectives”. 
Egypt, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 20 June 1995, § 17.
Egypt
The Report on the Practice of Egypt states that Egypt recognizes the obligation to distinguish between civilian objects and military objectives. It further notes that the principle of distinction between civilian objects and military objectives is said to be well established in Egypt’s practice and opinio juris and is thus considered to be a customary rule of IHL. 
Report on the Practice of Egypt, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
France
The instructions given to the French armed forces for the conduct of Opération Mistral (1995), simulating a military operation under the right of self-defence or a mandate of the UN Security Council, state: “All parties must at all times make a distinction between the civilian population and military objectives in order to spare the civilian population.” 
France, Etat-major de la Force d’Action Rapide, Ordres pour l’Opération Mistral, 1995, Section 6, § 66.
France
In 2008, the Minister of Defence of France stated:
[France] is a party to the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which defines the major fundamental principles of protection of the civilian population against the effects of hostilities, in particular the prohibition of superfluous injury and the principle of discrimination … France considers this document to be a fundamental pillar of international humanitarian law and wishes it to become universal as soon as possible, in order to allow for the requirements of humanity during armed conflicts to be better respected. 
France, Response from the Minister of Defence to parliamentary written question No. 20626, Journal officiel de la République française, 6 May 2008, p. 3812.
[D]uring hostilities in Gaza last summer, civilians, including children, bore the brunt of the suffering … hospitals and schools were severely damaged or destroyed, including UN facilities. …
These facts … are utterly disturbing and raise serious concern about the observance of the rules of international humanitarian law, including the [principle] of distinction … and respect for international human rights law. 
Finland, Statement by the permanent representative of Sweden at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict made on behalf of Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, 18 June 2015.
France
In 2009, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of France stated:
[O]ne of the essential principles of international humanitarian law is that a distinction must be made at all times and in all circumstances between … military targets and civilian targets, the latter to be protected. There are few conflicts in which that principle is fully respected. 
France, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, “The Savaging of Humanitarian Law”, New York Times, 28 January 2009, p. 1.
Germany
In 1983, in a statement before the Lower House of Parliament, a German Minister of State pointed out that the principle of distinction between civilian objects and military objectives was one of the five basic principles of the law of armed conflict and that it applied equally to the attacker and the attacked. 
Germany, Lower House of Parliament, Statement by Dr Mertes, Minister of State, 14 October 1983, Plenarprotokoll 10/29, p. 1927.
Germany
In an explanatory memorandum submitted to the German Parliament in 1990 in the context of the ratification procedure of the 1977 Additional Protocols, the German Government expressed the opinion that the principle of distinction between civilian objects and military targets enshrined in Article 48 of Additional Protocol I was a well-established rule of customary law, binding on all States. 
Germany, Lower House of Parliament, Explanatory memorandum on the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, BT-Drucksache 11/6770, 22 March 1990, p. 111.
India
The Report on the Practice of India states: “When [the armed forces] are called upon to deal with an internal conflict, they are bound to follow the principles regarding distinction between military objects and civilian objects so as to avoid indiscriminate attacks.” 
Report on the Practice of India, 1997, Chapter 1.4.
Indonesia
The Report on the Practice of Indonesia states: “According to the practices of the Indonesian armed forces, the distinction between civilian and military objects is compatible with the provisions stipulated in Article 52 of Protocol I.” 
Report on the Practice of Indonesia, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Islamic Republic of Iran
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, the Islamic Republic of Iran stated: “Some of the principles of humanitarian international law from which one can deduce the illegitimacy of the use of nuclear weapons are: … Distinguishing between military and civilian targets.” 
Islamic Republic of Iran, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 19 June 1995, p. 2; see also Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons (WHO) case, undated, p. 1.
Islamic Republic of Iran
The Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran states: “The opinio juris of Iran recognises the distinction between military objectives and civilian objects.” 
Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Israel
In 2008, in a background paper on Israel’s operations in Gaza, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “As regards the selection of targets, IDF [Israel Defence Forces] practice requires that a distinction be made between military objectives and civilian objects.” 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Background paper, Responding to Hamas Attacks from Gaza: Issues of Proportionality, December 2008, § 4.
Israel
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
The first core principle of the Law of Armed Conflict, as reflected both in treaty law and in customary international law, is that “the Parties to the conflict shall at all times distinguish between … civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly shall direct their operations only against military objectives.” The principle imposes obligations on both parties to an armed conflict. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 94.
In a footnote to paragraph 94, above, it further stated that this principle is contained in:
[1977] Additional Protocol I, art. 48. Although the State of Israel is not a party to the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions, it accepts that this provision, as with certain others addressing the principles of distinction and proportionality, accurately reflects customary international law. See Public Committee against Torture in Israel v. Government of Israel, HCJ 769/02 at § 20 (11 December 2005).
The report also stated:
[A] commander’s intent is critical in reviewing the principle of distinction during armed conflict. Where it is believed in good faith, on the basis of the best available intelligence, that a civilian building has been misused as a sanctuary for military fighters, military intelligence, or the storage and manufacture of military assets, the commander has a legitimate basis for using force against the site. This is so even where judgment is based on limited information in a fluid battlefield situation. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 110.
[emphasis in original]
The report further stated: “The principle of distinction imposes obligations on the conduct of all parties, including those controlling the territory where the hostilities take place.” 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 116.
Japan
In its oral pleadings before the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Japan stated: “With their colossal power and capacity for slaughter and destruction, nuclear weapons make no distinction … between military installations and civilian communities”. 
Japan, Oral pleadings before the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 7 November 1995, Verbatim Record CR 95/27, p. 36.
Kuwait
The Report on the Practice of Kuwait asserts that the Iraqi army did not respect the principle of distinction between civilian objects and military targets during its withdrawal from Kuwait. 
Report on the Practice of Kuwait, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Malaysia
In 2010, during the consideration of the Status of the 1977 Additional Protocols by the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, a statement of the delegation of Malaysia was summarized by the Committee in its records as follows:
8. [The delegate of Malaysia] said that …
10. … [t]he laws of naval warfare incorporated the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, including necessity and proportionality …
11. [In the case of the attacks by the Israel Defense Forces on the Mavi Marmara and five accompanying vessels in May 2010] … [n]aval forces were … under an obligation to distinguish … between civilian and military objectives. 
Malaysia, Statement by the delegation of Malaysia before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflict, 18 October 2010, as published in the summary record of the 13th meeting, 8 December 2010, UN Doc. A/C.6/65/SR.13, §§ 8, 10 and 11.
Nigeria
According to the Report on the Practice of Nigeria, it is Nigeria’s opinio juris that the distinction between civilian objects and military objectives is part of customary international law. 
Report on the Practice of Nigeria, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Norway
In 2009, in a statement at the Second Review Conference of the Ottawa Convention on Anti-Personnel Mines, Norway’s Minister of Foreign Affairs stated: “The principle of distinction is a cornerstone of all international humanitarian law instruments.” 
Norway, Statement by the Minister of Foreign Affairs at the Second Review Conference of the Ottawa Convention on Anti-Personnel Mines, Cartagena, Colombia, 3 December 2009.
[D]uring hostilities in Gaza last summer, civilians, including children, bore the brunt of the suffering … hospitals and schools were severely damaged or destroyed, including UN facilities. …
These facts … are utterly disturbing and raise serious concern about the observance of the rules of international humanitarian law, including the [principle] of distinction … and respect for international human rights law. 
Norway, Statement by the permanent representative of Sweden at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict made on behalf of Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, 18 June 2015.
Pakistan
The Report on the Practice of Pakistan states that the distinction between civilian objects and military objectives seems to be well respected in Pakistan. 
Report on the Practice of Pakistan, 1998, Chapter 1.3.
Republic of Korea
According to the Report on the Practice of the Republic of Korea, it is the Republic of Korea’s opinio juris that the distinction between civilian objects and military objectives is part of customary international law. 
Report on the Practice of the Republic of Korea, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Somalia
In 2011, in its comments on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Council concerning Somalia’s report, Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government stated: “The Government is committed to … taking all necessary measures to … ensure compliance with IHL including the core principles of distinction … between military objectives and civilian objects”. 
Somalia, Comments by the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia on the concluding observations of the Human Rights Council concerning the report of Somalia, submitted 21 September 2011, § 98.73.
Spain
The Report on the Practice of Spain considers that the principle of distinction between military and non-military objectives is a fundamental principle which should be taken into consideration when planning, directing and executing a military attack. 
Report on the Practice of Spain, 1998, Chapter 1.3.
Spain
In 2010, in its report to the UN General Assembly on the status of the 1977 Additional Protocols, Spain stated:
Article 85 entitled “Principle of Humanity”, contained in Title IV on Operations [of the Royal Ordinances for the Armed Forces (2009)] clearly embodies the spirit of the [1949] Geneva Convention and its [1977] Additional Protocols, as it provides that “[the] … conduct [of members of the armed forces] in any conflict or military operation must conform to the applicable rules of the international treaties on international humanitarian law to which Spain is a party”.
That is further developed in Chapter VI on Ethics in Operations, which goes into specific duties under international humanitarian law … the principle of the distinction … between civilian property and military targets. 
Spain, Report on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflict, 5 May 2010, Section 2.
Humanitarian law is based on a number of fundamental principles. They are apparent in current treaties and customary law and express the core of humanitarian law. They concern the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution, the prohibition on causing superfluous damage and unnecessary suffering and the principle of non-discrimination as well as the so called Martens Clause. 
Sweden, Government Bill 2013/14:146 on criminal liability for genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, 20 February 2014, p. 33.
[D]uring hostilities in Gaza last summer, civilians, including children, bore the brunt of the suffering … hospitals and schools were severely damaged or destroyed, including UN facilities. …
These facts … are utterly disturbing and raise serious concern about the observance of the rules of international humanitarian law, including the [principle] of distinction … and respect for international human rights law. 
Sweden, Statement by the permanent representative of Sweden at the UN Security Council Open Debate on Children and Armed Conflict made on behalf of Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, 18 June 2015.
Switzerland
In 2009, in its Strategy on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict 2009–2012, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs stated: “The fundamental principle of distinction between civilians and combatants and between civilian objects and military objectives is often challenged[,] with severe impact for the civilian populations.” 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, Strategy of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs 2009–2012, p. 3.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Civilian objects
International humanitarian law distinguishes between Civilian objects and Military objectives, prohibiting acts of violence against the former. … Civilian objects are all objects which are not military objectives.
Distinction
International humanitarian law protects the civilian population and prohibits attacks against Civilians and Civilian objects. One of its ground rules is the principle of distinction: the parties to a conflict are obliged to conduct military operations exclusively against Military objectives and must therefore always distinguish between Civilians and Combatants as well as between Civilian objects and Military objectives. …
Military objectives
International humanitarian law distinguishes between Civilian objects and military objectives. … Under international humanitarian law military personnel must at all times give full consideration to the nature of a potential target and opt exclusively for those that qualify as genuine military objectives. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, pp. 12, 17 and 30.
Switzerland
In 2012, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs issued a press release entitled “Appeal by the Swiss authorities for compliance with international humanitarian law in Syria”, which stated:
International humanitarian law is applicable to non-international armed conflict.
4. International humanitarian law is applicable in non-international armed conflicts. All parties to the conflict are therefore obliged to respect its rules in all circumstances, including the rules protecting persons who are [not] or are no [longer] participating in the hostilities, as well as the rules relative to the means and methods of warfare.
Appeal to respect international rules
7. [Switzerland] recalls that in the conduct of military operations, all feasible precautions must be taken with a view to avoid incidental loss of civilian life[,] injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects and collateral damage to civilian property. All parties are subject to the obligation to respect the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution.  
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, “Appeal by the Swiss authorities for compliance with international humanitarian law in Syria”, Press Release, 15 November 2012.
Switzerland
In 2013, in answer to an interpellation in Parliament regarding the use of drones, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
In armed conflicts, strikes carried out with armed drones must respect the rules of the conduct of hostilities as stipulated by international humanitarian law, including the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution, and must therefore not be directed against civilians or civilian objects. For each strike, it is thus necessary to verify that these principles were respected. 
Switzerland, Answer by the Federal Council to interpellation 13.3245 in Parliament regarding the use of drones, 29 May 2013.
Switzerland
In 2013, in a statement at the Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, the permanent representative of Switzerland stated:
The community of States cannot remain indifferent to the human suffering caused by armed conflicts. It was in direct response to this fundamental concern that the CCW [1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons] and its protocols were adopted, with a view to prohibiting or limiting the use of certain specific types of weapons known to inflict superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering, or to strike indiscriminately.
In this regard, Switzerland is deeply concerned by the alleged use of weapons in Syria falling within the ambit of the CCW and its respective protocols, such as the alleged use of anti-personnel mines as well as the alleged use of incendiary weapons in populated areas causing severe human suffering. We call upon all parties to the conflict to comply with their obligations under international law, in particular the principles of distinction, precaution, and proportionality. 
Switzerland, Statement by the permanent representative of Switzerland at the Meeting of the High Contracting Parties to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, 14 November 2013.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In reply to a question in the House of Lords concerning the Gulf War, the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State of the Ministry of Defence stated:
The Geneva Conventions contain no provisions expressly regulating targeting in armed conflict. The Hague Regulations of 1907 and customary international law do, however, incorporate the twin principles of distinction between military and civilian objects, and of proportionality so far as the risk of collateral civilian damage from an attack on a military objective is concerned. These principles and associated rules of international law were observed at all times by coalition forces in the planning and execution of attacks against Iraq. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, 22 July 1991, Hansard, Vol. 531, Written Answers, col. 43.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, the United Kingdom stated: “The parties to an armed conflict are required to discriminate between civilians and civilian objects on the one hand and combatants and military objectives on the other and to direct their attacks only against the latter.” 
United Kingdom, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 16 June 1995, § 3.67.
United States of America
In 1991, in response to an ICRC memorandum on the applicability of IHL in the Gulf region, the US Department of the Army pointed out: “The obligation of distinguishing combatants and military objectives from civilians and civilian objects is a shared responsibility of the attacker, defender, and the civilian population as such.” 
United States, Letter from the Department of the Army to the legal adviser of the US armed forces deployed in the Gulf region, 11 January 1991, § 8(E), Report on US Practice, 1997, Chapter 1.4.
United States of America
In 1992, in its final report to Congress on the conduct of the Gulf War, the US Department of Defense stated that Article 48 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I “is generally regarded as a codification of the customary practice of nations, and therefore binding on all”. 
United States, Department of Defense, Final Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, 10 April 1992, Appendix O, The Role of the Law of War, ILM, Vol. 31, 1992, p. 625.
The report also stated: “The law of war with respect to targeting, collateral damage and collateral civilian casualties is derived from the principle of discrimination; that is, the necessity for distinguishing … between legitimate military targets and civilian objects.” 
United States, Department of Defense, Final Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, 10 April 1992, Appendix O, The Role of the Law of War, ILM, Vol. 31, 1992, p. 621.
United States of America
In March 2010, in a speech given at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law, the US Department of State’s Legal Adviser stated:
[T]his Administration has carefully reviewed the rules governing targeting operations to ensure that these operations are conducted consistently with law of war principles, including:
- First, the principle of distinction, which requires that attacks be limited to military objectives and that … civilian objects shall not be the object of the attack;
In U.S. operations against al-Qaeda and its associated forces – including lethal operations conducted with the use of unmanned aerial vehicles – great care is taken to adhere to these principles in both planning and execution, to ensure that only legitimate objectives are targeted. 
United States, “The Obama Administration and International Law”, speech by the Legal Adviser, US Department of State at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law, Washington DC, 25 March 2010.
[emphasis in original]
Viet Nam
In 2008, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the representative of Viet Nam stated that “parties to armed conflict should comply with the [principle] … of humanitarian law relating to distinction”. 
Viet Nam, Statement before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 27 May 2008, p. 14.
Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of
The Report on the Practice of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) states that the “armed conflict in Croatia in which [the] YPA [Yugoslav People’s Army] participated was particularly characterized by the disregard of the obligation to respect the distinction between civilian objects and military objectives”. The report considers, however, that:
In evaluating the official position of [the] FRY, it is important to point out that during October 1991 [the] Chief of General Staff of the YPA issued two orders instructing troops to strictly comply with rules of humanitarian law … The fact that the YPA had sent a commission of inquiry to Dubrovnik to establish the effects of [the] shelling indicates the awareness of the need to respect the distinction between civilian objects and military objectives. Opinio juris existed, however, the relevant rule was not respected in practice. 
Report on the Practice of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Zimbabwe
The Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe refers to the principle of distinction as set forth in Article 52 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I and states that this principle can undoubtedly be regarded as a customary rule of IHL. The report also points out that the distinction between civilian and military objectives is more problematic in non-international armed conflicts, as guerrillas tend to mingle with the civilian population and civilian facilities, rendering the principle difficult to implement. 
Report on the Practice of Zimbabwe, 1998, Chapter 1.3.
No data.
No data.
No data.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its judgment in the Blaškić case in 2000, the ICTY Trial Chamber held: “The parties to the conflict are obliged to attempt to distinguish between military targets and civilian … property.” 
ICTY, Blaškić case, Judgment, 3 March 2000, § 180.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the Slobodan Milošević case before the ICTY in 2002, the accused, a former president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, was charged, inter alia, with unlawful attacks on civilian objects as a violation of the laws or customs of war “as recognized by Article 52(1) of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and customary law, punishable under Articles 3 and 7(1) and 7(3) of the [1993 ICTY] Statute”. 
ICTY, Slobodan Milošević case, First Amended Indictment (Croatia), 23 October 2002, §§ 77–83, Count 32.
The role alleged to Milošević in a campaign to forcibly remove non-Serb civilians from areas of Croatia formed the context of these charges. 
ICTY, Slobodan Milošević case, First Amended Indictment (Croatia), 23 October 2002, § 6.
Following the death of the accused, proceedings were terminated by the Trial Chamber on 14 March 2006.
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission
In its Western Front, Aerial Bombardment and Related Claims (Eritrea’s Claim) partial award in 2005, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, in considering the principle of distinction between civilian objects and military objectives, stated:
The provisions of [the 1977 Additional] Geneva Protocol I cited … express customary international humanitarian law. Those provisions … emphasize the importance of distinguishing between … civilian objects and military objectives. 
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, Western Front, Aerial Bombardment and Related Claims, Eritrea’s Claim, Partial Award, 19 December 2005, § 95.
(footnote in original omitted)
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that there is a duty to distinguish between civilian objects and military objectives. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 387.
ICRC
In an appeal issued in 1984 in the context of the Iran–Iraq War, the ICRC stated:
In violation of the laws and customs of war, and in particular of the essential principle that military targets must be distinguished from civilian persons and objects, the Iraqi armed forces have continued to bomb Iranian civilian zones. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1480, Conflict between Iran and Iraq and breaches of international humanitarian law: a renewed ICRC appeal, 15 February 1984, IRRC, No. 239, 1984, pp. 113–115.
ICRC
In a Memorandum on the Applicability of International Humanitarian Law sent in 1990 to all States party to the 1949 Geneva Conventions in the context of the Gulf War, the ICRC stated: “The following general rules are recognized as binding on any party to an armed conflict: … a distinction must be made in all circumstances between combatants and military objectives on the one hand, and civilians and civilian objects on the other.” 
ICRC, Memorandum on the Applicability of International Humanitarian Law, 14 December 1990, § II, IRRC, No. 280, 1991, p. 24.
ICRC
In a communication to the press in 1993, the ICRC reminded the parties to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh of their obligation “to distinguish at all times between combatants and military objectives on the one hand and civilians and civilian property on the other”. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 93/25, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: 60,000 civilians flee fighting in south-western Azerbaijan, 19 August 1993.
ICRC
In a communication to the press in 1993, the ICRC reminded the parties to the conflict in Georgia of their obligation “to distinguish at all times between combatants and military objectives on the one hand and civilians and civilian objects on the other”. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 93/31, Georgia: ICRC Activities in Abkhazia, 20 September 1993.
ICRC
In 1994, in a Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, the ICRC stated that “a clear distinction must be made in all circumstances between civilians and civilian objects on the one hand and combatants and military objectives on the other”. 
ICRC, Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, 8 June 1994, § II, IRRC, No. 320, 1997, p. 503.
ICRC
In 1994, in a Memorandum on Compliance with International Humanitarian Law by the Forces Participating in Opération Turquoise in the Great Lakes region, the ICRC stated: “A clear distinction must be made, in all circumstances, between civilian persons who do not participate in confrontations and refrain from acts of violence and civilian objects on the one hand, and combatants and military objectives on the other.” 
ICRC, Memorandum on Compliance with International Humanitarian Law by the Forces Participating in Opération Turquoise, 23 June 1994, § II, reprinted in Marco Sassòli and Antoine A. Bouvier, How Does Law Protect in War?, ICRC, Geneva, 1999, p. 1308.
No data.
Note: For practice concerning the destruction of enemy property, see Rules 50 and 51.
St. Petersburg Declaration
The preamble to the 1868 St. Petersburg Declaration states: “The only legitimate object which States should endeavour to accomplish during war is to weaken the military forces of the enemy.” 
Declaration Renouncing the Use, in Time of War, of Explosive Projectiles Under 400 Grammes Weight, St. Petersburg, 29 November–11 December 1868, preamble.
Hague Convention (IX)
Article 2 of the 1907 Hague Convention (IX) allows the bombardment of “military works, military or naval establishments, depots of arms or war matériel, workshops or plant which could be utilized for the needs of the hostile fleet or army, and the ships of war in the harbour”. 
Hague Convention (IX) concerning Bombardment by Naval Forces in Time of War, The Hague, 18 October 1907, Article 2.
Additional Protocol I
Article 48 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides: “In order to ensure respect for and protection of the civilian population and civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict … shall direct their operations only against military objectives.” 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 48. Article 48 was adopted by consensus. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 161.
Additional Protocol II
Article 52(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides: “Attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives.” 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 52(2). Article 52 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I was adopted by 79 votes in favour, none against and 7 abstentions. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 168.
Additional Protocol II (draft)
Article 24(1) of the draft Additional Protocol II submitted by the ICRC to the CDDH provided: “In order to ensure respect for the civilian population, the parties to the conflict shall confine their operations to the destruction or weakening of the military resources of the adversary”. 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. I, Part Three, Draft Additional Protocols, June 1973, p. 40.
This proposal was amended and adopted by consensus in Committee III of the CDDH.  
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/215/Rev.1, 3 February–18 April 1975, p. 288, § 113.
The approved text provided: “In order to ensure respect and protection for … civilian objects, the Parties to the conflict … shall direct their operations only against military objectives.” 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. XV, CDDH/215/Rev.1, 3 February–18 April 1975, p. 319.
Eventually, however, it was deleted in the plenary, because it failed to obtain the necessary two-thirds majority (36 in favour, 19 against and 36 abstentions). 
CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VII, CDDH/SR.52, 6 June 1977, p. 135.
Convention on Cluster Munitions
According to the preamble to the 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions, States Parties based their agreement on prohibition of the use, development, production, stockpiling, retention or transfer of cluster munitions on various principles of IHL, including that they will “distinguish … between civilian objects and military objectives and accordingly direct their operations against military objectives only”. 
Convention on Cluster Munitions, Dublin, 30 May 2008, preamble, § 20.
Hague Rules of Air Warfare
Article 24(1) of the 1923 Hague Rules of Air Warfare provides: “Aerial bombardment is legitimate only when directed at a military objective.” 
Rules concerning the Control of Wireless Telegraphy in Time of War and Air Warfare, Part II, drafted by a Commission of Jurists, The Hague, December 1922–February 1923, Article 24(1).
New Delhi Draft Rules
Article 7 of the 1956 New Delhi Draft Rules provides: “In order to limit the dangers incurred by the civilian population, attacks may only be directed against military objectives.” 
Draft Rules for the Limitation of the Dangers Incurred by the Civilian Population in Time of War, drafted by the International Committee of the Red Cross, September 1956, submitted to governments for their consideration on behalf of the 19th International Conference of the Red Cross, New Delhi, 28 October–7 November, Res. XIII, Article 7.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 6 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Article 52(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 6.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 2.5 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Article 52(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 2.5.
San Remo Manual
Paragraph 41 of the 1994 San Remo Manual states: “Attacks shall be strictly limited to military objectives.” 
Louise Doswald-Beck (ed.), San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994, Prepared by international lawyers and naval experts convened by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995, § 41.
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 5.1 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin states: “Military operations shall be directed only against combatants and military objectives.” 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 5.1.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides:
210. … Military operations must only be conducted against enemy armed forces and military objects. Non-combatants and civilian objects are protected from attack, that is, they are not legitimate objects of attack. The law of armed conflict therefore requires that belligerents maintain the clear distinction between armed forces and civilians taking no direct part in hostilities; that is, between combatants and non-combatants, and between objects that might legitimately be attacked and those protected from attack.
524. Only military objectives are legitimate objects of attack. During an armed conflict, and subject to the overriding considerations of proportionality and unnecessary suffering, the ADF [Australian Defence Force] may target any military objective.
531. There is a fundamental rule that parties to a conflict must direct their operations only against military objectives. …
913. The basic rule in respect of civilians which flows from this is that a distinction must be made between the civilian population and combatants, and between civilian objects and military objectives, in order that military operations will only be carried out against military objectives. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, §§ 210, 524, 531 and 913.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
2.11 … Military operations must only be conducted against military objectives, including combatants.
5.26 Only military objectives are legitimate objects of attack. During an armed conflict, and subject to the overriding considerations of proportionality and unnecessary suffering, the ADF [Australian Defence Force] may target any military objective.
5.35 There is a fundamental rule that parties to a conflict must direct their operations only against military objectives.
9.13 … [A] distinction must be made between the civilian population and combatants, and between civilian objects and military objectives, in order that military operations will only be directed against military objectives. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 2.11, 5.26, 5.35 and 9.13; see also §§ 6.37 and 9.17.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers instructs soldiers: “Only attack military objectives.” It also states: “Just as only combatants may be attacked only objects used by the adversary for combat may be subjected to attack.” 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Dossier d’Instruction pour Soldat, à l’attention des officiers instructeurs, JS3, Etat-Major Général, Forces Armées belges, undated, pp. 10 and 20.
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) states: “A distinction must be made between military objectives and civilian objects.” 
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 26.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) provides: “Attacks must be directed only against military objectives. These objectives must be identified as such, clearly designated and singled out. The attack must be limited to the objective designated.” 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule III, p. 14; see also Fascicule I, p. 17 and Fascicule II, pp. 5 and 18.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “An attack is only permitted against … military objectives.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 9; see also pp. 2, 19, 25, 33, 34, 35, 63 and 85.
The Regulations also states that “only objects used by the enemy in direct support of military operations may be attacked, in order to neutralize or destroy them.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 36.
The Regulations also states:
An attack is legitimate if it is directed against:
1. the belligerent party (that is the party to the conflict);
2. combatants;
3. the armed forces …;
4. a levée en masse (the civilian population of a non-occupied territory which spontaneously takes up arms upon the approach of the enemy);
5. the positions, installations, weapons, vehicles, [and] objectives which, by their nature, location [or] use, contribute to the military effort and … whose total or partial destruction, neutralization or capture, offers a net military advantage in these circumstances. 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 23; see also Part I bis, p. 9.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) provides: “It is self-evident that, after identification, bombardment cannot target but military objectives …”. 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 111.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
Armed Operations at Sea
Rules on Bombardment by Naval Forces
[Naval] bombardment may only target a military objective. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 258, § 613.
The manual further states:
Armed Operations in the Air
1. Conduct between Belligerents
Distinction military aircraft – civilian aircraft
Every opening of fire must be preceded by an identification of the aircraft … Consequently, attacks must only be directed against enemy military aircraft. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 259, § 614.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides: “Military operations shall be directed only against legitimate targets. Military operations directed against such targets must also meet the requirement of proportionality discussed below.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-1, § 5.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states: “‘Legitimate targets’ include combatants, unlawful combatants and military objectives.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 406.1.
Canada
Canada’s Code of Conduct (2001) instructs soldiers: “Engage only opposing forces and military objectives”. 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 4 June 2001, Rule 1.
Canada
Rule 1 of Canada’s Code of Conduct (2005) instructs Canadian Forces (CF) personnel: “Engage only opposing forces and military objectives.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 1.
The Code of Conduct further explains:
1. Rule # 1 is the cornerstone of the Law of Armed Conflict. It is consistent with and in fact reflects two of the Principles of War, namely “selection and maintenance of the aim” and “economy of effort.” Any deviation from the military aim jeopardizes the mission. Thus, whether you are involved in defensive or offensive operations, your effort must be directed toward the continued maintenance of the aim. It would be considered a waste of resources to engage forces that are not hostile or that have been rendered incapable of further hostilities, or to attack objectives or other objects not used for a military purpose. It is unlawful as well as unsound from an operational point of view.
3. Force used during operations must be directed against opposing forces and military objectives. Therefore, civilians not taking part in hostilities must not be targeted. Rule #1 not only makes sense morally but also helps to ensure the most efficient use of military resources. In simple terms, “warriors fight warriors.” 
Canada, Code of Conduct for CF Personnel, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 2005, Rule 1, §§ 1 and 3.
Canada
Canada’s Use of Force Manual (2008), in a section entitled “Principles and rules governing the use of force that directly relates to the conduct of an armed conflict”, states: “Targets shall be limited strictly to military objectives.” 
Canada, Use of Force for CF Operations, Canadian Forces Joint Publication, Chief of the Defence Staff, B-GJ-005-501/FP-001, August 2008, § 112.1.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 3 (Instruction for non-commissioned officers studying for the level 1 and 2 certificates and for future officers of the criminal police): “Military objectives located in civilian areas must be distinguished and an adequate distance observed between military objectives and civilian objects.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter II, Section II, § 2.2.
In Volume 3, the manual further states: “Attacks must be directed exclusively against military objectives. These objectives must be identified as such and clearly designated and assigned.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Introduction, Section 2; see also Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 1: Formation élémentaire toutes armés (FETA), formation commune de base (FCB), certificat d’aptitude technique No. 1 (Chef d’équipe), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section IV; see also Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter I, Fundamental Rules, § 7 and Chapter V, Section II, § 2.
In Volume 3, the manual also states: “Attacks must be limited to the designated military objectives”. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section 1.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states: “Only military objectives may be attacked.” 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 87; see also pp. 16, 26 and 47.
Colombia
Colombia’s Circular on Fundamental Rules of IHL (1992) provides: “Attacks may only be conducted against military objectives.” 
Colombia, Transcripción Normas Fundamentales del Derecho Humanitario Aplicables en los Conflictos Armados, Circular No. 033/DIPL-SERPO-526, Policía Nacional, Dirección General, Santafé de Bogotá, 14 May 1992, § 7.
Colombia
Colombia’s Instructors’ Manual (1999) instructs soldiers: “Attack only military objectives.” 
Colombia, Derechos Humanos & Derecho Internacional Humanitario – Manual de Instrucción de la Guía de Conducta para el Soldado e Infante de Marina, Ministerio de Defensa Nacional, Oficina de Derechos Humanos, Fuerzas Militares de Colombia, Santafé de Bogotá, 1999, p. 17.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
Lesson 1 Basic notions of IHL
The principle of distinction specifies who and what can be attacked and who and what cannot be attacked.
- Who and what can be attacked?
- military objectives.
Lesson 3. Rules of behaviour in combat
[Basic Rule No. 3]:
Only fight enemy combatants, and only attack military objectives.
[Observation]:
- These two rules follow from the principle of distinction, which determines whom to attack during an armed conflict. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 13–14 and 21; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre II: Instruction du gradé et du cadre, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 16; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 39.
In Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides: “[O]ne must always distinguish between military objectives, which can be attacked, and civilian objects, which must be respected.” 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 12; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 13; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 13.
In Book IV (Instruction of heads of division and company commanders), the Teaching Manual provides: “‘Legitimate objectives’ comprise combatants, unlawful combatants and military objectives.” 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 25.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) provides: “Military targets may be attacked.” 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, § 9; see also Croatia, Instructions “Basic Rules of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1993, § 7.
Djibouti
Djibouti’s Manual on International Humanitarian Law (2004) states under the heading “Rules of Combat”: “Attack only military objectives.” 
Djibouti, Manuel sur le droit international humanitaire et les droits de l’homme applicables au travail du policier, Ministère de l’Intérieur, Direction Générale de la Police, 2004, p. 7.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) provides: “Only combatants and other military objectives may be attacked.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 8.1.1.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) provides:
The principle of discrimination, also known as the principle of precaution, requires belligerents to distinguish military objectives that may be attacked, from civilian objects and populations that must not be the object of any wilful voluntary attack. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 13.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “Attacks, i.e. any acts of violence against the adversary, whether in offence or in defence …, shall be limited exclusively to military objectives.” 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 441.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states: “Combat operations may only be directed against the armed forces of the enemy and other military objectives, not however against the civilian population or civilian objects.” 
Germany, Druckschrift Einsatz Nr. 03, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, Erarbeitet nach ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, DSK SF009320187, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, R II 3, August 2006, p. 3.
Greece
The Hellenic Navy’s International Law Manual (1995) provides that “attacks should be solely directed against [military targets]”. 
Greece, International Law Manual, Hellenic Navy General Staff, Directorate A2, Division IV, 1995, Chapter 7, Part I, § 2(a).
Guinea
Guinea’s Soldier’s Manual (2010) states: “Attack only military targets.” 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 3; see also p. 15.
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Military Manual (1982) provides: “The targets of every military operation should be distinguished at all times. The attack should only be directed to military objects.” 
Indonesia, The Basics of International Humanitarian Law, Legal Division of the Indonesian Armed Forces, 1982, § 91.
Ireland
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states: “Enemy combatants and military objectives only may be the object of an attack.” 
Ireland, Basic Guide to the Law of Armed Conflict, TP/TRG/01-2005, Director of Defence Forces Training, Department of Defence, July 2005, p. 4.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states:
In any attack, it is a duty to ensure that:
- The attack is directed against specific military targets;
- Weapon systems are used exclusively against military targets. 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 26.
The Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) is a second edition of the Manual on the Laws of War (1998).
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) provides:
Direct attacks are permitted against enemy objectives whose total or partial destruction offers a definite military advantage, and, in particular, against Armed Forces and military camps, the works and military establishments, the works and the equipment for defence, deposits, offices, installations, communication lines and means that are used by Armed Forces. 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 12.
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) provides: “Military objectives may be attacked.” 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, § 9.
Italy
Italy’s Combatant’s Manual (1998) instructs: “Only fight enemies and military objectives.” 
Italy, Manuale del Combattente, SME 1000/A/2, Stato Maggiore Esercito/Reparto Impiego delle Forze, Ufficio Dottrina, Addestramento e Regolamenti, 1998, § 250.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides: “Attacks are only to be directed against military objectives. Civilian objects are therefore to be spared, unless they are used for military purposes.” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 2, p. 15; see also Précis No. 3, p. 14, and Précis No. 4, p. 1.
Lebanon
Lebanon’s Teaching Manual (1997) instructs soldiers not to target anything “except military objectives”. 
Lebanon, Manuel de l’Instruction Nationale dans l’Armée Libanaise, 1997, Article 7.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “Military objectives may be attacked.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 3-O, § 9; see also Fiche 4-T, § 2.
Malaysia
In 2010, during the consideration of the Status of the 1977 Additional Protocols by the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, a statement of the delegation of Malaysia was summarized by the Committee in its records as follows:
8. [The delegate of Malaysia] said that …
10. … [t]he laws of naval warfare incorporated the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, including necessity and proportionality …
11. [In the case of the attacks by the Israel Defense Forces on the vessel “Mavi Marmara” and five accompanying vessels in May 2010] … [n]aval forces were … under an obligation to … limit attacks to military objectives. 
Malaysia, Statement by the delegation of Malaysia before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflict, 18 October 2010, as published in the summary record of the 13th meeting, 8 December 2010, UN Doc. A/C.6/65/SR.13, §§ 8, 10 and 11.
Mexico
Mexico’s Army and Air Force Manual (2009), in a section entitled “Fundamental norms of international humanitarian law applicable in armed conflicts”, states: “Attacks must be directed solely against military objectives.” 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 412.
The manual also states:
The underlying idea of this body of law [i.e. IHL] is to humanize war. The three main principles established to this end … [include]:
A. military operations may only be directed against … military objectives. 
Mexico, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para el Ejército y la Fuerza Área Mexicanos, Ministry of National Defence, June 2009, § 372(A).
Mexico
Mexico’s IHL Guidelines (2009), in a section entitled “Basic rules of conduct in armed conflict”, states: “[A]ttack only military objectives.” 
Mexico, Cartilla de Derecho Internacional Humanitario, Ministry of National Defence, 2009, § 14(d).
Netherlands
The Netherlands’ Military Manual (1993) provides: “Operations may only be directed against military objectives.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. V-1, § 2; see also p. V-5; see also Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, pp. 7–36, 7–39 and 7–43.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “Attacks must be limited strictly to military objectives.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0521; see also § 0504.
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “Attacks must be directed against military objectives … The civilian population and civilian objects must be respected.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1043; see also § 1029.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “Attacks must be directed against military objectives.” 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 515(1); see also §§ 524(1)(c), 622(1) and 624(1)(c).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “Only military targets are to be attacked.” 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 39, § 5(b); see also Nigeria, Code of Conduct for Combatants, “The Soldier’s Rules”, Nigerian Army, undated, § 2.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Attacks may only target military objectives. Military objectives must be identified as such and clearly designated and assigned. Attacks must be confined to the assigned military objective.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 29.a.
The manual further states: “Non-protected objects are military objectives, which can be attacked.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 33.d.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “Attacks may only be directed against military objectives. The military objective must be identified as such and clearly designated and assigned. Attacks must be confined to the assigned military objective.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 30(a), p. 242.
The manual also states: “Non-protected objects are military objectives, which can be attacked.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 34(c), p. 242; see also § 9, p. 419.
Philippines
The Soldier’s Rules (1989) of the Philippines instructs soldiers: “Fight only enemy combatants and attack only military objectives.” 
Philippines, Soldier’s Rules, in Handbook on Discipline, Annex C(I), General Headquarters, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City, 1989, § 2.
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s Military Law Manual (1996) provides that only military objectives may be attacked. 
Republic of Korea, Military Law Manual, 1996, p. 86.
Romania
Romania’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) instructs soldiers: “Attack only military objectives.” 
Romania, Manualul Soldatului, Ghid de comportare în luptă, Asociaţia Română de Drept Umanitar (ARDU), 1991, p. 4.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Combat Manual (2005) states:
when carrying out an assigned mission, weapons should be used only against the adversary and its military objectives;
persons and objects entitled to protection under international humanitarian law may not be attacked, if these persons are not engaged in hostile actions, and the objects are not used (nor prepared to be used) for military purposes. 
Russian Federation, Combat Manual on the Preparation and Conducting of Combined-Arms Battles (Boevoi ustav po podgotovke i vedeniu obshevoiskovogo boya), Part 3, Platoon, Subdivision, Tank, endorsed by Order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces No. 19, 24 February 2005, § 24.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) provides: “Attack only military objectives. Civilian objects are to be spared, unless they are used for military purposes by the enemy.” 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 34.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) instructs soldiers: “Attack only military objectives.” 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, § 25(b).
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) provides that soldiers in combat must “[a]ttack only military targets”. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 48.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “Military operations shall be directed only against military objectives.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 2.3.(b).1; see also §§ 4.1 and 4.5.(b)2.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Military operations may only be directed against military objectives.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 2.3.b.(1); see also §§ 3.1.d.(2); 4.1, 4.5.b.(2).(a) and 10.3.e.(1).
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) provides: “Military operations may only be directed towards military objectives.” 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.2.1.5, p. 41; see also p. 52.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: “Troops can only direct their actions against military objectives.” It also provides: “Only military objectives, well specified and duly identified, may be attacked by bombardment or by projectiles fired from long-distance or having widespread destructive effects.” 
Switzerland, Lois et coutumes de la guerre (Extrait et commentaire), Règlement 51.7/II f, Armée Suisse, 1987, Articles 25(1) and 28.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Aide-Memoire on the Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict (2005) states: “I exclusively engage combatants and military targets.” 
Switzerland, The Ten Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflict, Aide-memoire 51.007/IIIe, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports dated 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, Rule 1.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states: “Hostilities must be directed exclusively against combatants and military objectives.” 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, § 159.
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) provides: “Attacks must be directed only against military objectives. These objectives must be identified as such, clearly designated and singled out.” 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule III, p. 14; see also Fascicule I, p. 18 and Fascicule II, pp. 5 and 18.
Ukraine
Ukraine’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Attacks may be directed only against concrete military objectives. A military objective shall be identified and its destruction shall be possible only if there is clear information for targeting.” 
Ukraine, Manual on the Application of IHL Rules, Ministry of Defence, 11 September 2004, § 2.3.3.1.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides:
283. Bombardment and siege of defended localities are legitimate means of warfare. …
288. In defended towns and localities modern methods of bombardment will inevitably destroy many buildings and sites which are not military objectives. Such destruction, if incidental to the bombardment of military objectives is not unlawful. For example the bombardment of a war factory area may well destroy the houses of workers living in that area. If, on the other hand, bombardment is directed solely against a non-military objective, it is unlawful. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, Articles 283 and 288.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides: “Military operations may only be directed against military objectives.” 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 4, p. 13, § 4(a).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states: “Attacks shall be limited strictly to military objectives.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.4; see also §§ 12.21, 12.26 (air operations) and § 13.27 (maritime warfare).
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) explains:
The requirement that attacks be limited to military objectives results from several requirements of international law. The mass annihilation of enemy people is neither humane, permissible, nor militarily necessary. The Hague Regulations prohibit destruction or seizure of enemy property “unless such destruction or seizure be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war.” Destruction as an end in itself is a violation of international law, and there must be some reasonable connection between the destruction of property and the overcoming of enemy military forces. Various other prohibitions and the Hague Regulations and Hague Convention IX further support the requirement that attacks be directed only at military objectives. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 5–3(b)(2); see also Field Manual 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, US Department of the Army, 18 July 1956, as modified by Change No. 1, 15 July 1976, § 56.
United States of America
The US Rules of Engagement for Operation Desert Storm (1991) provides: “Attack only military targets.” 
United States, Desert Storm – Rules of Engagement, Pocket Card, US Central Command, January 1991, reprinted in Operational Law Handbook, International and Operational Law Department, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1995, pp. 8-7 and 8-8, § 2.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) provides: “Only military objectives may be attacked.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 8.1.1.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “Only military objectives may be attacked.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 8.2.
The Handbook also states:
An object that meets the definition of a military objective may be attacked even if the object, such as an electric power plant, also serves civilian functions, subject to the requirement to avoid excessive incidental injury and collateral damage. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 8.3.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Code of Conduct for Combatants (1993) states: “Attack only military targets.” 
Zimbabwe, Code of Conduct for Combatants, Joint publication of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation in Harare, 1993, p. 2.
Colombia
Colombia’s Directive No. 10 (2007), whose objective is to prevent the killing of protected persons, states: “Military objectives must be adequately identified and may be attacked.” 
Colombia, Directive No. 10, 2007, § IV.
France
France’s Code of Defence (2004), as amended in 2008, states: “A combatant shall only direct attacks against military objectives.” 
France, Code of Defence, 2004, as amended in 2008, Article D4122-10.
Ireland
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions (1962) Act as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Articles 48 and 52(2), is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the two additional protocols to [the 1949 Geneva] Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(b).
Peru
Peru’s Decree on the Use of Force by the Armed Forces (2010) states: “Only military objectives may be attacked.” 
Peru, Decree on the Use of Force by the Armed Forces, 2010, Article 7(b).
Spain
In 2010, in the Couso case, which concerned the killing of a Spanish journalist in Baghdad on 8 April 2003 by troops of the United States of America, the Criminal Chamber of Spain’s Supreme Court referred to norms of IHL relevant to the case under review, including Article 52(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Spain, Supreme Court, Couso case, Judgment, 13 July 2010, Section II(II), Sexto, § 2, p. 15.
Venezuela
In 2001, in the Ballestas case, the Colombian Government requested the preventive detention and extradition of a Colombian citizen belonging to the armed group known as the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army) for the crimes of rebellion, kidnapping, wrongful death, seizure and diversion of aircraft. The Chamber of Criminal Appeals of Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice stated: “[The] … laws [of war] … seek to limit any attack only to specific belligerents or military targets.” 
Venezuela, Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Ballestas case, Judgment, 10 December 2001, p. 8.
Angola
The Report on the Practice of Angola asserts that military objectives were the only targets of attack during the war of independence, but that the civil war that followed independence was characterized by confusion between military objectives and civilian objects. The report provides a list of examples of alleged attacks against civilian objects. 
Report on the Practice of Angola, 1998, Chapter 1.3.
Argentina
It is reported that, during the War in the South Atlantic, both parties directed their hostile acts only against military objectives. 
Carlos Horacio Cerdá, El respeto del Derecho International Humanitario durante el Dessarollo del Conflicto Armado del Atlántico Sud, Report on the Practice of Argentina, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Australia
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Australia declared:
It is the understanding of Australia that the first sentence of paragraph 2 of Article 52 is not intended to, nor does it, deal with the question of incidental or collateral damage resulting from an attack directed against a military objective. 
Australia, Declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 21 June 1991, § 5.
Canada
At the CDDH, Canada stated that the first sentence of Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52(2)) “prohibits only attacks that could be directed against non-military objectives. It does not deal with the result of a legitimate attack on military objectives and incidental damage that such attack may cause.” 
Canada, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 179.
Canada
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Canada stated:
It is the understanding of the Government of Canada in relation to Article 52 that … the first sentence of paragraph 2 of the Article is not intended to, nor does it, deal with the question of incidental or collateral damage resulting from an attack directed against a military objective. 
Canada, Reservations and statements of understanding made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 20 November 1990, § 8(b).
Denmark
In 2008, in a joint cost benefit analysis of a possible introduction of a national moratorium on all cluster munitions, Denmark’s Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated:
[The] provisions, which are outlined below, are generally recognized as being an expression of customary international law. …
The purpose of international humanitarian law is to protect the victims of war as much as possible. The central provision in this regard is API [1977 Additional Protocol] Article 48, which states that: “Parties to the conflict … shall direct their operations only against military objectives.” 
Denmark, Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, A Cost Benefit Analysis of a Possible Introduction of a National Danish Moratorium on All Cluster Munitions, 1 April 2008, p. 15.
Djibouti
In 2010, in the History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Higher Education stated: “The [Additional] Protocols of 1977 have reaffirmed and spelled [out] in detail … [the principle] of distinction: ‘(…) [P]arties to the conflict shall direct their operations only against military objectives (art. 45, Protocol I; see also art. 13, Protocol II).ˮ 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, 2010, p. 188.
Egypt
In a military communiqué issued during the 1973 Middle East conflict, Egypt emphasized that only military objectives could be attacked. 
Egypt, Military Communiqué No. 2, 6 October 1973.
Egypt
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Egypt invoked the requirement to “direct operations only against military objectives”. 
Egypt, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 20 June 1995, § 17.
France
The instructions given to the French armed forces for the conduct of Opération Mistral, simulating a military operation under the right of self-defence or a mandate of the UN Security Council, state: “Attacks may only be directed against military objectives.” 
France, Etat-major de la Force d’Action Rapide, Ordres pour l’Opération Mistral, 1995, Section 6, § 66.
France
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, France stated: “The Government of the French Republic considers that the first sentence of paragraph 2 of Article 52 does not deal with the question of collateral damage resulting from attacks directed against military objectives.” 
France, Declarations and reservations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 11 April 2001, § 12.
Germany
In 2009, in reply to a Minor Interpellation in the Bundestag (Lower House of Parliament) titled “Investigation of serious violations of international humanitarian law in the recent Gaza war”, Germany’s Federal Government wrote:
17. Given that armed Palestinian groups and their legitimate military objectives are often placed in such populated areas, does the Federal Government consider that it can be justified under international law to subject these populated areas to massive fire even if it can be expected that a large number of injuries and deaths will be caused and will mostly affect the civilian population?
If so, how does the Federal Government justify that such a use of weapons complies with international law?
Under international humanitarian law, attacks must be limited to military objectives. 
Germany, Lower House of Federal Parliament (Bundestag), Reply by the Federal Government to the Minor Interpellation by the Members Winfried Nachtwei, Kerstin Müller (Cologne), Jürgen Trittin, other Members and the Parliamentary Group BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN, BT-Drs. 16/12673, 20 April 2009, p. 7.
Germany, Federal Republic of
At the CDDH, the Federal Republic of Germany stated that the first sentence of Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52(2))
is a restatement of the basic rule contained in Article 43 [now Article 48], namely that the Parties to a conflict shall direct their operations only against military objectives. It does not deal with the question of collateral damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives. 
Germany, Federal Republic of, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 188.
Islamic Republic of Iran
According to the Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, “Iran always insisted that war must be limited to battlefronts … and that all targets were military objectives”. 
Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Israel
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “Only military targets shall be attacked.” 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 223.
[footnote in original omitted]
Israel
In July 2010, in a second update of its July 2009 report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 17 January 2009, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “The principle of distinction is a core element of IDF standing orders. All IDF soldiers are instructed that strikes are to be directed only against legitimate military targets”. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gaza Operation Investigations: Second Update, 19 July 2010, § 58.
Italy
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, Italy declared:
The first sentence of paragraph 2 of [Article 52] prohibits only such attacks as may be directed against non-military objectives. Such a sentence does not deal with the question of collateral damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives. 
Italy, Declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 27 February 1986, § 8.
Kuwait
The Report on the Practice of Kuwait notes that the choice of targets is strictly limited to military objectives. An attack on a military objective should be allowed only in case of possible gain in the field of operation. 
Report on the Practice of Kuwait, 1997, Chapter 1.5.
Malaysia
The Report on the Practice of Malaysia notes that in practice the security forces direct their attacks only against military targets or targets of military importance. 
Report on the Practice of Malaysia, 1997, Answers to additional questions on Chapter 1.3.
Mexico
At the CDDH, Mexico stated that it believed Article 47 of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52) to be so essential that it “cannot be the subject of any reservations whatsoever since these would be inconsistent with the aim and purpose of Protocol I and undermine its basis”. 
Mexico, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 193.
Netherlands
At the CDDH, the Netherlands stated that the first sentence of Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52(2)) “prohibits only such attacks as may be directed against non-military objectives and consequently does not deal with the question of collateral damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives”. 
Netherlands, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 195.
New Zealand
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, New Zealand stated: “The first sentence of paragraph 2 of [Article 52] is not intended to, nor does it, deal with the question of incidental or collateral damage resulting from an attack directed against a military objective.” 
New Zealand, Declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 8 February 1988, § 4.
Nigeria
The Report on the Practice of Nigeria states that, during the Nigerian civil war, the Nigerian air force, in its raids against rebel enclaves, distinguished between military targets and civilian objects, bombing military targets while assiduously avoiding non-military targets. 
Report on the Practice of Nigeria, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Saudi Arabia
In 1991, in reports submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, Saudi Arabia stated that its air force had carried out numerous sorties against “military targets in Iraq and Kuwait, while avoiding civilian targets”. 
Saudi Arabia, Report dated 30 January 1991 on the progress of operations for the liberation of Kuwait, annexed to Letter dated 30 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22180, 31 January 1991, p. 2; Letter dated 6 February 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22200, 6 February 1991, p. 1.
Spain
In 1993 and 1995, the Government of Spain made specific statements in connection with the armed conflicts in the Gulf and Bosnia and Herzegovina, endorsing the principle that attacks must be directed only against military objectives. 
Spain, Report by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence to the Congress Commission on Foreign Affairs on Action by the International Community in Iraq and Developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 18 January 1993, Actividades, Textos y Documentos de la Política Exterior Española, Madrid, 1993, p. 240; Press Conference by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defence, 31 August 1995, Actividades, Textos y Documentos de la Política Exterior Española, Madrid, 1995, p. 248.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Civilian objects
International humanitarian law distinguishes between Civilian objects and Military objectives, prohibiting acts of violence against the former. …
Distinction
International humanitarian law protects the civilian population and prohibits attacks against Civilians and Civilian objects. One of its ground rules is the principle of distinction: the parties to a conflict are obliged to conduct military operations exclusively against Military objectives and must therefore always distinguish between Civilians and Combatants as well as between Civilian objects and Military objectives. …
Military objectives
International humanitarian law distinguishes between Civilian objects and military objectives. … Under international humanitarian law military personnel must at all times give full consideration to the nature of a potential target and opt exclusively for those that qualify as genuine military objectives. 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, pp. 12, 17 and 30.
[emphasis in original]
Switzerland
In 2010, in its Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated: “Only attacks against military objectives come within the framework of international humanitarian law, even if these take the form of suicide attacks.” 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, 17 September 2010, Section 3.3, p. 12.
Syrian Arab Republic
On the basis of a statement by the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs before the UN General Assembly in 1997, the Report on the Practice of the Syrian Arab Republic asserts that the Syrian Arab Republic considers Article 52(2) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I to be part of customary international law. 
Report on the Practice of the Syrian Arab Republic, 1997, Chapter 1.3, referring to Statement by the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs before the UN General Assembly, 1 October 1997.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1938, during a debate in the House of Commons, the UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain listed among rules of international law applicable to warfare on land, at sea and from the air the rule that “targets which are aimed at … must be legitimate military targets and must be capable of identification”. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Statement by the Prime Minister, Sir Neville Chamberlain, 21 June 1938, Hansard, Vol. 337, col. 937.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
At the CDDH, the United Kingdom stated that it did not interpret the obligation in the first sentence of Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52(2))
as dealing with the question of incidental damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives. In its view, the purpose of the first sentence of the paragraph was to prohibit only such attacks as might be directed against non-military objectives. 
United Kingdom, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 169, § 153.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
It is reported that, during the War in the South Atlantic, both parties directed their hostile acts only against military objectives. 
Carlos Horacio Cerdá, El respeto del Derecho International Humanitario durante el Dessarollo del Conflicto Armado del Atlántico Sud, Report on the Practice of Argentina, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In reply to questions in the House of Lords and House of Commons concerning military operations during the Gulf War in 1991, the UK Under-Secretary of State for Defence and the Minister of State for the Armed Forces stated that it was a policy of the allies to attack only military targets and facilities that sustained Iraq’s illegal occupation of Kuwait. 
United Kingdom, House of Lords, Statement by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence, 27 February 1991, Hansard, Vol. 526, Written Answers, col. 52; Statement by the Minister of State for the Armed Forces, 28 February 1991, Hansard, Vol. 186, Written Answers, col. 611.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
A training video on IHL produced by the UK Ministry of Defence emphasizes that military operations must be directed only against military objectives. 
United Kingdom, Ministry of Defence, Training Video: The Geneva Conventions, 1986, Report on UK Practice, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, the United Kingdom stated:
It is the understanding of the United Kingdom that … the first sentence of paragraph 2 [of Article 52] prohibits only such attacks as may be directed against non-military objectives; it does not deal with the question of collateral damage resulting from attacks directed against military objectives. 
United Kingdom, Reservations and declarations made upon ratification of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, 28 January 1998, § j.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2003, in reply to a written question in the House of Commons, the UK Secretary of State for Defence wrote:
The military campaign is crafted around the principle of minimum use of force. We attack only military objectives and combatants subject to the constraints of proportionality. If there is any expectation that harm will be caused to civilians, this must not be excessive when set against the direct and concrete military advantage anticipated from the attack. 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Secretary of State for Defence, Hansard, 9 April 2003, Vol. 403, Written Answers, col. 297W.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Government Strategy on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (2010) states: “IHL requires parties to a conflict to respect and protect civilians. In the conduct of military operations they must … only direct attacks against … military objectives.”  
United Kingdom, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Government Strategy on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, March 2010, p. 4.
United States of America
In 1950, the US Secretary of State stated: “The air activity of the United Nations forces in Korea has been, and is, directed solely at military targets of the invader.” 
United States, Statement by the Secretary of State, Dean Acheson, 6 September 1950, reprinted in Marjorie Whiteman, Digest of International Law, Vol. 10, Department of State Publication 8367, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 140.
United States of America
At a news briefing in December 1966, the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs stated, with reference to inquiries concerning reported incidents resulting from bombing in the vicinity of Hanoi on 13 and 14 December 1966: “The only targets struck by U.S. aircraft were military ones, well outside the city proper.” 
United States, News briefing by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, Robert McCloskey, 22 December 1966, reprinted in Marjorie Whiteman, Digest of International Law, Vol. 10, Department of State Publication 8367, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 426.
United States of America
In December 1966, in reply to an inquiry from a member of the US House of Representatives asking for a restatement of US policy on targeting in North Vietnam, a US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense wrote: “United States policy is to target military targets only. There has been no deviation from this policy.” 
United States, Letter from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Goulding to US Representative Ogden Reid from New York, 30 December 1966, reprinted in Marjorie Whiteman, Digest of International Law, Vol. 10, Department of State Publication 8367, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 428.
United States of America
At the CDDH, the United States stated that the first sentence of Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52(2)) “prohibits only such attacks as may be directed against non-military objectives. It does not deal with the question of collateral damage caused by attacks directed against military objectives.” 
United States, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 204.
United States of America
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, the United States stated: “The military actions initiated by the United States and other States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait … are directed strictly at military and strategic targets.” 
United States, Letter dated 17 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22090, 17 January 1991, p. 2.
United States of America
In 1991, in a diplomatic note to Iraq concerning operations in the Gulf War, the United States asserted: “The United States and other coalition forces are only attacking targets of military value in Iraq.” 
United States, Department of State, Diplomatic Note to Iraq, Washington, 21 January 1991, annexed to Letter dated 22 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22130, 22 January 1991.
United States of America
In 1992, in its final report to Congress on the conduct of the Gulf War, the US Department of Defense stated that Article 48 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I “is generally regarded as a codification of the customary practice of nations, and therefore binding on all”. 
United States, Department of Defense, Final Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, 10 April 1992, Appendix O, The Role of the Law of War, ILM, Vol. 31, 1992, p. 625.
The report further stated: “CINCCENT [Commander-in-Chief, Central Command] conducted a theater campaign directed solely at military targets.” 
United States, Department of Defense, Final Report to Congress on the Conduct of the Persian Gulf War, 10 April 1992, Appendix O, The Role of the Law of War, ILM, Vol. 31, 1992, p. 644.
Assembly of the League of Nations
In a resolution adopted in 1938 concerning the protection of civilian populations against air bombardment in case of war, the Assembly of the League of Nations stated: “Objectives aimed at from the air must be legitimate military targets and must be identifiable.” 
League of Nations, Assembly, Resolution adopted on 30 September 1938, § I(2), Official Journal, Special Supplement No. 182, Records of the XIXth Ordinary Session of the Assembly, pp. 15–17.
No data.
No data.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its judgment in the Galić case in 2003, the ICTY Trial Chamber stated: “[I]n accordance with the principles of distinction and protection of the civilian population, only military objectives may be lawfully attacked.” 
ICTY, Galić case, Judgment, 5 December 2003, § 51.
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that they have an obligation to limit attacks strictly to military targets. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 428.
ICRC
In an appeal issued in October 1973, the ICRC urged all the belligerents in the conflict in the Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic) to observe forthwith, in particular, the provisions of, inter alia, Article 47(1) of the draft Additional Protocol I, which stated in part: “Attacks shall be strictly limited to military objectives.” All governments concerned replied favourably. 
ICRC, The International Committee’s Action in the Middle East, IRRC, No. 152, 1973, pp. 584–585.
No data.
Note: For practice concerning the destruction of enemy property, see Rules 50 and 51.
Additional Protocol I
Article 52(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I provides: “Civilian objects shall not be the object of attack.” 
Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), Geneva, 8 June 1977, Article 52(1). Article 52 was adopted by 79 votes in favour, none against and 7 abstentions. CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 168.
Protocol III to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Article 2(1) of the 1980 Protocol III to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons states: “It is prohibited in all circumstances to make … civilian objects the object of attack by incendiary weapons.” 
Protocol on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Incendiary Weapons, to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, Geneva, 10 October 1980, Article 2(1).
Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons
Article 3(7) of the 1996 Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons provides: “It is prohibited in all circumstances to direct [mines, booby-traps and other devices], either in offence, defence or by way of reprisals, against … civilian objects”. 
Protocol on Prohibitions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices, as amended, to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, Geneva, 3 May 1996, Article 3(7).
International Criminal Court
Pursuant to Article 8(2)(b)(ii) of the 1998 ICC Statute, “[i]ntentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the UN Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries on the Establishment of an International Criminal Court, Rome, 17 July 1998, UN Doc. A/CONF.183/9, Article 8(2)(b)(ii).
Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam
Pursuant to Article 3(b) of the 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, it is prohibited “to destroy the enemy’s civilian buildings and installations by shelling, blasting or any other means”. 
Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, adopted at the 19th Session of the Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers, Res. 49/19-P, Cairo, 5 August 1990, annexed to Letter dated 19 September 1990 from the permanent representative of Egypt to the UN addressed to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/45/421-S/21797, 20 September 1990, Article 3(b).
Hague Statement on Respect for Humanitarian Principles
In the 1991 Hague Statement on Respect for Humanitarian Principles, the presidents of the six republics of the former Yugoslavia accepted to apply the fundamental principle that “civilian property must not be attacked”. 
Statement on Respect for Humanitarian Principles, signed by the Presidents of the Six Republics of the former Yugoslavia, The Hague, 5 November 1991.
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
Paragraph 6 of the 1991 Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of IHL between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Article 52(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Memorandum of Understanding on the Application of International Humanitarian Law between Croatia and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Geneva, 27 November 1991, § 6.
Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Paragraph 2.5 of the 1992 Agreement on the Application of IHL between the Parties to the Conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina requires that hostilities be conducted in accordance with Article 52(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Agreement between Representatives of Mr. Alija Izetbegović (President of the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and President of the Party of Democratic Action), Representatives of Mr. Radovan Karadžić (President of the Serbian Democratic Party), and Representative of Mr. Miljenko Brkić (President of the Croatian Democratic Community), Geneva, 22 May 1992, § 2.5.
UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin
Section 5.1 of the 1999 UN Secretary-General’s Bulletin states: “Attacks on … civilian objects are prohibited.” 
Observance by United Nations Forces of International Humanitarian Law, Secretary-General’s Bulletin, UN Secretariat, UN Doc. ST/SGB/1999/13, 6 August 1999, Section 5.1.
UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15
UNTAET Regulation No. 2000/15 establishes panels with exclusive jurisdiction over serious criminal offences, including war crimes. According to Section 6(1)(b)(ii), “[i]ntentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Regulation on the Establishment of Panels with Exclusive Jurisdiction over Serious Criminal Offences, UN Doc. UNTAET/REG/2000/15, Dili, 6 June 2000, Section 6(1)(b)(ii).
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) provides:
4.03 Protection of civilian and civilian objects. The prohibition of attacking civilian persons or civilian objects comprises all acts of violence, whether offensive or defensive. Indiscriminate attacks are included in such prohibition.
4.45 … Objects of a civilian nature shall not be subject to attack nor reprisal. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, §§ 4.03 and 4.45.
Argentina
Argentina’s Law of War Manual (1989) provides that intentionally attacking civilian objects is a grave breach. 
Argentina, Leyes de Guerra, PC-08-01, Público, Edición 1989, Estado Mayor Conjunto de las Fuerzas Armadas, aprobado por Resolución No. 489/89 del Ministerio de Defensa, 23 April 1990, § 8.03.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) provides:
Non-combatants and civilian objects are protected from attack, that is, they are not legitimate objects of attack. The law of armed conflict therefore requires that belligerents maintain the clear distinction between armed forces and civilians taking no direct part in hostilities; that is, between combatants and non-combatants, and between objects that might legitimately be attacked and those protected from attack. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, § 210; see also § 503(b) and 531.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states:
2.11 … Non-combatants and civilian objects are protected from attack, that is, they are not legitimate objects of attack …
9.17 Military operations may only be directed against military objectives and not against the civilian population and civilian objects. …
9.18 It follows from the general rule that it is forbidden to attack the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects as a deliberate method of warfare. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 2.11 and 9.17–9.18; see also §§ 5.3 and 5.35.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Belgium
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers instructs soldiers to “respect civilian objects” and to “not destroy them”. 
Belgium, Droit de la Guerre, Dossier d’Instruction pour Soldat, à l’attention des officiers instructeurs, JS3, Etat-Major Général, Forces Armées belges, undated, p. 10.
Belgium
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) provides: “A distinction must be made between military objectives and civilian objects: the former can be subjected to attack, the later cannot.”  
Belgium, Droit Pénal et Disciplinaire Militaire et Droit de la Guerre, Deuxième Partie, Droit de la Guerre, Ecole Royale Militaire, par J. Maes, Chargé de cours, Avocat-général près la Cour Militaire, D/1983/1187/029, 1983, p. 26; see also p. 27.
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) provides that it is prohibited “to attack the civilian population, individuals and civilian objects as a deliberate method of combat”. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule III, p. 12.
Burundi
Burundi’s Regulations on International Humanitarian Law (2007) states: “Civilian objects may not be attacked.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 19; see also p. 35.
The Regulations also states: “Combatants and military objectives are legitimate targets, [whereas] … civilian objects are not.” 
Burundi, Règlement n° 98 sur le droit international humanitaire, Ministère de la Défense Nationale et des Anciens Combattants, Projet “Moralisation” (BDI/B-05), August 2007, Part I bis, p. 15.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) provides: “Throughout all military operations, both in the attack as in defence, some behaviour is forbidden and remains contrary to the laws of war. Example: … to bomb and destroy civilian objects”. 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 150.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006), under the heading “Civilian Victims of Armed Conflict”, lists “bombarding and destroying civilian objects” as an example of “conduct that is prohibited and remains contrary to the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law during all military operations, whether in offence or in defence”. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 60, § 252; see also p. 86, § 342.
Under the same heading, the manual also provides that “civilian objects must benefit from both special and general protection”. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 60, § 252; see also p. 86, § 342.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) provides: “As a general rule, civilians and civilian objects shall not be attacked.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-4, § 32.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states: “As a general rule, civilians and civilian objects shall not be attacked.” 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 423.
Canada
Canada’s Use of Force Manual (2008), in a section entitled “Principles and rules governing the use of force that directly relates to the conduct of an armed conflict”, states: “Distinction. As a general rule civilians and civilian objects shall not be the object of attack (acts of violence against the adversary, whether in offence or defence).” 
Canada, Use of Force for CF Operations, Canadian Forces Joint Publication, Chief of the Defence Staff, B-GJ-005-501/FP-001, August 2008, § 112.1.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 1 (Basic and team leader instruction) that the 1977 Additional Protocols “require all parties to a conflict and combatants to refrain from attacking … civilian objects”. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 1: Formation élémentaire toutes armés (FETA), formation commune de base (FCB), certificat d’aptitude technique No. 1 (Chef d’équipe), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter I, Section V, § 2.
In Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders), the manual states: “Parties to a conflict must at all times … spare … civilian objects.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter I, Fundamental Rules, § 7; see also Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 1: Formation élémentaire toutes armés (FETA), formation commune de base (FCB), certificat d’aptitude technique No. 1 (Chef d’équipe), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section IV.
In Volume 3 (Instruction for non-commissioned officers studying for the level 1 and 2 certificates and for future officers of the criminal police), the manual states:
Specially protected objects [including civilian objects] may not:
- be turned into a military objective;
- be used for military ends;
- be attacked. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter I, Section II, 2.2; see also Chapter I, Section II, § 2.1.
In Volume 3, the manual also states: “The following prohibitions must be respected: attacking … civilian objects as a deliberate method of combat.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 3: Formation pour l’obtention du Brevet d’Armes No. 1, du Brevet d’Armes No. 2 et le stage d’Officier de Police Judiciaire (OPJ), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section 1.
Chad
Chad’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states: “Civilian property must not be attacked or used for military purposes.” 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 93; see also pp. 16, 35, 36 and 87.
The manual further states that “attacking civilian property” is a war crime. 
Chad, Droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces armées et de sécurité, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 78.
Colombia
Colombia’s Circular on Fundamental Rules of IHL (1992) provides: “Neither the civilian population as such nor civilian objects may be subjected to attacks.” 
Colombia, Transcripción Normas Fundamentales del Derecho Humanitario Aplicables en los Conflictos Armados, Circular No. 033/DIPL-SERPO-526, Policía Nacional, Dirección General, Santafé de Bogotá, 14 May 1992, § 7.
Côte d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire’s Teaching Manual (2007) provides in Book I (Basic instruction):
Lesson 1 Basic notions of IHL
The principle of distinction specifies who and what can be attacked and who and what cannot be attacked.
- Who and what cannot be attacked?
- … civilian objects. 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre I: Instruction de base, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, pp. 13–15; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre II: Instruction du gradé et du cadre, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 16; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 39; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 65.
In Book III, Volume 1 (Instruction of first-year trainee officers), the Teaching Manual provides: “[O]ne must always distinguish between military objectives, which can be attacked, and civilian objects, which must be respected.” 
Côte d’Ivoire, Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 1: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 1ère année, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 12; see also Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre III, Tome 2: Instruction de l’élève officier d’active de 2ème année, Manuel de l’instructeur, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 13; Droit de la guerre, Manuel d’instruction, Livre IV: Instruction du chef de section et du commandant de compagnie, Manuel de l’élève, Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Nationales, November 2007, p. 13.
Croatia
Croatia’s Commanders’ Manual (1992) provides: “Civilian objects may not be attacked.” 
Croatia, Basic Rules of the Law of Armed Conflicts – Commanders’ Manual, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1992, § 11.
France
France’s LOAC Summary Note (1992) provides: “Civilian objects may not be attacked, except if they become military objectives.” 
France, Fiche de Synthèse sur les Règles Applicables dans les Conflits Armés, Note No. 432/DEF/EMA/OL.2/NP, Général de Corps d’Armée Voinot (pour l’Amiral Lanxade, Chef d’Etat-major des Armées), 1992, § 1.5.
France
France’s LOAC Manual (2001) states:
The principle of discrimination, also known as the principle of precaution, requires belligerents to distinguish military objectives that may be attacked, from civilian objects and populations that must not be the object of any wilful voluntary attack. 
France, Manuel de droit des conflits armés, Ministère de la Défense, Direction des Affaires Juridiques, Sous-Direction du droit international humanitaire et du droit européen, Bureau du droit des conflits armés, 2001, p. 13.
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides that it is prohibited “to make civilian objects the object of attack”. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, § 451.
Germany
Germany’s Soldiers’ Manual (2006) states: “Combat operations may only be directed against the armed forces of the enemy and other military objectives, not however against the civilian population or civilian objects.” 
Germany, Druckschrift Einsatz Nr. 03, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Grundsätze, Erarbeitet nach ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, DSK SF009320187, Bundesministerium der Verteidigung, R II 3, August 2006, p. 3.
Guinea
Guinea’s Soldier’s Manual (2010) states: “Spare civilian … property.” 
Guinea, Soldier’s Manual, Ministry of National Defence, 2010, p. 3.
Ireland
Ireland’s Basic LOAC Guide (2005) states: “Prohibited targets include … civilian objects not being used for military purposes.” 
Ireland, Basic Guide to the Law of Armed Conflict, TP/TRG/01-2005, Director of Defence Forces Training, Department of Defence, July 2005, p. 4.
The manual also states: “The prohibition of attacks on … civilian property includes all attacks whether committed in offence or defence.” 
Ireland, Basic Guide to the Law of Armed Conflict, TP/TRG/01-2005, Director of Defence Forces Training, Department of Defence, July 2005, p. 10.
Israel
Israel’s Manual on the Rules of Warfare (2006) states: “One of the fundamental features of the rules of war is the distinction between military targets which it is permissible to attack and civilian targets which it is forbidden to attack.” 
Israel, Rules of Warfare on the Battlefield, Military Advocate-General’s Corps Command, IDF School of Military Law, Second Edition, 2006, p. 23.
Italy
Italy’s IHL Manual (1991) provides: “A bombardment the only aim of which is to target the civilian population or to destroy or damage civilian objects is prohibited.” 
Italy, Manuale di diritto umanitario, Introduzione e Volume I, Usi e convenzioni di Guerra, SMD-G-014, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, Vol. I, § 13.
Italy
Italy’s LOAC Elementary Rules Manual (1991) provides: “Civilian objects shall not be attacked.” 
Italy, Regole elementari di diritto di guerra, SMD-G-012, Stato Maggiore della Difesa, I Reparto, Ufficio Addestramento e Regolamenti, Rome, 1991, § 11.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides that it is forbidden “to attack the civilian population, individual civilians or civilian objects as a deliberate method of warfare”. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, p. 2.
Lebanon
Lebanon’s Teaching Manual (1997) instructs soldiers not to target civilian objects. 
Lebanon, Manuel de l’Instruction Nationale dans l’Armée Libanaise, 1997, Article 7.
Madagascar
Madagascar’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “Civilian objects shall not be attacked.” 
Madagascar, Le Droit des Conflits Armés, Ministère des Forces Armées, August 1994, Fiche No. 3-O, § 11.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (1993) of the Netherlands provides: “Civilian objects may not become the objective of an attack. Attacks must be strictly limited to military objectives.” 
Netherlands, Toepassing Humanitair Oorlogsrecht, Voorschift No. 27-412/1, Koninklijke Landmacht, Ministerie van Defensie, 1993, p. V-5.
Netherlands
The Military Handbook (1995) of the Netherlands provides: “Only military objectives may be attacked.” 
Netherlands, Handboek Militair, Ministerie van Defensie, 1995, p. 7–43.
Netherlands
The Military Manual (2005) of the Netherlands states: “Civilian objects must not be targets of attack.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 0521; see also § 1029 (non-international armed conflict).
In its chapter on non-international armed conflict, the manual states: “Civilian objects may not be combat targets.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1032.
In its chapter on peace operations, the manual states: “Damage to infrastructure and civilian casualties must be avoided or, in any case, kept to a minimum. Damage to civilian objects must in no case be excessive in relation to the purpose to be achieved.” 
Netherlands, Humanitair Oorlogsrecht: Handleiding, Voorschift No. 27-412, Koninklijke Landmacht, Militair Juridische Dienst, 2005, § 1221.
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) provides: “Attacks may not be directed against … civilian objects”. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, §§ 524(2)(b) and 624(2)(b).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) provides: “Civilian persons and objects must be spared.” 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 39, § 5(C).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Soldiers’ Code of Conduct provides: “Civilian persons and objects must be spared.” 
Nigeria, Code of Conduct for Combatants, “The Soldier’s Rules”, Nigerian Army, undated, § 3.
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states: “Civilian objects must be respected.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 18.
The manual further states: “Protected objects are civilian objects which must not be attacked unless they become military objectives.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 33.b.
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “Civilian objects must be respected”. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 19, p. 224.
The manual also states: “Civilian objects must not be attacked unless they become military objectives.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 11, p. 419; see also p. 398.
Philippines
The Philippines’ AFP Standing Rules of Engagement (2005) states: “[C]ivilian population centers, public utilities and other non-military structures, shall be protected and shall not be attacked except when they are used for military purposes.” 
Philippines, AFP Standing Rules of Engagement, Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Headquarters, Office of the Chief of Staff, 1 December 2005, § 8(g).
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Combat Manual (2005) states:
[P]ersons and objects entitled to protection under international humanitarian law may not be attacked, if these persons are not engaged in hostile actions, and the objects are not used (not prepared to be used) for military purposes. 
Russian Federation, Combat Manual on the Preparation and Conducting of Combined-Arms Battles (Boevoi ustav po podgotovke i vedeniu obshevoiskovogo boya), Part 3, Platoon, Subdivision, Tank, endorsed by Order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces No. 19, 24 February 2005, § 24.
Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone’s Instructor Manual (2007) states: “Civilian objects are those objects that are not military objectives and therefore should not be attacked.” 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 26; see also p. 29.
(emphasis in original)
The manual further states: “Attack only military objectives. Civilian objects are to be spared, unless they are used for military purposes by the enemy.” 
Sierra Leone, The Law of Armed Conflict. Instructor Manual for the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), Armed Forces Education Centre, September 2007, p. 34.
South Africa
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “The general rule is that civilians and civilian property may not be the subject, or the sole object, of a military attack.” 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, § 28(a).
South Africa
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states: “The general rule is that … civilian property may not be the subject, or the sole object, of a military attack.” 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 50(a).
The manual also provides that “[a]ny unlawful attack on a clearly recognised protected object” is a grave breach of the law of armed conflict and a war crime. 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 57.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “Civilian objects shall not be subjected to attacks.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Publicación OR7-004, 2 Tomos, aprobado por el Estado Mayor del Ejército, Division de Operaciones, 18 March 1996, Vol. I, § 4.5.b.(2).b.
Spain
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states: “Civilian objects must not be the object of attack.” 
Spain, Orientaciones. El Derecho de los Conflictos Armados, Tomo 1, Publicación OR7–004, (Edición Segunda), Mando de Adiestramiento y Doctrina, Dirección de Doctrina, Orgánica y Materiales, 2 November 2007, § 4.5.b.(2).(b).
Sweden
Sweden’s IHL Manual (1991) provides: “Civilian objects and civilian property may not constitute objectives for attack or be subjected to reprisals.” 
Sweden, International Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflict, with reference to the Swedish Total Defence System, Swedish Ministry of Defence, January 1991, Section 3.2.1.5, p. 53.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Regulation on Legal Bases for Conduct during an Engagement (2005) states:
197. … Attacks against the civilian population or their property are prohibited at any time and in any place. …
225. Indiscriminate attacks, i.e. attacks which cannot distinguish between protected persons/objects and military objectives, as well as attacks directed against protected persons/objects or acts of revenge are prohibited in any place and at any time.
234 Violations of the international law of armed conflict are punished according to the provisions of the Swiss Penal Code or the Military Criminal Code.
236 Under Art. 109 of the Military Criminal Code, any person who violates the provisions of international treaties on the conduct of war and the protection of persons and goods or other recognized laws and customs of war is liable to imprisonment of up to three years or in serious cases of up to 20 years. In minor cases, disciplinary sanctions apply.
237 The following in particular are criminal offences: … harmful acts against internationally protected persons and objects[.] 
Switzerland, Bases légales du comportement à l’engagement (BCE), Règlement 51.007/IVf, Swiss Army, issued based on Article 10 of the Ordinance for the Organization of the Federal Department for Defence, Civil Protection and Sports of 7 March 2003, entry into force on 1 July 2005, §§ 197, 225, 234 and 236–237.
[emphasis in original]
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) provides that it is prohibited “to attack the civilian population, individuals and civilian objects as a deliberate method of combat”. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule III, p. 12.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK Military Manual (1958) provides:
In defended towns and localities modern methods of bombardment will inevitably destroy many buildings and sites which are not military objectives. Such destruction, if incidental to the bombardment of military objectives is not unlawful. For example the bombardment of a war factory area may well destroy the houses of workers living in that area. If, on the other hand, bombardment is directed solely against a non-military objective, it is unlawful. 
United Kingdom, The Law of War on Land being Part III of the Manual of Military Law, The War Office, HMSO, 1958, § 288.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Pamphlet (1981) provides that it is forbidden to attack “civilian objects as a deliberate method of warfare”. 
United Kingdom, The Law of Armed Conflict, D/DAT/13/35/66, Army Code 71130 (Revised 1981), Ministry of Defence, prepared under the Direction of The Chief of the General Staff, 1981, Section 4, p. 14, § 5(a).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) provides: “The civilian population and individual civilians must not be attacked and must be protected against the dangers arising from military operations; civilian objects are similarly protected.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 12.26.
In its chapter on the conduct of hostilities, under the heading “Immunity of Civilian Objects”, the manual quotes from Article 52(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I: “Civilian objects shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals”. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.24.
In a footnote to this quotation, the manual states: “The UK has reserved the right to take reprisal action against civilian objects in certain circumstances.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.24, footnote 100.
In its chapter on internal armed conflict, the manual states: “Civilian property must not be attacked.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 15.16.
United States of America
The US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) provides: “Civilian objects shall not be made the object of attack.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 5-3(a)(1)(b).
The Pamphlet also states:
In addition to the grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949, the following acts are representative of situations involving individual criminal responsibility: … (4) aerial bombardment for the deliberate purpose of … destroying protected areas, buildings or objects. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 15-3(c)(4).
United States of America
The US Rules of Engagement for Operation Desert Storm (1991) states:
Avoid harming civilian property unless necessary to save US lives. Do not attack traditional civilian objects, such as houses, unless they are being used by the enemy for military purposes and neutralization assists in mission accomplishment. 
United States, Desert Storm – Rules of Engagement, Pocket Card, US Central Command, January 1991, reprinted in Operational Law Handbook, International and Operational Law Department, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1995, pp. 8-7 and 8-8, § G.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) provides: “Civilians and civilian objects may not be made the object of attack.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 8.1.2.
United States of America
The US Manual for Military Commissions (2007), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, includes in the list of crimes triable by military commissions:
ATTACKING CIVILIAN OBJECTS.
a. Text. “Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally engages in an attack upon a civilian object that is not a military objective shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct.”
b. Elements.
(1) The accused engaged in an attack;
(2) The object of the attack was civilian property, that is, property that was not a military objective;
(3) The accused intended such civilian property to be an object of the attack;
(4) The accused knew or should have known that such property was not a military objective; and
(5) The attack took place in the context of and was associated with armed conflict.
c. Comment. The intent required for this offense precludes its applicability with regard to collateral damage or death, damage, or injury incident to a lawful attack.
d. Maximum punishment. Confinement for 20 years. 
United States, Manual for Military Commissions, published in implementation of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, 10 U.S.C. §§ 948a, et seq., 18 January 2007, Part IV, § 6(3), p. IV-4.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states: “Civilians and civilian objects may not be made the object of deliberate or indiscriminate attack.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 8.3.
The Handbook also states: “Commanders … must distinguish valid military objectives from … civilian objects before attacking.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 5.3.2.
United States of America
The US Manual for Military Commissions (2010), Part IV, Crimes and Elements, includes in the list of crimes triable by military commissions:
ATTACKING CIVILIAN OBJECTS.
a. Text. “Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally engages in an attack upon a civilian object that is not a military objective shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct.”
b. Elements.
(1) The accused engaged in an attack;
(2) The object of the attack was civilian property, that is, property that was not a military objective;
(3) The accused intended such civilian property to be an object of the attack;
(4) The accused knew or should have known that such property was not a military objective; and
(5) The attack took place in the context of and was associated with hostilities.
c. Comment. The intent required for this offense precludes its applicability with regard to collateral damage or death, damage, or injury incident to a lawful attack.
d. Maximum punishment. Confinement for 20 years. 
United States, Manual for Military Commissions, published in implementation of Chapter 47A of Title 10, United States Code, as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009, 10 U.S.C, §§ 948a, et seq., 27 April 2010, § 5(3), p. IV-4.
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Military Manual (1988) provides: “Civilian objects … may not be the object of attack.” 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Propisi o Primeri Pravila Medjunarodnog Ratnog Prava u Oruzanim Snagama SFRJ, PrU-2, Savezni Sekretarijat za Narodnu Odbranu (Pravna Uprava), 1988, § 73.
Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe’s Code of Conduct for Combatants (1993) states: “Spare civilian … objects.” 
Zimbabwe, Code of Conduct for Combatants, Joint publication of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces and the International Committee of the Red Cross Regional Delegation in Harare, 1993, p. 2.
Australia
Australia’s Criminal Code Act (1995), as amended to 2007, states with respect to serious war crimes that are committed in the course of an international armed conflict:
268.36 War crime – attacking civilian objects
A person (the perpetrator) commits an offence if:
(a) the perpetrator directs an attack; and
(b) the object of the attack is not a military objective; and
(c) the perpetrator’s conduct takes place in the context of, and is associated with, an international armed conflict.
Penalty: Imprisonment for 15 years. 
Australia, Criminal Code Act, 1995, as amended to 2007, Chapter 8, § 268.36, p. 326.
Australia
Australia’s ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act (2002) incorporates in the Criminal Code the war crimes defined in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “attacking civilian objects” in international armed conflicts. 
Australia, ICC (Consequential Amendments) Act, 2002, Schedule 1, § 268.36.
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War (1995) provides that, in international and non-international armed conflicts, attacks against civilian objects are prohibited. 
Azerbaijan, Law concerning the Protection of Civilian Persons and the Rights of Prisoners of War, 1995, Article 15.
Belgium
Belgium’s Penal Code (1867), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
14. intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives. 
Belgium, Penal Code, 1867, as amended on 5 August 2003, Chapter III, Title I bis, Article 136 quater, § 1(14).
Belgium
Belgium’s Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law (1993), as amended in 2003, provides:
War crimes envisaged in the 1949 [Geneva] Conventions … and in the [1977 Additional Protocols I and II] … , as well as in Article 8(2)(f) of the [1998 ICC Statute], and listed below, … constitute crimes under international law and shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the present title … :
8 bis. intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives. 
Belgium, Law relating to the Repression of Grave Breaches of International Humanitarian Law, 1993, as amended on 23 April 2003, Article 1ter, § 1(8bis).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (2003) states that in time of war, armed conflict or occupation, ordering or committing an “[a]ttack on civilian settlement[s]”, in violation of international law, constitutes a war crime. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Criminal Code, 2003, Article 173(1)(a).
Burundi
Burundi’s Law on Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes (2003) states:
[The following are] considered as war crimes:
B. Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflicts, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
b) launching deliberate attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives. 
Burundi, Law on Genocide, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes, 2003, Article 4(B)(b).
Burundi
Burundi’s Penal Code (2009) states:
“War crimes” means crimes which are committed as part of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes, in particular:
2. … [S]erious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:
2°. Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects. 
Burundi, Penal Code, 2009, Article 198(2)(2°).
Canada
Canada’s Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act (2000) provides that the war crimes defined in Article 8(2) of the 1998 ICC Statute are “crimes according to customary international law” and, as such, indictable offences under the Act. 
Canada, Crimes against Humanity and War Crimes Act, 2000, Section 4(1) and (4).
Congo
The Congo’s Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Act (1998) defines war crimes with reference to the categories of crimes defined in Article 8 of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
Congo, Genocide, War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity Act, 1998, Article 4.
Croatia
Under Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), it is a war crime to commit or order the commission of “an attack against … civilian objects”. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, Article 158(1).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Estonia
Under Estonia’s Penal Code (2001), “an attack against an object not used for military purposes” is a war crime. 
Estonia, Penal Code, 2001, § 106.
France
France’s Code of Defence (2004), as amended in 2008, states that it “is … prohibited [for combatants] to destroy or seize civilian objects, except in the case of military necessity”. 
France, Code of Defence, 2004, as amended in 2008, Article D4122-10.
France
France’s Penal Code (1992), as amended in 2010, states in its section on war crimes common to both international and non-international armed conflicts: “Intentionally launching attacks against civilian objects which are not military objectives is punishable by 15 years’ imprisonment.” 
France, Penal Code, 1992, as amended in 2010, Article 461-14.
Georgia
Under Georgia’s Criminal Code (1999), any war crime provided for by the 1998 ICC Statute, which is not explicitly mentioned in the Code, such as “intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives” in international armed conflicts, is a crime. 
Georgia, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 413(d).
Germany
Germany’s Law Introducing the International Crimes Code (2002) punishes anyone who, in connection with an international or a non-international armed conflict, “directs an attack by military means against civilian objects, so long as these objects are protected as such by international humanitarian law”. 
Germany, Law Introducing the International Crimes Code, 2002, Article 1, § 11(1)(1).
Hungary
Under Hungary’s Criminal Code (1978), as amended in 1998, a military commander who “pursues a war operation which causes serious damage to … goods of the civilian population” is guilty, upon conviction, of a war crime. 
Hungary, Criminal Code, 1978 as amended in 1998, Section 160(a).
Iraq
Iraq’s Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (2005) identifies “[i]ntentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, including objects which do not constitute military objectives” as a serious violation of the laws and customs of war applicable in both international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Iraq, Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal, 2005, Article 13(2)(A) and (4)(B).
Ireland
Under Ireland’s Geneva Conventions Act (1962), as amended in 1998, any “minor breach” of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, including violations of Article 52(1), is a punishable offence. 
Ireland, Geneva Conventions Act, 1962, as amended in 1998, Section 4(1) and (4).
Italy
Italy’s Law of War Decree (1938), as amended in 1992, states that “bombardment, the sole purpose of which is … to destroy or damage objects which are of no military interest,” is prohibited. 
Italy, Law of War Decree, 1938, as amended in 1992, Article 42.
Mali
Under Mali’s Penal Code (2001), “intentionally directing attacks against … civilian [objects] which are not military objectives” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts. 
Mali, Penal Code, 2001, Article 31(i)(2).
Netherlands
Under the International Crimes Act (2003) of the Netherlands, “intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects that are not military objectives” is a crime, when committed in an international armed conflict. 
Netherlands, International Crimes Act, 2003, Article 5(5)(a).
New Zealand
Under New Zealand’s International Crimes and ICC Act (2000), war crimes include the crime defined in Article 8(2)(b)(ii) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
New Zealand, International Crimes and ICC Act, 2000, Section 11(2).
Norway
Norway’s Military Penal Code (1902), as amended in 1981, provides:
Anyone who contravenes or is accessory to the contravention of provisions relating to the protection of persons or property laid down in … the two additional protocols to [the 1949 Geneva] Conventions … is liable to imprisonment. 
Norway, Military Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 1981, § 108(b).
Norway
Norway’s Penal Code (1902), as amended in 2008, states: “Any person is liable to punishment for a war crime who in connection with an armed conflict … directs an attack … against any other civil object, provided they are not military objectives.” 
Norway, Penal Code, 1902, as amended in 2008, § 106(f).
Peru
Peru’s Code of Military and Police Justice (2006) states:
A member of the military or police shall be imprisoned for a period of no less than eight and no more than 15 years if he or she in the context of an international or non-international armed conflict:
2. Directs an attack by any means against civilian objects if they are protected by international humanitarian law. 
Peru, Code of Military and Police Justice, 2006, Article 95(2).
This article is no longer in force. Along with certain other articles in this legislation, it was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court (en banc decision for case file No. 0012-2006-PI-TC, 8 January 2007) because it does not stipulate a crime committed in the line of duty that would fall under the jurisdiction of a military court pursuant to Article 173 of Peru’s Constitution.
Peru
Peru’s Military and Police Criminal Code (2010), in a chapter titled “Crimes involving the use of prohibited methods in the conduct of hostilities”, states:
A member of the military or the police shall be punished with deprivation of liberty of not less than six years and not more than twenty-five years if, in a state of emergency and when the Armed Forces assume control of the internal order, he or she:
2. Attacks civilian objects by any means, provided that these objects are protected by International Humanitarian Law. 
Peru, Military and Police Criminal Code, 2010, Article 91(2).
Republic of Korea
The Republic of Korea’s ICC Act (2007) provides for the punishment of anyone who commits the war crime of “[d]irecting attacks against civilian objects” in both international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Republic of Korea, ICC Act, 2007, Article 13(1)(2).
Acts constituting the crime of Genocide perpetrated against Tutsi and other crimes against humanity within the jurisdiction of Mediation Committee
Notwithstanding of the value of the subject matter and the address of the parties to proceedings, offences related to looting and damaging of property committed between October 1, 1990 and December 31, 1994, which were within the jurisdiction of Gacaca Courts shall be tried by the Mediation Committees applying laws governing these committees regardless that they were committed by civilians, gendarmes or soldiers. Offenders shall be ordered to pay compensation. 
Rwanda, Organic Law terminating Gacaca Courts and determining mechanisms for solving issues which were under their jurisdiction, 2012, Article 6.
Serbia
Serbia’s Criminal Code (2005) states that ordering or committing an attack on “civilian … settlements”, in violation of international law, constitutes a war crime. 
Serbia, Criminal Code, 2005, Article 372(1).
Slovakia
Slovakia’s Criminal Code (1961), as amended, punishes a commander who in a military operation intentionally “causes harm to the … property of civilians or the civilian population”. 
Slovakia, Criminal Code, 1961, as amended, Article 262(2)(a).
South Africa
South Africa’s ICC Act (2002) reproduces the war crimes listed in the 1998 ICC Statute, including “intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects” in international armed conflicts. 
South Africa, ICC Act, 2002, Schedule 1, Part 3, § (b)(ii).
Spain
Spain’s Penal Code (1995) punishes
anyone who, during an armed conflict, … attacks … civilian objects of the adverse party causing their destruction, provided the objects do not, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offer a definite military advantage nor make an effective contribution to the military action of the adversary. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, Article 613(1)(b).
Spain
Spain’s Penal Code (1995), as amended in 2010, states:
1. Anyone who in the event of an armed conflict commits or orders to be committed any of the following acts shall be punished with four to six years’ imprisonment:
d. Attacking, or making the object of … acts of hostility, … civilian objects of the adverse party, causing their destruction, provided that in the circumstances ruling at the time such property does not offer a definite military advantage nor makes an effective contribution to the military action of the adversary;
2. … In all other cases mentioned in the above article, the higher sentence can be imposed when extensive and important destructions are caused to the property, objects or installations or [the acts] are of extreme gravity. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, as amended on 23 June 2010, Article 613(1)(d) and (2).
Sudan
Sudan’s Armed Forces Act (2007) provides:
Subject to provisions of the Criminal Act of 1991, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years, whoever knowingly and voluntarily violates the laws and customs regulating armed conflicts, intentionally, and without military necessity:
(b) directs attacks against civilian targets, in their capacity as such, with his/her knowledge that such attack will result in casualties or loss of lives, unless such targets were used for military purposes. 
Sudan, Armed Forces Act, 2007, Article 153.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Military Criminal Code (1927), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states in a chapter entitled “War crimes”:
Art. 110
Articles 112–114 apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 112
1 The penalty shall be a custodial sentence of not less than three years for any person who in the context of an armed conflict directs an attack against:
c. civilian objects … that are not military objectives. 
Switzerland, Military Criminal Code, 1927, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 110 and 112(1)(c).
Switzerland
Switzerland’s Penal Code (1937), taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, states under the title “War crimes”:
Art. 264b
Articles 264d–264j apply in the context of international armed conflicts, including in situations of occupation, and, if the nature of the offence does not exclude it, in the context of non-international armed conflicts.
Art. 264d
1 The penalty shall be a custodial sentence of not less than three years for any person who in the context of an armed conflict directs an attack against:
c. civilian objects … that are not military objectives. 
Switzerland, Penal Code, 1937, taking into account amendments entered into force up to 2011, Articles 264b and 264d (1)(c).
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Under the UK ICC Act (2001), it is a punishable offence to commit a war crime as defined in Article 8(2)(b)(ii) of the 1998 ICC Statute. 
United Kingdom, ICC Act, 2001, Sections 50(1) and 51(1) (England and Wales) and Section 58(1) (Northern Ireland).
United States of America
The US Military Commissions Act (2006), passed by Congress following the Supreme Court’s decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld in 2006, amends Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950v. Crimes triable by military commissions
(b) OFFENSES. – The following offenses shall be triable by military commission under this chapter at any time without limitation:
(3) ATTACKING CIVILIAN OBJECTS. – Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally engages in an attack upon a civilian object that is not a military objective shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2006, Public Law 109-366, Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code, 17 October 2006, p. 120 Stat. 2626, § 950v(b)(3).
United States of America
The US Military Commissions Act (2009) amends Chapter 47A of Title 10 of the United States Code as follows:
§ 950t. Crimes triable by military commission
“The following offenses shall be triable by military commission under this chapter at any time without limitation:
“ …
“(3) ATTACKING CIVILIAN OBJECTS.—Any person subject to this chapter who intentionally engages in an attack upon a civilian object that is not a military objective shall be punished as a military commission under this chapter may direct. 
United States, Military Commissions Act, 2009, § 950t(3).
Uruguay
Uruguay’s Law on Cooperation with the ICC (2006) states:
26.2. Persons and objects affected by the war crimes set out in the present provision are persons and objects which international law protects in international or internal armed conflict.
26.3. The following are war crimes:
10. Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives. 
Uruguay, Law on Cooperation with the ICC, 2006, Article 26.2 and 26.3.10.
Yemen
Under Yemen’s Military Criminal Code (1998), “attacks on public and private civilian installations” are war crimes. 
Yemen, Military Criminal Code, 1998, Article 21(7).
Canada
In 2013, in the Sapkota case, Canada’s Federal Court dismissed a request for review of a decision denying refugee protection to the applicant on grounds of complicity in crimes against humanity in Nepal between 1991 and 2009. While reviewing the submissions of the respondent, Canada’s Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Court stated: “The Respondent notes that the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court … is endorsed in Canada as a source of customary law.” 
Canada, Federal Court, Sapkota case, Reasons for Judgment and Judgment, 15 July 2013, § 28.
Colombia
The Report on the Practice of Colombia refers to a decision of the Council of State in 1994 which considered the guerrilla attack on the Palace of Justice as a terrorist attack directed against a civilian object. 
Report on the Practice of Colombia, 1998, Chapter 1.3, referring to Council of State, Administrative Case No. 9276, Judgment, 19 August 1994.
Croatia
In 1997, a court in Croatia sentenced 39 people, both soldiers and commanders, to prison terms ranging from 5 to 20 years on charges which included attacks on civilian property, churches, schools and a dam. 
Croatia, District Court of Split, RA. R. case, Judgment, 26 May 1997.
Spain
In 2010, in the Couso case, which concerned the killing of a Spanish journalist in Baghdad on 8 April 2003 by troops of the United States of America, the Criminal Chamber of Spain’s Supreme Court referred to norms of IHL relevant to the case under review, including Article 57(5) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Spain, Supreme Court, Couso case, Judgment, 13 July 2010, Section II(II), Sexto, § 2, p. 15.
Venezuela
In 2001, in the Ballestas case, the Colombian Government requested the preventive detention and extradition of a Colombian citizen belonging to the armed group known as the Ejército de Liberación Nacional (National Liberation Army) for the crimes of rebellion, kidnapping, wrongful death, seizure and diversion of aircraft. The Chamber of Criminal Appeals of Venezuela’s Supreme Tribunal of Justice stated: “Attacks on innocent people who have no relationship to the interests at stake or to the problem … are not justified even in a military war. … [These are] governed by laws that prohibit attacks … on non-military targets”. 
Venezuela, Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Ballestas case, Judgment, 10 December 2001, p. 8.
Belgium
The Report on the Practice of Belgium states that Belgium considered itself bound by the prohibition of attacks on civilian objects even before the adoption of the 1977 Additional Protocol I. 
Report on the Practice of Belgium, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Croatia
In a letter to the President of the UN Security Council in 1992, Croatia expressed strong protest over attacks it alleged were carried out against the civilian population and civilian facilities in the wider area of the town of Slavonski Brod launched by Serbs from Bosnia and Herzegovina and the UN Protected Area territories in Croatia and which it considered contrary to Articles 51 and 52 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I.  
Croatia, Letter dated 24 August 1992 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/24481, 25 August 1992, p. 3.
Cuba
In 2010, in a statement before the UN General Assembly on the status of the Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Armed Conflicts, the representative of Cuba stated:
Increasingly, the civilian population are the victims and direct targets of all kinds of abuses committed by armed forces involved in conflicts … The constant imperialist aggression and permanent interference in the internal affairs of third world countries, … [and] the systematic destruction of the infrastructure of these countries … are [among] the fundamental causes of current violations of international humanitarian law. 
Cuba, Statement by the representative of Cuba before the UN General Assembly on Item 86: The Status of the Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and Relating to the Protection of Victims of Armed Conflicts, 13 October 2010, p. 1.
Djibouti
In 2010, in the History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, under the heading “Basic rules of IHL” and in a section on “Distinction”, stated that “[i]t is prohibited to attack civilian objects”. 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, 2010, p. 194.
Djibouti
In 2011, in the History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, under the heading “[O]ffences related to violations of humanitarian law”, listed “intentionally directing attacks … against civilian objects that are not military objectives”. 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, History and Geography Textbook for 9th Grade, 2011, p. 210.
Egypt
On the basis of a military communiqué issued by Egypt during the 1973 Middle East conflict, the Report on the Practice of Egypt states that Egypt considers that civilian objects should be immune from attacks. The report also refers to a letter from the Counsel of the Egyptian President to the US Secretary of State condemning Israeli attacks on civilian objects. 
Report on the Practice of Egypt, 1997, Chapter 1.3, referring to Military Communiqué No. 63, 26 October 1973, and Letter from Hafez Ismail, Counsel to the Egyptian President, to Henry Kissinger, US Secretary of State, 11 October 1973.
European Community
In a declaration on Yugoslavia adopted in 1991, the European Community and its member States, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America stated that they were “particularly disturbed by reports of continued attacks on civilian targets by elements of the federal armed forces and by both Serbian and Croat irregular forces”. 
European Community, USSR and United States of America, Declaration on Yugoslavia, The Hague, 18 October 1991, annexed to Letter dated 21 October 1991 from the Netherlands, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/C.1/46/11, 24 October 1991.
France
The instructions given to the French armed forces for the conduct of Opération Mistral, simulating a military operation under the right of self-defence or a mandate of the UN Security Council, state: “Civilian property shall not be made the object of attack.” 
France, Etat-major de la Force d’Action Rapide, Ordres pour l’Opération Mistral, 1995, Section 6, § 66.
Iraq
In 1984, in reply to criticism for alleged attacks against civilian objects during the hostilities against the Islamic Republic of Iran, the President of Iraq stated: “Our aircraft did not bomb civilian targets in Baneh during their raid of 5 June; they bombed a camp in which a large body of Iranian forces was concentrated.” 
Iraq, Message from the President of Iraq, annexed to Letter dated 10 June 1984 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/16610, 19 June 1984, p. 2.
Islamic Republic of Iran
According to the Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, during the Iran–Iraq War, Iranian authorities, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Parliament, condemned Iraqi attacks on civilian objects, which Iran always regarded as war crimes. The report further points out that Iran always insisted that war must be limited to battlefronts and that it had no intention of attacking civilian objects. When Iraq accused Iran of bombarding civilian targets, Iranian military communiqués denied these allegations and claimed that Iranian attacks were limited to military or economic facilities. The report concludes that “in practice, civilian objects were not targeted, except [in] reprisal”. 
Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1997, Chapter 1.3; see also Chapter 6.5 (definition of war crimes).
Israel
In 2007, the Government of Israel stated in a diplomatic note:
Damage to property [caused by Hizbullah’s missile attacks] was also heavy: in total, some 12,000 civilian buildings were damaged, among them about 400 public buildings, while about 2,000 private homes and apartments were completely destroyed. In addition, 23 schools, four kindergartens and two community centers were damaged. During the conflict, hospitals were damaged in Nahariya, Haifa, Safed and Mizra. One of them – a psychiatric hospital – had to be evacuated.
Significant damage was also inflicted on infrastructure: sewage plants were damaged and, in some cases, sewage had to be released into the sea and atmosphere (by burning). Over 50 km of roads were damaged and 2 km² of cultivated forest, as well as 40 km² of natural woodland, were destroyed by fires caused by the missiles. All these clearly constitute civilian objects, which are protected from attack by international law, and whose destruction served no military purpose whatsoever. 
Israel, Israel’s War with Hizbullah. Preserving Humanitarian Principles While Combating Terrorism, Diplomatic Notes No. 1, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Israel, April 2007, p. 5.
Israel
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “Any attack against civilian objectives shall be prohibited.” 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 223.
The report also stated: “Special precautions were to be taken when conducting military activities near U.N. or diplomatic premises”. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 224.
Israel
In July 2010, in a second update of its July 2009 report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009, Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “IDF orders and doctrine strictly prohibit the intentional targeting of … civilian objects”. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Gaza Operation Investigations: Second Update, 19 July 2010, § 58.
Mexico
At the CDDH, Mexico stated that it believed Article 47 of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52) to be so essential that it “cannot be the subject of any reservations whatsoever since these would be inconsistent with the aim and purpose of Protocol I and undermine its basis”. 
Mexico, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 193.
Mozambique
In a communiqué issued in 1992, the Council of Ministers of Mozambique stated that it considered that:
RENAMO’s behaviour, namely … launching offensives against civilian targets, in a deliberate strategy of conquest of territories and strategic positions … constitutes a grave and systematic violation that seriously jeopardizes the General Peace Agreement. 
Mozambique, Communiqué issued by the Council of Ministers, 20 October 1992, annexed to Letter dated 23 October 1992 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/24724, 28 October 1992, p. 4.
Norway
In 2009, in a statement on Gaza before the UN General Assembly, the permanent representative of Norway stated:
Norway strongly condemns Israel’s shelling of the Headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza. UNRWA is the lifeline and the safety net for hundreds of thousands of Palestinians. UNRWA has continued to deliver assistance to Palestinian refugees under dangerous circumstances throughout this conflict. Norway also strongly condemns Israel’s shelling of the al-Quds Hospital of the Palestinian Red Crescent. Such attacks are completely unacceptable and contrary to international law. 
Norway, Statement by the permanent representative of Norway before the UN General Assembly during a debate on Gaza, 16 January 2009.
Russian Federation
The Report on the Practice of the Russian Federation considers that while there are no clear-cut criteria of distinction between military objectives and civilian objects, the relevant military instructions refer to the prohibition of attacks on civilian objects and the protection of these objects. 
Report on the Practice of the Russian Federation, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Russian Federation
In 2008, in a statement before the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the permanent representative of the Russian Federation stated: “The United Nations must rapidly and effectively respond to incidents of … the destruction of civilian facilities during armed conflict.” 
Russian Federation, Statement by the permanent representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations at a UN Security Council meeting on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 5898th meeting, 27 May 2008.
Rwanda
The Report on the Practice of Rwanda considers the prohibition on targeting civilian objects as a required precaution in attack. 
Report on the Practice of Rwanda, 1997, Chapter 1.6.
In situations of armed conflict, while the primary responsibility of the protection of civilians rests with the State, we equally remind non-State actors and the United Nations, including peacekeepers and other humanitarian actors, to prioritize the protection of civilians. Rwanda therefore calls upon the parties to fully observe strict compliance with international law, to avoid targeting civilian objects, to stop militarizing camps and to allow access to humanitarian assistance. 
Rwanda, Statement by the Political Coordinator of Rwanda before the UN Security Council during a meeting on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, UN Doc. S/PV.7019, 19 August 2013, p. 20.
Slovenia
In 1992, in a note verbale addressed to the UN Secretary-General, Slovenia expressed its readiness to provide information concerning violations of IHL committed by members of the Yugoslav Army during the 10-day conflict with Slovenia, including “bombing, shooting and destroying civilian targets and private property”. 
Slovenia, Note verbale dated 5 November 1992 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/24789, 9 November 1992, p. 2.
Somalia
In 2011, in its report to the Human Rights Council, Somalia stated: “The Government forces are also bound to respect customary IHL rules relating to the prohibited methods and means of warfare including … the prohibition of intentional … attacks against civilian objects”. 
Somalia, Report to the Human Rights Council, 11 April 2011, UN Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/11/SOM/1, § 76.
Sweden
In its written statement submitted to the ICJ in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1995, Sweden stated: “Under the principle of distinction, an attack on a civilian population or civilian property is prohibited.” 
Sweden, Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, 20 June 1995, p. 3; see also Written statement submitted to the ICJ, Nuclear Weapons (WHO) case, 2 June 1994, p. 3.
Switzerland
In 2005, in a report in response to a parliamentary postulate on private security and military companies, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated: “International humanitarian law also limits the conduct of military operations permissible under international law. Thus[,] for example, attacks against protected groups and property such as civilians and civilian property … are forbidden.” 
Switzerland, Report by the Swiss Federal Council on Private Security and Military Companies, 2 December 2005, Section 5.3.1, pp. 45–46.
Switzerland
In 2008, in its response to a question by a member of the National Council, Switzerland’s Federal Council wrote:
1. In its press release of 7 March 2008, the FDFA [Federal Department of Foreign Affairs] condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack against an institute of Talmudic studies in Jerusalem …
2. Attacks directed against … civilian objects are a clear violation of international humanitarian law. 
Switzerland, National Council, Response by the Federal Council to Interpellation No. 08.3127, 14 May 2008, p. 1.
Switzerland
Switzerland’s ABC of International Humanitarian Law (2009) states:
Civilian objects
International humanitarian law distinguishes between Civilian objects and Military objectives, prohibiting acts of violence against the former. …
Conduct of hostilities
Not all Means and methods of warfare are allowed in an Armed conflict. International humanitarian law stipulates the military operations, tactics and weapons that are permissible. The two generally accepted principles of Distinction and Proportionality are the basis for a number of specific rules such as the prohibition of direct attacks on the civilian population or on Civilian objects, …
Distinction
International humanitarian law protects the civilian population and prohibits attacks against Civilians and Civilian objects. One of its ground rules is the principle of distinction: the parties to a conflict are obliged to conduct military operations exclusively against Military objectives and must therefore always distinguish between Civilians and Combatants as well as between Civilian objects and Military objectives. …
Military objectives
International humanitarian law distinguishes between Civilian objects and military objectives. … Under international humanitarian law military personnel must at all times give full consideration to the nature of a potential target and opt exclusively for those that qualify as genuine military objectives.
Terrorism
The concept of “terrorism” has not yet been defined in International law. International law, Human rights and international humanitarian law nonetheless do prohibit many terrorism related acts and activities. In fact, according to international humanitarian law, acts generally considered as acts of terrorism, such as strikes against the civilian population or Civilian [o]bjects, … , are prohibited both in international and non-international armed conflict. …
War crimes
War crimes are grave breaches of the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 protecting persons and objects[,] as well as other serious violations of the laws and customs that apply to an international or non-international Armed conflict. War crimes include notably: … wilful attacks against Civilians and against Civilian objectives[.] 
Switzerland, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, ABC of International Humanitarian Law, 2009, pp. 12, 13–14, 17, 30, 39 and 40. In the French version of this brochure, the sentence “War crimes include notably: … wilful attacks against Civilians and against Civilian objectives” reads “Parmi ces infractions, citons … l’attaque intentionnelle contre des civils ou des biens civils” (see ABC du Droit International Humanitaire, 2014, 2nd revised edition, p. 21).
Switzerland
In 2013, in answer to an interpellation in Parliament regarding the use of drones, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
In armed conflicts, strikes carried out with armed drones must respect the rules of the conduct of hostilities as stipulated by international humanitarian law, including the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution, and must therefore not be directed against civilians or civilian objects. For each strike, it is thus necessary to verify that these principles were respected. 
Switzerland, Answer by the Federal Council to interpellation 13.3245 in Parliament regarding the use of drones, 29 May 2013.
Switzerland
In 2013, in a statement during an interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons at the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly, the representative of Switzerland stated: “Switzerland condemns in the strongest terms deliberate attacks … against civilian infrastructure … Such attacks constitute serious violations of international humanitarian law.” 
Switzerland, Statement by the representative of Switzerland during an interactive dialogue with the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons at the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly, 24 October 2013.
United Arab Emirates
In 1996, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates stated that arbitrary bombings of civilian regions were a violation of IHL and of the 1949 Geneva Convention IV and referred to an ICRC statement condemning such actions on the part of Israel. 
United Arab Emirates, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3653, 15 April 1996, p. 17.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
At the CDDH, following the adoption of Article 47 of the draft Additional Protocol I (now Article 52), the United Kingdom stated that it “welcomed the reaffirmation, in paragraph 2, of the customary law rule that civilian objects must not be the direct object of attack”. 
United Kingdom, Statement at the CDDH, Official Records, Vol. VI, CDDH/SR.41, 26 May 1977, p. 169, § 153.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1996, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Lebanon, the United Kingdom stated that attacks directed at civilian targets must be put to an end. 
United Kingdom, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3653, 15 April 1996, p. 13.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2006, in a written answer to a question concerning, inter alia, “the implications under the Geneva Conventions of the targeting by Israel of civilian facilities and infrastructure in Gaza”, the UK Minister of State for the Middle East, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, stated: “We are opposed to the targeting of civilian facilities and call upon Israel to respect international law.” 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Minister of State for the Middle East, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 10 July 2006, Vol. 448, Written Answers, col. 1522W.
United States of America
In 1966, in reply to an inquiry from a member of the US House of Representatives asking for a restatement of US policy on targeting in North Vietnam, a US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense wrote: “No United States aircraft have been ordered to strike any civilian targets in North Vietnam at any time … We have no knowledge that any pilot has disobeyed his orders and deliberately attacked these or any other nonmilitary targets in North Vietnam.” 
United States, Letter from Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Goulding to US Representative Ogden Reid from New York, 30 December 1966, reprinted in Marjorie Whiteman, Digest of International Law, Vol. 10, Department of State Publication 8367, Washington, D.C., 1968, p. 428.
United States of America
In 1974, at the Lucerne Conference of Government Experts on Weapons which may Cause Unnecessary Suffering or have Indiscriminate Effects, the head of the US delegation stated that “the law of war also prohibits attacks on civilians and civilian objects as such”. 
United States, Statement of 25 September 1974 at the Conference of Government Experts on Weapons which may Cause Unnecessary Suffering or have Indiscriminate Effects, Lucerne, 24 September–18 October 1974, reprinted in Arthur W. Rovine, Digest of United States Practice in International Law, 1974, Department of State Publication 8809, Washington, D.C., 1975, p. 713.
United States of America
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, the United States stated: “Over 52,000 coalition air sorties have been carried out since hostilities began on 16 January. These sorties were not flown against any civilian or religious targets.” 
United States, Letter dated 8 February 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22216, 13 February 1991, p. 1
United States of America
In a declaration on Yugoslavia adopted in 1991, the European Community and its member States, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States stated that they were “particularly disturbed by reports of continued attacks on civilian targets by elements of the federal armed forces and by both Serbian and Croat irregular forces”. 
European Community, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and United States of America, Declaration on Yugoslavia, The Hague, 18 October 1991, annexed to Letter dated 21 October 1991 from the Netherlands, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/C.1/46/11, 24 October 1991.
United States of America
In 1993, in its report to Congress on the protection of natural and cultural resources during times of war, the US Department of Defense stated:
The United States considers the obligations to protect natural, civilian, and cultural property to be customary international law … Cultural property, civilian objects, and natural resources are protected from intentional attack so long as they are not utilized for military purposes. 
United States, Department of Defense, Report to Congress on International Policies and Procedures Regarding the Protection of Natural and Cultural Resources During Times of War, 19 January 1993, p. 202.
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
In a declaration on Yugoslavia adopted in 1991, the USSR, together with the European Community and its member States and the United States, stated that they were “particularly disturbed by reports of continued attacks on civilian targets by elements of the federal armed forces and by both Serbian and Croat irregular forces”. 
European Community, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and United States of America, Declaration on Yugoslavia, The Hague, 18 October 1991, annexed to Letter dated 21 October 1991 from the Netherlands, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. A/C.1/46/11, 24 October 1991.
Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of
In the Legality of Use of Force cases in 1999, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia initiated proceedings before the ICJ against ten NATO member States (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom and United States) on the ground, inter alia, that “by taking part in attacks on civilian targets, [the respective States had] acted against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in breach of [their] obligation to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects”. 
Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of, Applications instituting proceedings submitted to the ICJ, Legality of Use of Force cases (Yugoslavia v. Belgium; Yugoslavia v. Canada; Yugoslavia v. France; Yugoslavia v. Germany; Yugoslavia v. Italy; Yugoslavia v. Netherlands; Yugoslavia v. Portugal; Yugoslavia v. Spain; Yugoslavia v. United Kingdom; Yugoslavia v. United States of America), 29 April 1999.
In its memorial submitted to the ICJ in 2000, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia further specified:
- by attacks on civilian targets, and by inflicting damage, injuries and losses to civilians and civilian objects, [the respective States had] acted against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in breach of [their] obligation to spare the civilian population, civilians and civilian objects. 
Yugoslavia, Federal Republic of, Memorial submitted to the ICJ, Legality of Use of Force cases (Yugoslavia v. Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal and United Kingdom), 5 January 2000, p. 351.
The ICJ had found in 1999 that it manifestly lacked jurisdiction in the cases against Spain and the United States and had ordered the removal of these cases from the ICJ’s general list. 
ICJ, Legality of Use of Force cases (Yugoslavia v. Spain; Yugoslavia v. United States of America), Provisional Measures, Orders, 2 June 1999, ICJ Reports 1999, p. 761; p. 916.
The ICJ further found, in its judgments on the preliminary objections in 2004, that it lacked jurisdiction also with regard to the remaining eight cases. 
ICJ, Legality of Use of Force cases (Serbia and Montenegro v. Belgium; Serbia and Montenegro v. Canada; Serbia and Montenegro v. France; Serbia and Montenegro v. Germany; Serbia and Montenegro v. Italy; Serbia and Montenegro v. Netherlands; Serbia and Montenegro v. Portugal; Serbia and Montenegro v. United Kingdom), Preliminary Objections, Judgments, 15 December 2004, ICJ Reports 2004, p. 279; p. 429; p. 575; p. 720; p. 865; p. 1011; p. 1160; p. 1307.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1996 on Lebanon, the UN Security Council stated that it was gravely concerned by all attacks on civilian targets. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1052, 18 April 1996, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1999 on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, the UN Security Council strongly condemned “attacks on objects protected under international law” and called on all parties “to put an end to such practices”.  
UN Security Council, Res. 1265, 17 September 1999, § 2, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on children in armed conflict, the UN Security Council, inter alia, strongly condemned certain crimes involving children in armed conflict, including “attacks against schools and hospitals”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1539, 22 April 2004, § 1, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In 1995, in a statement by its President, the UN Security Council condemned “any shelling of civilian targets” in and around Croatia. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1995/38, 4 August 1995, p. 1.
UN Security Council
In 2006, in a statement by its President on children and armed conflict, the UN Security Council strongly condemned “attacks against schools and hospitals by parties to armed conflict”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/2006/48, 28 November 2006, p. 2.
Assembly of the League of Nations
In a resolution adopted in 1938 on the protection of civilian populations against air bombardment in case of war, the Assembly of the League of Nations stated: “Objectives aimed at from the air must be legitimate military objectives and must be identifiable.” 
League of Nations, Assembly, Resolution adopted on 30 September 1938, § I(2), Official Journal, Special Supplement No. 182, Records of the XIXth Ordinary Session of the Assembly, pp. 15–17.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1995, the UN General Assembly condemned “the use of cluster bombs on civilian targets by Bosnian Serb and Croatian Serb forces”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 50/193, 22 December 1995, § 5, voting record: 144-1-20-20.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1996 on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, the UN General Assembly urged the Government of Sudan “to cease immediately all aerial attacks on civilian targets and other attacks that are in violation of international humanitarian law”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 51/112, 12 December 1996, § 8, voting record: 100-16-50-19.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the human rights situation arising from the recent Israeli military operations in Lebanon, the UN General Assembly:
Condemns all acts of violence against civilians, including the bombardment by Israeli military forces of Lebanese civilians causing extensive loss of life and injuries, including among children, immense destruction of homes, properties, agricultural lands and vital civilian infrastructure, and the displacement of up to one million Lebanese civilians and outflows of refugees fleeing heavy shelling and bombardment directed against the civilian population, thus exacerbating the magnitude of human suffering in Lebanon. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 61/154, 19 December 2006, § 1, voting record: 112-7-64-9.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1993 on the situation of human rights in the former Yugoslavia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “attacks against non-military targets”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1993/7, 23 February 1993, § 10, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on the situation of human rights in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned the “attacks against civilian targets”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1994/75, 9 March 1994, § 1, voting record: 41-1-10.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1994, the UN Commission on Human Rights called upon the Government of Sudan “to explain without delay the circumstances of the recent air attacks on civilian targets in southern Sudan”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1994/79, 9 March 1994, § 6, voting record: 35-9-9.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1995, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the use of cluster and napalm bombs against civilian targets by Bosnian and Croatian Serb forces”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1995/89, 8 March 1995, § 5, voting record: 44-0-7.
UN Human Rights Council
In a resolution adopted in 2006 entitled “The grave situation of human rights in Lebanon caused by Israeli military operations”, the UN Human Rights Council:
Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, relevant human rights instruments and international humanitarian law, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 on the Laws and Customs of War on Land which prohibit attacks and bombardment of civilian populations and objects and lay down obligations for general protection against dangers arising from military operations against civilian objects, hospitals, relief materials and means of transportation,
3. Also condemns the Israeli bombardment of vital civilian infrastructure resulting in extensive destruction and heavy damage to public and private properties;
6. Calls upon Israel to stop immediately military operations against the civilian population and civilian objects resulting in death and destruction and serious violations of human rights. 
UN Human Rights Council, Res. S-2/1, 11 August 2006, preamble and §§ 3 and 6, voting record: 27-11-8.
UN Secretary-General
In 1996, in a report on UNIFIL in Lebanon, the UN Secretary-General noted that in the text of a partial ceasefire concluded on 27 April 1996, Israel agreed not to fire or aim any kind of weapon at civilians or civilian targets in Lebanon. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on UNIFIL, UN Doc. S/1996/575, 20 July 1996, § 24.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
The prohibition of direct attacks against civilian objects was a constant preoccupation in the periodic reports on the situation of human rights in the former Yugoslavia submitted by the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights. For example, in his third report in 1993, the Special Rapporteur considered the shelling of civilian objects as a feature of the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, citing the bombing of the central mosque in Sarajevo and of the city of Dobrinja. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Former Yugoslavia, Third periodic report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1994/6, 26 August 1993, § 37.
In the final recommendations of his fifth periodic report, the Special Rapporteur requested that in the conduct of hostilities in the UN Protected Areas, the parties refrain from all further shelling of civilian objects. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Former Yugoslavia, Fifth periodic report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1994/47, 17 November 1993, §§ 10, 45, 65–67, 92–96, 161–164 and 235.
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992)
In 1994, in its final report on grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions and other violations of IHL committed in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992) stated:
The concealment of Bosnian Government forces among civilian property may have caused the attraction of fire from the Bosnian Serb Army which may have resulted in legitimate collateral damage. There is enough apparent damage to civilian objects in Sarajevo to conclude that either civilian objects have been deliberately targeted or they have been indiscriminately attacked. 
UN Commission of Experts Established pursuant to Security Council Resolution 780 (1992), Final report, UN Doc. S/1994/674, 27 May 1994, Annex, § 206.
Organization of the Islamic Conference
Addressing the President of the UN Security Council as members of the Contact Group of the OIC in 1992, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Turkey protested against “the continued aggression of the Serbian elements who, through artillery and air attacks on civilian targets, continue to violate the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, international humanitarian law and the basic norms of civilized behaviour”. 
OIC, Contact Group on Bosnia and Herzegovina, Letter dated 5 October 1992 from Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Turkey to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/24620, 6 October 1992, p. 1.
International Conference of the Red Cross (1999)
The Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003 adopted in 1999 by the 27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent requested that all the parties to an armed conflict take effective measures to ensure that:
in the conduct of hostilities, every effort is made – in addition to the total ban on directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against civilians not taking a direct part in hostilities or against civilian objects – … to protect civilian objects including cultural property, places of worship and diplomatic facilities. 
27th International Conference of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Geneva, 31 October–6 November 1999, Res. I, Annex 2, Plan of Action for the years 2000–2003, Actions proposed for final goal 1.1, § 1(a).
International Court of Justice
In its advisory opinion in the Nuclear Weapons case in 1996, the ICJ stated: “The cardinal principles contained in the texts constituting the fabric of humanitarian law are the following. The first is aimed at the protection of the civilian population and civilian objects.” 
ICJ, Nuclear Weapons case, Advisory Opinion, 8 July 1996, § 78.
International Court of Justice
In its judgment in the Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo case (DRC v. Uganda) in 2005, the ICJ stated:
The Court … finds that there is sufficient evidence of a reliable quality to support the DRC’s [Democratic Republic of the Congo’s] allegation that the UPDF [Uganda Peoples’ Defence Forces] failed to protect the civilian population and to distinguish between combatants and non-combatants in the course of fighting against other troops, especially the FAR [Forces Armées Rwandaises]. According to the report of the inter-agency assessment mission to Kisangani … the armed conflict between Ugandan and Rwandan forces in Kisangani led to “fighting spreading into residential areas and indiscriminate shelling occurring for 6 days … More than 4,000 houses were partially damaged, destroyed or made uninhabitable. Sixty-nine schools were shelled, and other public buildings were badly damaged. Medical facilities and the cathedral were also damaged during the shelling, and 65,000 residents were forced to flee the fighting and seek refuge in nearby forests.” 
ICJ, Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo case (DRC v. Uganda), Judgment, 19 December 2005, § 208.
The Court subsequently found that Uganda, through the conduct of its armed forces, had “violated its obligations under international human rights law and international humanitarian law” for, inter alia, having “destroyed villages and civilian buildings [and having] failed to distinguish between civilian and military targets”. 
ICJ, Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo case (DRC v. Uganda), Judgment, 19 December 2005, §§ 211 and 345(3).
International Criminal Court
In the Abu Garda case, the accused, Chairman and General Coordinator of Military Operations of the United Resistance Front in Darfur, Sudan, was charged, inter alia, with the war crime of intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission, within the meaning of Articles 8(2)(e)(iii) and 25(3)(a) of the 1998 ICC Statute. In its decision on the confirmation of charges in 2010, the Pre-Trial Chamber considered the prohibition on attacks against civilian objects, stating:
85. The Majority notes that, while international humanitarian law offers protection to all civilians in both international armed conflict and armed conflict not of an international character, the same cannot be said of all civilian objects, in respect of which protection differs according to the nature of the conflict. Whereas article 52 of API [the 1977 Additional Protocol I] provides for “general protection of civilian objects” during international armed conflict, such broad protection is not explicitly provided under [the 1977] Additional Protocol II, which only affords protection to a limited number of civilian objects. The negotiators of the Statute were certainly aware of this marked difference between international armed conflict and armed conflict not of an international character. Accordingly, the war crime of attacking civilian objects described in article 8 (2)(b)(ii) has no equivalent in article 8 (2)(e) of the Statute, which pertains to armed conflict not of an international character.
86. During discussions within the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court, the Governments of Belgium, Costa Rica, Finland, Hungary, the Republic of Korea, South Africa and the Permanent Observer Mission of Switzerland to the United Nations submitted to the Working Group on Elements of Crimes a paper prepared by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on, inter alia, the elements of article 8(2)(e)(iii) of the Statute. In this document it was argued that, although there is no comparable provision under APII [the 1977 Additional Protocol II] to article 52 of API, “the indication found in [the latter] for when an object is no longer entitled to protection as a civilian object might be of relevance in a non-international armed conflict as well”. 
ICC, Abu Garda case, Decision on the confirmation of charges, 8 February 2010, §§ 85–86.
[footnotes in original omitted]
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its judgment in the Kupreškić case in 2000, the ICTY Trial Chamber stated:
The protection of civilians in time of armed conflict, whether international or internal, is the bedrock of modern humanitarian law … Indeed, it is now a universally recognised principle, recently restated by the International Court of Justice [in the Nuclear Weapons case], that deliberate attacks on civilians or civilian objects are absolutely prohibited by international humanitarian law. 
ICTY, Kupreškić case, Judgment, 14 January 2000, § 521.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the Blaškić case before the ICTY in 1997, the accused was charged with “unlawful attack on civilian objects” in violation of the laws or customs of war. 
ICTY, Blaškić case, Second Amended Indictment, 25 April 1997, § 8, Count 4.
In its judgment in 2000, the ICTY Trial Chamber held: “The parties to the conflict are obliged to attempt to distinguish between military targets and civilian persons or property. Targeting civilians or civilian property is an offence when not justified by military necessity.” 
ICTY, Blaškić case, Judgment, 3 March 2000, § 180.
The Trial Chamber found the accused guilty of “a violation of the laws or customs of war under Article 3 of the [1993 ICTY] Statute and recognized by Article 52(1) of Additional Protocol I: unlawful attacks on civilian objects”. 
ICTY, Blaškić case, Judgment, 3 March 2000, Section VI, Disposition.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the Kordić and Čerkez case before the ICTY in 1998, the accused were charged with “unlawful attack on civilian objects” in violation of the laws or customs of war. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, First Amended Indictment, 30 September 1998, §§ 40 and 41, Counts 4 and 6.
In an interlocutory decision in this case in 1999, the ICTY Trial Chamber held that it was “indisputable” that the prohibition of attacks on civilian objects was a generally accepted obligation and that as a consequence, “there is no possible doubt as to the customary status” of Article 52(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I as it reflects a core principle of humanitarian law “that can be considered as applying to all armed conflicts, whether intended to apply to international or non-international conflicts”. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, Decision on the Joint Defence Motion, 2 March 1999, § 31.
In its judgment in 2001, the ICTY Trial Chamber stated:
Prohibited attacks are those launched deliberately against … civilian objects in the course of an armed conflict and are not justified by military necessity. They must have caused … extensive damage to civilian objects. Such attacks are in direct contravention of the prohibitions expressly recognised in international law including the relevant provisions of Additional Protocol I. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, Judgment, 26 February 2001, § 328.
The Tribunal found the accused guilty of “a violation of the laws or customs of war, as recognised by Article 3 [of the 1993 ICTY Statute] (unlawful attack on civilian objects)”. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, Judgment, 26 February 2001, Section V, Disposition.
In its judgment on appeal in 2004, the ICTY Appeals Chamber stated, in relation to the level of seriousness of an attack necessary before individual criminal responsibility could be attributed:
65. [A]ttacks in violation of Articles 51 [Protection of the civilian population] and 52 [General protection of civilian objects] of Additional Protocol I are clearly unlawful even without causing serious harm. …
66. [However, t]he Appeals Chamber finds that at the time the unlawful attack occurred in this case, there was no basis for finding that, as a matter of customary international law, State practice or opinio iuris translated the prohibitions under Articles 51 and 52 of Additional Protocol I into international crimes, such that unlawful attacks were largely penalized regardless of the showing of a serious result. State practice was not settled as some required the showing of serious injury, death or damage as a result under their national penal legislation, while others did not.
67. … [T]he Appeals Chamber is not satisfied that at the relevant time, a violation of Articles 51 and 52 of Additional Protocol I incurred individual criminal responsibility under Article 3 of the [1993 ICTY] Statute without causing death, serious injury to body or health, or results listed in Article 3 of the Statute, or being of the same gravity. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, Judgment on Appeal, 17 December 2004, §§ 65–67.
The Appeals Chamber also noted:
[I]n principle, the crime of unlawful attack on civilian objects does not require proof of a specific amount of civilian destruction as long as there is evidence which proves beyond reasonable doubt that civilian objects were deliberately attacked. However, in a circumstantial case such as the present one, the scale of civilian destruction may be relevant to determine whether an attack is aimed at civilian objects. 
ICTY, Kordić and Čerkez case, Judgment on Appeal, 17 December 2004, § 453.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the Miodrag Jokić case before the ICTY in 2003, the accused, a senior officer in the Yugoslav Navy, was charged with six counts of violations of the laws or customs of war, among them “unlawful attacks on civilian objects” (“as recognised by Article 52 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions of 1949, and customary law, punishable under Article [ … ] 3 … of the Statute of the Tribunal”), for his role in the shelling of Dubrovnik on 6 December 1991. The accused was charged as an aider and abettor under Article 7(1) of the 1993 ICTY Statute and, alternatively, under Article 7(3) of the 1993 ICTY Statute, for command responsibility. 
ICTY, Miodrag Jokić case, Second Amended Indictment, 27 August 2003, §§ 17–23, Count 5.
Following a plea agreement jointly filed by the accused and the Prosecution, the accused pleaded guilty to the six counts of violations of the laws or customs of war. The Trial Chamber accepted the plea and entered a corresponding finding of guilt. 
ICTY, Miodrag Jokić case, Sentencing Judgment, 18 March 2004, §§ 5–14.
In the sentencing judgment in 2004, assessing the gravity of the crimes, the Trial Chamber stated:
Three of the crimes to which [the accused] has pleaded guilty entail violations of the duty incumbent upon soldiers to direct their operations only against military objectives. In order to comply with this duty, the military must distinguish civilians from combatants and refrain from targeting the former. The other three crimes entail violations of the duty to distinguish civilian objects from military objectives and not to attack protected objects. 
ICTY, Miodrag Jokić case, Sentencing Judgment, 18 March 2004, § 42.
The Trial Chamber sentenced the accused to seven years in prison. 
ICTY, Miodrag Jokić case, Sentencing Judgment, 18 March 2004, VI. Disposition, p. 30.
The Appeals Chamber, while vacating the accused’s convictions insofar as they were based on command responsibility, affirmed the sentence of seven years’ imprisonment. 
ICTY, Miodrag Jokić case, Judgment on Sentencing Appeal, 30 August 2005, § 27, IX. Disposition, p. 36.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the Strugar case before the ICTY in 2003, the accused, a commander in the Yugoslav People’s Army (YPA), was charged, inter alia, with unlawful attacks on civilian objects as a violation of the laws or customs of war (Article 3 of the 1993 ICTY Statute), for his role in conducting a military campaign against the Dubrovnik region of Croatia. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Third Amended Indictment, 10 December 2003, §§ 19–25, Count 5.
In its decision on jurisdiction in 2002, the Trial Chamber reaffirmed the customary status of the prohibition relating to attacks on civilian objects:
18. At the time of the adoption of the Additional Protocols, the overwhelming majority of states regarded the principles enunciated in Articles 51 and 52 of Additional Protocol I and in Article 13 of Additional Protocol II as general humanitarian principles. These latter are embodied in some States’ military manuals and contrary practice has consistently met disapproval.
19. The drafting history of the Additional Protocols also clearly indicates the opinio juris of the States … Article 52 entitled “General Protection of Civilian Objects” states that civilian objects enjoy protection from attack and reprisals and contains three paragraphs. These three paragraphs state a general principle of international humanitarian law that civilian objects must not be subject to military attacks. This rule is the necessary pendent of Article 51 of Additional Protocol I, and is a reaffirmation of a similar provision contained in the Geneva Convention IV. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Decision on Defence Preliminary Motion Challenging Jurisdiction, 7 June 2002, §§ 18–19.
The findings of the Trial Chamber were upheld by the Appeals Chamber in its decision on interlocutory appeal in 2002:
[T]he Trial made no error in its finding that, as the Appeals Chamber understood it, the principles prohibiting attacks on civilians and unlawful attacks on civilian objects stated in Articles 51 and 52 of Additional Protocol I and Article 13 of Additional Protocol II are principles of customary international humanitarian law. Customary international law establishes that a violation of these principles entails individual criminal responsibility. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Decision on Interlocutory Appeal, 22 November 2002, § 10.
In its Rule 98bis decision in 2004, the Trial Chamber referred to the elements of unlawful attacks on civilian objects as a violation of the laws or customs of war:
62. … [C]ivilian objects enjoy a similar level of protection as a civilian population. Article 52 of the Additional Protocol I stipulates that “[c]ivilian objects shall not be the object of attack or of reprisals” and “civilian objects are all objects which are not military objectives”. “Military objectives” are limited to “those objects which by their nature, location, purpose or use make an effective contribution to military action and whose total or partial destruction, capture or neutralisation, in the circumstances ruling at the time, offers a definite military advantage.” In case of doubt as to whether an object is used for civilian or military purposes, this object shall be presumed not to be used for military purposes.
63. The jurisprudence of the Tribunal identifies the following elements of this crime: actus reus – an attack launched against civilian objects and causing damage to those objects; mens rea – “an attack must have been conducted intentionally in the knowledge, or when it was impossible not to know, that […] civilian property [was] being targeted”. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Rule 98bis Decision, 21 June 2004, §§ 62–63.
In its judgment in 2005, the Trial Chamber reaffirmed again the customary status of the prohibition:
223. The offence of attacking civilian objects is a breach of a rule of international humanitarian law. As already ruled by the Chamber in the present case and upheld by the Appeals Chamber, Article 52, referred to in respect of the count of attacking civilian objects, is a reaffirmation and reformulation of a rule that had previously attained the status of customary international law.
224. The Chamber observes that the prohibition of attacks on civilian objects is set out only in Article 52 of Additional Protocol I, referred to in relation to Count 5. Additional Protocol II does not contain provisions on attacking civilian objects. Nonetheless, as the Appeals Chamber found, the rule prohibiting attacks on civilian objects has evolved to become applicable also to conflicts of an internal nature. The Appeals Chamber noted that already during the Spanish Civil War the tendency to disregard the distinction between international and internal armed conflicts could be observed. Both the republican Government and third States insisted that certain rules applicable to international wars applied also to that war. Among those rules there was the prohibition of attacks on non-military objectives. The Appeals Chamber further referred to the 1970 General Assembly resolution concerning the protection of civilians in “armed conflicts of all types”. In that resolution the General Assembly affirmed a number of basic principles, including the prohibition of making dwellings and other installations used only by civilian populations, as well as places and areas designated for the sole protection of civilians, the object of military operations. The Chamber therefore concludes that despite the lack of a provision similar to Article 52 in Additional Protocol II, the general rule prohibiting attacks on civilian objects also applies to internal conflicts.
225. … [T]he Chamber notes that the prohibition of attacks on civilian objects is aimed at protecting those objects from the danger of being damaged during an attack. It further reiterates that a prohibition against attacking civilian objects is a necessary complement to the protection of civilian populations. The Chamber observes that in the above-mentioned 1970 resolution of the General Assembly the prohibition of making civilian dwellings and installations the object of military operations was listed among the “basic principles for the protection of civilian populations in armed conflicts”. Those principles were reaffirmed because of the “need for measures to ensure the better protection of human rights in armed conflicts”. The General Assembly also emphasised that civilian populations were in “special need of increased protection in time of armed conflicts”. The principle of distinction, which obliges the parties to the conflict to distinguish between civilian objects and military objectives, was considered “basic” by the drafters of Additional Protocol I. The Chamber therefore finds that the prohibition at issue is a rule protecting important values. Similarly to what it has found in respect of the attacks on civilians, the Chamber considers that, in view of the fundamental nature of this prohibition, any attack against civilian objects, even if it did not cause any damage, can be considered a serious violation of international humanitarian law. All the same, the Chamber recalls that the requirement of seriousness contains also the element of gravity of consequences for the victim. The Chamber is of the view that, unlike in the case of attacks on civilians, the offence at hand may not necessarily meet the threshold of “grave consequences” if no damage occurred. Therefore, the assessment of whether those consequences were grave enough to bring the offence into the scope of the Tribunal’s jurisdiction under Article 3 of the [1993 ICTY] Statute should be carried out on the basis of the facts of the case. The Chamber observes that in the present case it is alleged that the attacks against civilian objects, with which the Accused is charged, did incur damage to those objects. It will thus pursue the examination of the case on the assumption that the attacks as charged in the Indictment did bring about grave consequences for their victims. … The Chamber would only need to return to the analysis of applicability of Article 3 of the Statute if the evidence on the alleged damage were to fail to demonstrate the validity of the Prosecution allegations to such an extent as to render it questionable whether the consequences of the attack were grave for its victims. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Judgment, 31 January 2005, §§ 223–225.
The Trial Chamber furthermore noted the finding of the Appeals Chamber that “under customary international law a violation of the rule prohibiting attacks on civilian objects entails individual criminal responsibility”. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Judgment, 31 January 2005, § 226.
In its judgment in 2008, the Appeals Chamber affirmed its previous jurisprudence in the Blaškić and Kordić and Čerkez cases, regarding military necessity as a justification for attacks, stating that “the element of the non-justification by military necessity present in the crime of devastation not justified by military necessity is indeed not present in the crime of attack against civilian objects”. 
ICTY, Strugar case, Judgment on Appeal, 17 July 2008, § 330.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In the Dragomir Milošević case, the accused, who had been chief of staff to the commander of the Sarajevo Romanija Corps of the Bosnian Serb Army (VRS) and later became the corps commander, was convicted of, inter alia, the crime of terror as a violation of the laws and customs of war for his role in the siege of Sarajevo. In its judgment in the case in 2009, the ICTY Appeals Chamber considered whether the proportion of civilians present in an area could have an effect on the application of the principle of distinction. The Appeals Chamber stated that
considering the obligations incumbent upon combatants to distinguish and target exclusively military objectives, the Appeals Chamber finds Milošević’s argument regarding the proportion of civilians present in areas “replete with military objectives” unpersuasive. 
ICTY, Dragomir Milošević case, Judgment on Appeal, 12 November 2009, § 54.
(footnote in original omitted)
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its final report to the ICTY Prosecutor in 2000, the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia stated:
Attacks which are not directed against military objectives (particularly attacks directed against the civilian population) … may constitute the actus reus for the offence of unlawful attack [as a violation of the laws and customs of war]. The mens rea for the offence is intention or recklessness, not simple negligence. 
ICTY, Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, The Hague, 14 June 2000, § 28.
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission
In its Western Front, Aerial Bombardment and Related Claims (Eritrea’s Claim) partial award in 2005, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, in considering the prohibition on attacks against civilian objects, stated that “[e]ven in areas where combat is occurring, … civilian objects cannot lawfully be made objects of attack. … The provisions of [the 1977 Additional] Geneva Protocol I cited … express customary international humanitarian law. Those provisions … prohibit targeting … civilian objects”. 
Eritrea-Ethiopia Claims Commission, Western Front, Aerial Bombardment and Related Claims, Eritrea’s Claim, Partial Award, 19 December 2005, §§ 27 and 95.
(footnote in original omitted)
ICRC
To fulfil its task of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces that: “Civilian objects may not be attacked, unless they become military objectives.” 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, § 209.
ICRC
In an appeal issued in October 1973, the ICRC urged all the belligerents in the conflict in the Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic) to observe forthwith, in particular, the provisions of, inter alia, Article 47(2) of the draft Additional Protocol I, which stated in part: “Objects which are not military objectives shall not be made the object of attack, except if they are used mainly in support of the military effort.” All governments concerned replied favourably. 
ICRC, The International Committee’s Action in the Middle East, IRRC, No. 152, 1973, pp. 584–585.
ICRC
In a Memorandum on the Applicability of International Humanitarian Law sent in 1990 to all States party to the Geneva Conventions in the context of the Gulf War, the ICRC stated: “The following general rules are recognized as binding on any party to an armed conflict: … It is forbidden to attack civilian persons or objects.” 
ICRC, Memorandum on the Applicability of International Humanitarian Law, 14 December 1990, § II, IRRC, No. 280, 1991, p. 24.
National Societies (Yugoslavia & Hungary)
In a joint statement issued in 1991, the Yugoslav Red Cross and the Hungarian Red Cross expressed their deep concern about “the protracting internal conflict in Yugoslavia” and urged the parties to the conflict “to save all non-military targets … and not to use them for military purposes”. 
Yugoslav Red Cross and Hungarian Red Cross, Joint Statement, Subotica, 25 October 1991.
ICRC
In a communication to the press in 1993, the ICRC reminded the parties to the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh of their obligation “to refrain from attacking civilians and civilian property”. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 93/25, Nagorno-Karabakh conflict: 60,000 civilians flee fighting in south-western Azerbaijan, 19 August 1993.
ICRC
In a communication to the press in 1993, the ICRC reminded the parties to the conflict in Georgia of their obligation “to refrain from attacking civilians and civilian property”. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 93/31, Georgia: ICRC Activities in Abkhazia, 20 September 1993.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1994 in the context of the conflict in Yemen, the ICRC stated: “Attacks against civilians and civilian property are prohibited.” 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1773, Fighting in Yemen, 9 May 1994; see also Press Release No. 1775, Yemen: ICRC active on both sides appeals to belligerents, 12 May 1994.
ICRC
In 1994, in a Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, the ICRC stated: “Attacks on civilians or civilian objects are prohibited.” 
ICRC, Memorandum on Respect for International Humanitarian Law in Angola, 8 June 1994, § II, IRRC, No. 320, 1997, p. 503.
ICRC
In 1994, in a Memorandum on Compliance with International Humanitarian Law by the Forces Participating in Opération Turquoise in the Great Lakes region, the ICRC stated: “It is prohibited to direct attacks against civilian persons or objects.” 
ICRC, Memorandum on Compliance with International Humanitarian Law by the Forces Participating in Opération Turquoise, 23 June 1994, § II, reprinted in Marco Sassòli and Antoine A. Bouvier, How Does Law Protect in War?, ICRC, Geneva, 1999, p. 1308.
ICRC
In a communication to the press in 2000, the ICRC reminded both the Sri Lankan security forces and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) of their obligation to comply with IHL, which provided for the protection of the civilian population against the effects of the hostilities. The ICRC called on both parties to ensure that the civilian population and civilian property were protected and respected at all times. 
ICRC, Communication to the Press No. 00/13, Sri Lanka: ICRC urges both parties to respect civilians, 11 May 2000.
Bothe, Partsch and Solf
In their commentary on the 1977 Additional Protocols, Bothe, Partsch and Solf state:
The concept of general protection [in Article 13(1) of the 1977 Additional Protocol II], however, is broad enough to cover protections which flow as necessary inferences from other provisions of Protocol II. Thus, while there is no explicit provision affording general protection for civilian objects other than the special objects covered by Arts. 14 to 16, the protection against direct attack of para. 2 also precludes attacks against civilian objects used as dwellings or otherwise occupied by civilians not then supporting the military effort. The definition of civilian objects in Art. 52(2) of Protocol I provides the basis for construing the extent of such protection of civilian objects. 
Michael Bothe, Karl Joseph Partsch, Waldemar A. Solf (eds.), New Rules for Victims of Armed Conflicts, Martinus Nijhoff, The Hague, 1982, p. 677.
Amnesty International
In 2001, in a report on Israel and the occupied territories, Amnesty International stated:
It is a basic rule of customary international law that civilians and civilian objects must never be made the targets of an attack. This rule applies in all circumstances including in the midst of full-scale armed conflict. Due to its customary nature it is binding on all parties. Israel is prohibited from attacking civilians and civilian objects. Palestinians are also prohibited from targeting Israeli civilians, including settlers who are not bearing arms, and civilian objects. 
Amnesty International, Israel and the Occupied Territories: State Assassinations and Other Unlawful Killings , AI Index MDE 15/005/2001, London, 21 February 2001, p. 2; see also p. 29.
Note: For practice concerning attacks on open towns and non-defended localities, see Rule 37, Section C. For practice concerning attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, see Rule 38.
Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict
The 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict condemns “the targeting of children in situations of armed conflict and direct attacks on objects protected under international law, including places generally having a significant presence of children, such as schools and hospitals”. 
Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, adopted by the UN General Assembly, Res. 54/263, 25 May 2000, Annex I, Preamble.
New Delhi Draft Rules
Article 6 of the 1956 New Delhi Draft Rules states: “It is also forbidden to attack dwellings, installations … which are for the exclusive use of, and occupied by, the civilian population.” 
Draft Rules for the Limitation of the Dangers Incurred by the Civilian Population in Time of War, drafted by the International Committee of the Red Cross, September 1956, submitted to governments for their consideration on behalf of the 19th International Conference of the Red Cross, New Delhi, 28 October–7 November, Res. XIII, Article 6.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) prohibits the bombardment of residential areas. 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, pp. 111 and 150.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states:
Civilian Victims of Armed Conflict
During all military operations, whether in offence or in defence, certain conduct remains prohibited under the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law.
Examples:
- conducting bombardments of residential areas. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 60, § 252; see also p. 86, § 342 and p. 258, § 613.
Under the same heading, the manual also states that “residential areas must be protected”. 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 60, § 252; see also p. 86, § 342.
Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic’s Military Manual (1980) states: “Under the laws of war, you are not allowed to attack villages, towns, or cities. However, when your mission requires, you are allowed to engage enemy troops, equipment, or supplies in a village, town or city.” 
Dominican Republic, La Conducta en Combate según las Leyes de la Guerra, Escuela Superior de las FF. AA. “General de Brigada Pablo Duarte”, Secretaría de Estado de las Fuerzas Armadas, May 1980, p. 3.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) states: “The wanton or deliberate destruction of areas of concentrated civilian habitation, including cities, towns, and villages, is prohibited.” 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 8.5.1.1.
Ethiopia
According to Ethiopia’s Standing Rules of Engagement (2007), “places resided by civilians” do not constitute military objectives. 
Ethiopia, Standing Rules of Engagement, National Defense Force, Addis Ababa, 2007, § 8.4.1.
Indonesia
Indonesia’s Directive on Human Rights in Irian Jaya and Maluku (1995) provides: “Towns, villages and residences, even if used for food-stuff and equipment stockpile, should not be attacked.” 
Indonesia, Directive concerning Human Rights, issued by the Commander of the Regional Military Command of Irian Jaya and Maluku, 1995, § 9(b).
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states: “The bombardment of towns, villages, houses and buildings which are not in the immediate proximity of the operations of the land forces is prohibited.” 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 63(e), p. 323.
Philippines
The Philippines’ AFP Standing Rules of Engagement (2005) state:
8. General Rules for the Correct Use of Force towards Mission Accomplishment
g. … civilian population centers … shall be protected and shall not be attacked except when they are used for military purposes. 
Philippines, AFP Standing Rules of Engagement, Armed Forces of the Philippines, General Headquarters, Office of the Chief of Staff, 1 December 2005, § 8(g).
Romania
Romania’s Soldiers’ Manual (1991) states that “attacks of cities [and] villages” are prohibited. 
Romania, Manualul Soldatului, Ghid de comportare în luptă, Asociaţia Română de Drept Umanitar (ARDU), 1991, p. 34.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states:
The term “civilian objects” would normally include cities, towns and villages as such but not military objectives within those places. It also includes … buildings and facilities used by civilians (so long as they do not fall within the definition of military objectives) such as housing estates and houses; apartment blocks and flats; factories and workshops producing goods of no military significance; offices, shops, markets and warehouses; farms and stables; schools, museums, places of worship and other similar buildings. 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 5.24.2.
United States of America
The US Rules of Engagement for Operation Desert Storm (1991) gives the following instruction:
Do not fire into civilian populated areas or buildings which are not defended or being used for military purposes. [S]chools … will not be engaged except in self-defense. Do not attack traditional civilian objects, such as houses, unless they are being used by the enemy for military purposes and neutralization assists in mission accomplishment. 
United States, Desert Storm – Rules of Engagement, Pocket Card, US Central Command, January 1991, reprinted in Operational Law Handbook, International and Operational Law Department, The Judge Advocate General’s School, United States Army, Charlottesville, Virginia, 1995, pp. 8-7 and 8-8, §§ B, C and G.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) states: “The wanton or deliberate destruction of areas of concentrated civilian habitation, including cities, towns, and villages, is prohibited.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 8.5.1.1.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states that examples of war crimes that could be considered as grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions include: “Wanton destruction of cities, towns, and villages or devastation not justified by the requirements of military operations.” 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 6.2.6(6).
Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan’s Criminal Code (1999) provides that “directing attacks against … living places” constitutes a war crime in international and non-international armed conflicts. 
Azerbaijan, Criminal Code, 1999, Article 116(7).
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Under the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Criminal Code (1998), it is a war crime to commit or order the commission of “an attack on … a [civilian] settlement”. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Federation, Criminal Code, 1998, Article 154(1).
The Republika Srpska’s Criminal Code (2000) contains the same provision. 
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Republika Srpska, Criminal Code, 2000, Article 433(1).
Croatia
Under Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), it is a war crime to commit or order the commission of “an attack against … [civilian] settlements”. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, Article 158(1).
Croatia
Croatia’s Criminal Code (1997), as amended to 2006, states that a war crime is committed by whoever “violates the rules of international law in times of war, armed conflict or occupation and orders [or commits] an attack against … civilian … settlements”. 
Croatia, Criminal Code, 1997, as amended in June 2006, Article 158(1).
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Peru
Peru’s Regulations to the Law on Internal Displacement (2005) states:
Internally displaced persons who return to their place of habitual residence or who have resettled in another part of the country have a right to:
h) Be protected against all forms of combat that may put internally displaced persons at risk, including armed attacks on [their] camps and other settlements. 
Peru, Regulations to the Law on Internal Displacement, 2005, Article 6(h).
Slovenia
Under Slovenia’s Penal Code (1994), it is a war crime to commit or order the commission of “an attack … on built-up areas”. 
Slovenia, Penal Code, 1994, Article 374(1).
Uruguay
Uruguay’s Military Penal Code (1943), as amended, punishes anyone who carries out “an unjustified attack against … schools”. 
Uruguay, Military Penal Code, 1943, as amended, Article 58(12).
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of
Under the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’s Penal Code (1976), as amended in 2001, it is a war crime to commit or order the commission of “an attack on … a [civilian] settlement”. 
Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of, Penal Code, as amended in 2001, Article 142(1).
No data.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
In 2010, in the Barnaba Yonga Tshopena case, the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s Military Garrison Court of Ituri-Bunia convicted a leader of the Front for Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI) of several war crimes, including of attacking buildings dedicated to education. The Court stated:
90 … [T]he defendant … is accused of [committing a] war crime by [carrying out] attacks against buildings that do not constitute military objectives, which is a punishable act according to article 8(2)(e)(iv) [of the 1998 ICC Statute] …
91 … [T]he war crime addressed by this article is defined as the act of attacking and destroying buildings of common and/or public use, unless such attacks and destructions are imperatively demanded by military necessities.
92. In view of the [2000 ICC] Elements of Crimes, [this] war crime requires, in addition to a link between the crime and the existence of an armed conflict not of an international character, and the awareness by the perpetrator of the factual circumstances that established the existence of this conflict, that the following five elements be present:
i) an action by the perpetrator consisting of launching or directing an attack;
ii) the object of the attack must be one or more buildings which do not constitute military objectives;
iii) the perpetrator must intend these buildings to be the object of his attack knowing that they are not military objectives;
iv) the conduct of the perpetrator must take place in the context of an armed conflict not of an international character;
v) the perpetrator must be aware of the factual circumstances that established the existence of an armed conflict.
Attack shall be understood here in the sense of article 49(1) of the [1977] Additional Protocol I … , which defines attacks as “acts of violence against the adversary, whether in offence or in defence”.
93 … [I]n the present case, during the attacks launched against Nyankunde and Groupement Musedzo respectively on 5 and 12 September by FRPI Ngiti militiamen, the destructive attacks were deliberately directed against buildings which did not constitute military objectives, in particular buildings dedicated to … education.
96 … [T]hose buildings were damaged or destroyed because they were targeted by the Ngiti combatants …
97 … [S]uch attacks were launched against buildings in both places during a period where there was an armed conflict not of an international character in the territory of Irumu, in Ituri, situated in the Eastern Province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
98 … [T]he FRPI leaders who planned and ordered the above-mentioned attacks, as well as all Ngiti militiamen and combatants of the political-military movement who materially committed the attacks, were aware of the existence of an armed conflict of this nature in Ituri and had the intention to direct such attacks against those buildings knowing that they did not constitute military objectives. This proves the existence of the intentional or mental element which constitutes the direct and special dolus according to article 30 of the [1998 ICC] … Statute.
99 … [T]herefore, this Court finds that there is sufficient evidence to establish substantial grounds to believe that these attacks which constitute war crimes were intentionally launched against buildings which were not military objectives in Nyankunde and Groupement Musedzo by the FRPI Ngiti combatants with the support, authorization, blessing and/or lack of control by the leaders of this political-military movement called FRPI, including the defendant. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Garrison Court of Ituri-Bunia, Barnaba Yonga Tshopena case, Judgment, 9 July 2010, §§ 90–93 and 96–99.
Regarding the applicable law, the Court stated:
[T]he constitutional provisions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, namely articles 153(4) and 215 of 18 February 2006 [Constitution], authorize both civil and military courts and tribunals to apply duly ratified international agreements and treaties, and give them higher authority than domestic legislation. This constitutional authorization combined with the self-executing nature of the … [1998 ICC] Statute justify the direct application of this treaty by Congolese courts and tribunals. 
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Military Garrison Court of Ituri-Bunia, Barnaba Yonga Tshopena case, Judgment, 9 July 2010, § 63.
Afghanistan
In 1996, during a debate in the UN Security Council, in a brief report on alleged violations of IHL by the Taliban, Afghanistan stated that, during the 1994 failed coup, more than 3,000 rockets had rained down on the innocent civilian population of Kabul and on residential areas of the town. 
Afghanistan, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3648, 9 April 1996, p. 3.
Afghanistan
In 2012, the Office of the President of Afghanistan issued a press release entitled “Gen. Allen: We will not bombard civilian[…] areas and houses”, which stated:
President Hamid Karzai … summoned top NATO commander, Gen. John Allen, and the US Ambassador to Afghanistan to the presidential palace for an extraordinary security meeting for explanation on military operations in the provinces that led to civilian casualties.
President Karzai underlined that Afghanistan signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement with the United States with the aim to prevent such incidents from happening again and to safeguard people’s lives. …
In response, Gen. Allen said he personally takes personal responsibility for the incidents and agreed on the president’s suggestions that they will not bombard[…] the civilian areas … anymore.
President Karzai reminded Gen. Allen and Ambassador Crocker that civilian casualties and bombing villages were neither acceptable in the past nor is that acceptable today. 
Afghanistan, Office of the President, “Gen. Allen: We will not bombard civilian[…] areas and houses”, Press Release, 9 June 2012.
Afghanistan
In 2012, the Office of the President of Afghanistan issued a press release entitled “President Karzai calls on Taliban to stop pursuing objectives of outsiders, but rather begin a life of dignity and honor under Afghanistan[’s] Constitution”, which stated: “In his Eid remarks, the President urged the Taliban and other armed opposition to renounce violence and killings in Afghanistan and to stop destroying … schools.” 
Afghanistan, Office of the President, “President Karzai calls on Taliban to stop pursuing objectives of outsiders, but rather begin a life of dignity and honor under Afghanistan[’s] Constitution”, Press Release, 26 October 2012.
Azerbaijan
In 1992, in letters addressed to the UN Secretary-General and President of the UN Security Council respectively, Azerbaijan referred to data provided to the UN Fact-Finding Mission in the region concerning illegal actions by Armenia, including the destruction of and damage caused to residential buildings. 
Azerbaijan, Identical letters dated 11 June 1992 addressed respectively to the UN Secretary-General and the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/24103, 16 June 1992, p. 1.
Botswana
In 1996, during a debate in the UN Security Council, Botswana commented on the numerous violations of the fundamental human rights of the Afghan civilian population documented by international human rights organizations, listing among such violations the bombing of residential areas. 
Botswana, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3648, 9 April 1996, p. 15.
Canada
In 2011, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate in connection with the agenda item “Children and Armed Conflict”, made on behalf of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict, the deputy permanent representative of Canada stated:
The Friends Group is pleased with the work undertaken by the Security Council, in the last few years, in progressively strengthening the protection framework for children affected by armed conflict. …
Members of the Friends Group have reliably called on the Security Council to strengthen its protection framework even more and consistently called for all six grave violations committed against children in armed conflict to be included amongst the Security Council Resolution 1612 [of 2005] listing criteria. The Friends Group has supported a progressive approach in this regard and therefore commends the Security Council in filling an important gap in the child protection framework by including attacks against schools and hospitals as the latest trigger through the resolution it will adopt today [Resolution 1998(2011)].
For the Friends Group, a new trigger such as this not only includes in the annexes to the Secretary General’s reports on children and armed conflict those parties to armed conflict that, in contravention of applicable international law, engage in attacks against schools and hospitals, but also those who engage in threats or attacks against schoolchildren, patients, educational or medical personnel. 
Canada, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Canada during a UN Security Council open debate in connection with the agenda item “Children and Armed Conflict”, made on behalf of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict, 12 July 2011.
On behalf of Canada, the deputy permanent representative stated:
We strongly believe that the adoption today of a new resolution on children and armed conflict will increase the profile [of] the grave violation of attacks against schools and hospitals just as the adoption of Resolution 1882 raised the profile of rape and sexual violence against children and Resolution 1612 on the recruitment and use of children in hostilities. 
Canada, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Canada during a UN Security Council open debate in connection with the agenda item “Children and Armed Conflict”, 12 July 2011.
Canada
In 2012, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate in connection with the agenda item “Children and Armed Conflict”, the permanent representative of Canada stated: “This year’s Secretary General’s report continues to document grave violations and abuses being committed against girls and boys – including … attacks against schools and hospitals. These despicable actions must be stopped.” 
Canada, Statement by the permanent representative of Canada during a UN Security Council open debate in connection with the agenda item “Children and Armed Conflict”, 19 September 2012, p. 2.
Canada
In 2013, in a statement during a UN Security Council open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the deputy permanent representative of Canada stated: “The conflict in Syria continues to take a terrible toll on the civilian population. … Health care and educational facilities continue to be targeted …”. 
Canada, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Canada during a UN Security Council open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 12 February 2013.
Canada
In 2013, Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development issued a press release entitled “[Foreign Affairs Minister] Baird Condemns Air Strikes on Syrian Civilians”, which stated: “Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement: ‘Canada strongly condemns the ongoing air strikes inflicted by the Syrian regime on Aleppo and surrounding areas that are killing hundreds of innocent civilians’, many of whom are women and children. …’”. 
Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, “[Foreign Affairs Minister] Baird Condemns Air Strikes on Syrian Civilians”, Press Release, 24 December 2013.
China
In 1972, in a statement before the UNESCO General Conference, China criticized the United States for having “wantonly bombarded Vietnamese cities and villages”. 
China, Statement before the General Conference of UNESCO, 25 October 1972, Selected Documents of the Chinese Delegation to the United Nations, The People’s Press, Beijing, 1972, p. 239.
Cuba
In 2010, in a statement before the UN General Assembly on the Palestinian question, the ambassador and permanent representative of Cuba stated:
Over the past year the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, continued to deteriorate. Israel continues to violate international law, human rights and international humanitarian law.
As a result of Israel’s operation “Cast Lead” at the end of 2008 and beginning of 2009, it is estimated that 280 of the 641 schools in Gaza suffered damage and 18 were destroyed. More than half of the inhabitants of Gaza are under the age of 18 and the interruption to their education as a result of the damage caused during the Operation and as a result of the Israeli blockade is having a devastating effect. 
Cuba, Statement by the ambassador and permanent representative of Cuba before the UN General Assembly on Item 37: The Palestinian Question, 29 November 2010, p. 1.
[emphasis in original]
For more than 150 years, the international community has been in agreement that warfare should be made less inhumane, through the rules and principles of international humanitarian law. Civilians should be protected in armed conflict. … However, these rules and principles are challenged and sometimes even ignored. … This is for instance the case in Syria (and Iraq) where … schools are being made the actual targets of warfare. This must stop.  
Denmark, Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict made on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, 30 January 2015.
Djibouti
In 2010, in the History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, Djibouti’s Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, under the heading “Basic rules of IHL” and in a section on “Distinction”, stated: “It is prohibited to attack … schools”. 
Djibouti, Ministry of National Education and Higher Education, History and Geography Textbook for 8th Grade, 2010, p. 194.
For more than 150 years, the international community has been in agreement that warfare should be made less inhumane, through the rules and principles of international humanitarian law. Civilians should be protected in armed conflict. … However, these rules and principles are challenged and sometimes even ignored. … This is for instance the case in Syria (and Iraq) where … schools are being made the actual targets of warfare. This must stop. 
Finland, Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict made on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, 30 January 2015.
France
In 2009, the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs of France stated:
[O]ne of the essential principles of international humanitarian law is that a distinction must be made at all times and in all circumstances between … military targets and civilian targets, the latter to be protected. There are few conflicts in which that principle is fully respected.
During the Israeli offensive in Gaza, there were several strikes in areas apparently devoid of any identifiable military target, and in particular that of Dec. 27, which hit the Gaza Training College, and the series of bombardments on Jan. 6 aimed at schools run by UNRWA (the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees). 
France, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, “The Savaging of Humanitarian Law”, New York Times, 28 January 2009, pp. 1–2.
Georgia
In 2012, in its fourth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, Georgia stated:
During the reporting period, the Government of Georgia has been consistently continuing its policy aimed at ensuring full enjoyment of the rights provided in the Covenant for the entire State population. To this end, the obstacles of outstanding gravity were imposed by the war with the Russian Federation in August 2008 and subsequent occupation of two regions – Abkhazia, Georgia and the Tskhinvali region/South Ossetia, Georgia. From … early 2008, the security and human rights situation in the mentioned regions tangibly aggravated … The terrorizing and discriminatory acts included, but were not limited to the occasional incidents of armed attacks on the ethnic Georgian villages … [and] their heavy shelling in the immediate lead-up to the war. 
Georgia, Fourth periodic report to the Human Rights Committee, 1 November 2012, UN Doc. CCPR/GEO/4, submitted 25 June 2012, § 3.
Germany
In 1993, the German Chancellor strongly criticized the “brutal siege and the shelling of the Muslim town of Srebrenica”. 
Germany, Statement by the Chancellor, Helmut Kohl, 19 April 1993, Bulletin, No. 31, Presse- und Informationsamt der Bundesregierung, Bonn, 21 April 1993, p. 270.
Iraq
In 1983, Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs declared the readiness of Iraq “to sign a special peace treaty between Iraq and Iran, under United Nations supervision, wherein the two parties undertake not to attack towns and villages on the two sides, in spite of the continuation of the war”. 
Iraq, Statement by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Tarek Aziz, 25 May 1983, annexed to Letter dated 27 May 1983 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/15804, 27 May 1983.
Iraq
In reply to a message from the UN Secretary-General of 9 June 1984, the President of Iraq stated:
I wish to remind you, first of all, that since the armed conflict began the Iranian side has continually resorted to the bombing of our frontier towns and villages and other civilian targets and for a long time persisted in denying it even after the facts had been verified by the United Nations mission … I would also like to remind you that, in June 1983, on behalf of Iraq I took the initiative of proposing the conclusion under international auspices of an agreement between Iran and Iraq under which the two parties would refrain from bombing civilian targets … I therefore have the pleasure to inform you that the Iraqi Government accepts your proposal on condition that Iran is committed thereby, and that you make effective arrangements as soon as possible to supervise the implementation by the two parties of their commitments. 
Iraq, Message from the President of Iraq, annexed to Letter dated 10 June 1984 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/16610, 19 June 1984, p. 2.
Islamic Republic of Iran
In reply to a message of 9 June 1984 from the UN Secretary-General, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran stated:
In the course of more than three and a half years since the beginning of this war, Iraq has repeatedly attacked our residential areas in contravention of all international and humanitarian principles … The Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, however, in order to show its good faith, responds positively to your proposal on ending attacks on residential areas … I deem it necessary to underline that the good will shown by the Islamic Republic of Iran in response to your proposal to stop attacks on civilian areas is conditional on the total ending of the Iraqi régime’s criminal acts of bombarding Iranian cities. 
Islamic Republic of Iran, Letter dated 10 June 1984 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/16609, 10 June 1984, p. 2.
Islamic Republic of Iran
In 1991, in a letter addressed to the UN Secretary-General during the Gulf War, the Islamic Republic of Iran stated:
In accordance with the same principles governing its foreign policy and consistent with the very strong and clear position adopted against bombardment of civilian areas in Iraq by allied forces, the Islamic Republic of Iran cannot remain but alarmed at numerous reports of horrifying attacks by government forces against innocent civilians. 
Islamic Republic of Iran, Letter dated 22 March 1991 to the UN Secretary-General, UN Doc. S/22379, 23 March 1991; see also Letter dated 12 March 1992 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/23703, 12 March 1992.
Islamic Republic of Iran
According to the Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, during the Iran–Iraq War, the Iranian authorities accused Iraq on many occasions of having carried out attacks on civilian objects such as schools, houses, hospitals and refugee camps. 
Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Israel
In 2009, in a report on Israeli operations in Gaza between 27 December 2008 and 18 January 2009 (the “Gaza Operation”, also known as “Operation Cast Lead”), Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated: “The IDF’s operational plans and rules of engagement order special precautions with regard to military activity in proximity to … educational institutions”. 
Israel, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Operation in Gaza 27 December 2008–18 January 2009: Factual and Legal Aspects, 29 July 2009, § 259.
Jordan
The Report on the Practice of Jordan states that Islam prohibits attacks against civilians and mentions an order given by Caliph Abu Bakr (632–634 AD) proscribing the destruction of any dwelling. The report adds that, considering the time at which it was issued, this order should be highly esteemed. 
Report on the Practice of Jordan, 1997, Chapter 1.4.
Liberia
In 1971, during a debate in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly concerning respect for human rights in armed conflicts, Liberia stated that it “agreed wholeheartedly with the principle that … dwellings … should not be the object of military operations as affirmed in [principle 5] of General Assembly resolution 2675 (XXV)”. 
Liberia, Statement before the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, UN Doc. A/C.3/SR.1890, 1 December 1971, § 8.
Mexico
In 2009, during a debate in the UN Security Council on children and armed conflict, the permanent representative of Mexico stated: “We condemn all acts that jeopardize the integrity of children, such as attacks against schools”. 
Mexico, Statement by the permanent representative before the UN Security Council, 6114th meeting, UN Doc. S/PV.6114, 29 April 2009, p. 29.
For more than 150 years, the international community has been in agreement that warfare should be made less inhumane, through the rules and principles of international humanitarian law. Civilians should be protected in armed conflict. … However, these rules and principles are challenged and sometimes even ignored. … This is for instance the case in Syria (and Iraq) where … schools are being made the actual targets of warfare. This must stop.  
Norway, Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict made on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, 30 January 2015.
Republic of Korea
In 1996, during a debate in the UN Security Council on the situation in Lebanon, the Republic of Korea called upon both parties to the conflict to cease targeting areas populated by civilians. 
Republic of Korea, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3653, 15 April 1996, p. 11.
Russian Federation
In 2009, in a statement before the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the permanent representative of the Russian Federation stated:
[W]e are deeply concerned about the escalation of the crisis in Gaza as a result of Israel’s military operation … [and] the destruction of infrastructure, including United Nations schools … from Israeli fire. Those actions are absolutely inappropriate and are flagrant violations of international law. 
Russian Federation, Statement by the permanent representative at a UN Security Council meeting on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 6066th meeting, 14 January 2009.
Rwanda
In 1993, in a declaration concerning a report on violations of human rights in Rwanda, the Rwandan Government asked the Front Patriotique Rwandais (FPR) to cease all attacks against civilian targets such as camps for displaced persons, hospitals and schools. 
Association rwandaise pour la défense des droits de la personne et des libertés publiques Rapport sur les droits de l’homme au Rwanda, octobre 1992–octobre 1993, Kigali, December 1993, p. 73.
Rwanda
On the basis of replies by army officers to a questionnaire, the Report on the Practice of Rwanda states that an attack against civilians can be defined as an attack against purely civilian targets such as a town or a village exclusively inhabited by civilians. 
Report on the Practice of Rwanda, 1997, Replies by Rwandan army officers to a questionnaire, Chapter 1.4.
Rwanda
In 2010, in its Comments on the Draft UN Mapping Report on the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo), Rwanda stated:
The Draft Mapping Report alleges, in paragraphs 200 and 202 respectively, that “On 20 October 1996, units of the AFDL [Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo]/APR [Rwandan Patriotic Army] from Bwegera and the Rwandan town of Bugarama attacked the Kamanyola refugee camp in the Walungu territory, killing an unknown number of refugees …” and “… On 2 November 1996, AFDL/APR units attacked the Kashusha/INERA camp in the Kabare territory with heavy weapons, killing hundreds of refugees…”. In line with the RPA’s [Rwandan Patriotic Army’s] concept of operation, the refugee camps were never attacked as such. The setup of the refugee camps in South Kivu was such that the Ex-FAR [Rwanda Armed Forces, the national armed forces of Rwanda before July 1994]/Interahamwe provided a perimeter defense with trenches. There were also inner defensive positions inside the camps. Whenever an RPA advance was detected, the Ex-FAR/Interahamwe forward defenses would attack the advancing RPA force to avoid being encircled. In the process, the refugee population would flee. This is precisely what happened in Kamanyola, Kashusha, Inela, ADI-Kivu and other camps. The casualties reported in those particular camps were a result of fierce fighting between the RPA and the Ex-FAR/Interahamwe. 
Rwanda, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Official Government of Rwanda Comments on the Draft UN Mapping Report on the DRC, 30 November 2010, § 28.
Saudi Arabia
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, Saudi Arabia stated: “The cities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have been bombarded by 26 missiles, which have landed in purely civilian localities of no military value.” 
Saudi Arabia, Report dated 30 January 1991 on the progress of operations for the liberation of Kuwait, annexed to Letter dated 30 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22180, 31 January 1991, p. 2.
Sri Lanka
In 2008, in its initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the 2000 Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, Sri Lanka stated:
83. In accordance with resolution 1612 and Section VI, paragraph 2 of the Terms of Reference of the Working Group of the [UN] Security Council on children and armed conflict, the TFMR [Task Force for Monitoring and Reporting] will focus on violations against children affected by armed conflict …
84. … [V]iolations and abuses committed against children affected by armed conflict including … attacks against schools … will … be addressed. 
Sri Lanka, Initial report to the Committee on the Rights of the Child under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 15 February 2010, UN Doc. CRC/C/OPAC/LKA/1, submitted 16 June 2008, §§ 83–84.
For more than 150 years, the international community has been in agreement that warfare should be made less inhumane, through the rules and principles of international humanitarian law. Civilians should be protected in armed conflict. … However, these rules and principles are challenged and sometimes even ignored. … This is for instance the case in Syria (and Iraq) where … schools are being made the actual targets of warfare. This must stop. 
Sweden, Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Sweden before the UN Security Council during a debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict made on behalf of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, 30 January 2015.
Switzerland
In 2009, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, the permanent representative of Switzerland stated:
The current situation in Gaza cries out to us the importance of the issue we are discussing today. …
Furthermore, last week, Switzerland called for an independent inquiry into the allegations of violations of international law committed during these hostilities, including the attacks on two schools run by UNRWA [United Nations Relief and Works Agency]. In this context, it is essential that light be cast on all allegations of violations committed by all parties. 
Switzerland, Statement by the permanent representative of Switzerland before the UN Security Council on the protection of civilians in armed conflict, 14 January 2009, pp. 5–6.
Switzerland
In 2010, in its Report on IHL and Current Armed Conflicts, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
International humanitarian law also clearly prohibits attacks against the civilian population. This also applies to abductions, suicide attacks against markets, mosques or schools, as well as torture and other acts of terrorism. Only attacks against military objectives come within the framework of international humanitarian law, even if these take the form of suicide attacks. 
Switzerland, Federal Council, Report on IHL and Armed Conflicts, 17 September 2010, Section 3.4, p. 12.
[footnote in original omitted]
Switzerland
In 2011, in a statement before the UN Security Council during an open debate on children and armed conflict, made on behalf of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict, including Switzerland, the deputy permanent representative of Canada stated:
Members of the Friends Group have reliably called on the [UN] Security Council to strengthen its protection framework even more and consistently called for all six grave violations committed against children in armed conflict to be included amongst the Security Council Resolution 1612 [of 2005] listing criteria. The Friends Group has supported a progressive approach in this regard and therefore commends the Security Council in filling an important gap in the child protection framework by including attacks against schools and hospitals as the latest trigger through the resolution it will adopt today [Resolution 1998 (2011)].
For the Friends Group, a new trigger such as this not only includes in the annexes to the Secretary General’s reports on children and armed conflict those parties to armed conflict that, in contravention of applicable international law, engage in attacks against schools and hospitals, but also those who engage in threats or attacks against schoolchildren, patients, educational or medical personnel. 
Switzerland, Statement by the deputy permanent representative of Canada before the UN Security Council during an open debate in connection with the agenda item “Children and Armed Conflict”, made on behalf of the Group of Friends of Children and Armed Conflict, 12 July 2011.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 1986, during a debate in the UN Security Council concerning the Iran–Iraq War, the United Kingdom voiced strong criticism of the recurrent bombing of civilian centres, qualifying it as a violation of international law under the Geneva Conventions. 
United Kingdom, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.2666, 24 February 1986, pp. 21–22.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
In 2007, in a written answer to several questions in the House of Commons concerning the situation in Darfur, Sudan, the UK Minister of State for Trade, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, wrote: “The Sudanese Government resumed bombing villages in Darfur last week, resulting in a number of civilian injuries and deaths. We condemn these attacks, which show little regard for human life.” 
United Kingdom, House of Commons, Written answer by the Minister of State for Trade, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hansard, 2 May 2007, Vol. 459, Written Answers, col. 1718W.
United States of America
In 1991, in a report submitted to the UN Security Council on operations in the Gulf War, the United States denounced Iraq’s firing of surface-to-surface missiles at Saudi Arabia and Israel and stated: “Particularly in regard to Israel, Iraq has targeted these missiles against civilian areas in an obvious sign of Iraqi disregard for civilian casualties.” 
United States, Letter dated 30 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22173, 30 January 1991, p. 2; see also Letter dated 22 January 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22130, 22 January 1991, pp. 1–2; and Letter dated 8 February 1991 to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/22216, 13 February 1991, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1983 in the context of the Iran–Iraq War, the UN Security Council condemned “all violations of international humanitarian law, in particular, the provisions of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 in all their aspects, and calls for the immediate cessation of all military operations against civilian targets, including city and residential areas”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 540, 31 October 1983, § 2, voting record: 12-0-3.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1986 in the context of the Iran–Iraq War, the UN Security Council deplored “the bombing of purely civilian population centres”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 582, 24 February 1986, § 2, voting record: 15-0-0.
This statement was repeated in a subsequent resolution adopted in 1987. 
UN Security Council, Res. 598, 20 July 1987, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution on Lebanon adopted in 1996, the UN Security Council condemned attacks on civilian targets, including residential areas. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1052, 18 April 1996, preamble, § 5, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution on Georgia adopted in 1998, the UN Security Council condemned the deliberate destruction of houses by Abkhaz forces. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1187, 30 July 1998, § 4, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a resolution adopted in 1999 on children in armed conflicts, the UN Security Council strongly condemned “attacks on objects protected under international law, including places that usually have a significant presence of children such as schools and hospitals” and called on all parties concerned “to put an end to such practices”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1261, 25 August 1999, § 2; see also § 18, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In 1986, in a statement by its President in the context of the Iran–Iraq War, the UN Security Council declared:
The members of the Security Council continue to deplore the violation of international humanitarian law and other laws of armed conflict. They express their deepening concern over the widening of the conflict through the escalation of attacks on purely civilian targets, on merchant shipping and oil installations of the littoral States. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PV.2730, 22 December 1986, p. 3.
UN Security Council
In 1988, in a statement by its President in the context of the Iran–Iraq War, the UN Security Council declared:
The members of the Security Council … strongly deplore the escalation of the hostilities between [Iran and Iraq], particularly against civilian targets and cities that have taken a heavy toll in human lives and caused vast material destruction, in spite of the declared readiness of the belligerent parties to cease such attacks. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PV.2798, 16 March 1988, p. 2.
UN Security Council
In 1998, in a statement by its President, the UN Security Council strongly condemned “the targeting of children in armed conflicts” and expressed its readiness “to consider appropriate responses whenever buildings or sites that usually have a significant presence of children such as, inter alia, schools, playgrounds, hospitals, are specifically targeted”. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1998/18, 29 June 1998, pp. 1–2.
UN General Assembly
In Resolution 2675 (XXV) adopted in 1970, the UN General Assembly stated:
Dwellings and other installations that are used only by civilian populations should not be the object of military operations. Places or areas designated for the sole protection of civilians, such as hospital zones or similar refuges, should not be the object of military operations. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 2675 (XXV), 9 December 1970, §§ 5 and 6, voting record: 109-0-8-10.
UN General Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on the situation of human rights in the former Yugoslavia, the UN General Assembly condemned “the shelling of residential areas”. 
UN General Assembly, Res. 50/193, 22 December 1995, § 6, voting record: 144-1-20-20.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1990 on the situation of human rights in southern Lebanon, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the bombardment of villages and civilian areas”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1990/54, 6 March 1990, § 1, voting record: 41-1-1.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1991 on the situation of human rights in southern Lebanon, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the bombardment of villages and civilian areas”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1991/66, 6 March 1991, § 1, voting record: 41-1-0.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1992 on the situation of human rights in southern Lebanon, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the bombardment of villages and civilian areas”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1992/70, 4 March 1992, § 1, voting record: 49-1-1.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1993 on the situation of human rights in southern Lebanon, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the bombardment of civilian villages and areas”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1993/67, 10 March 1993, § 1, voting record: 50-1-0.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on the situation of human rights in southern Lebanon, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the bombardment of villages and civilian areas”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1994/83, 9 March 1994, § 1, voting record: 48-1-3.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on the situation of human rights in the former Yugoslavia, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned “the deliberate, murderous shelling” of cities and other civilian areas. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1994/72, 9 March 1994, § 7; see also § 32, adopted without a vote.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1994 on the human rights situation in Iraq, the UN Commission on Human Rights reiterated its deep concern about the destruction of Iraqi towns and villages. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1994/74, 9 March 1994, preamble, voting record: 34-1-18.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In 1995, following consultations, the Chairman of the UN Commission on Human Rights issued a statement indicating the consensus of the Commission concerning the situation of human rights in Chechnya, in which the Commission especially deplored “the serious destruction of installations and infrastructure used by civilians”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Statement by the Chairman, 27 February 1995, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1995/176–E/1995/23, 7 July 1995, § 594.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1995 on the human rights situation in southern Lebanon and the western Bekaa, the UN Commission on Human Rights deplored “the bombardment of villages and civilian areas”.  
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1995/67, 7 March 1995, § 1, voting record: 48-1-4.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a statement by its Chairman in 1996 concerning the situation in Chechnya, the UN Commission on Human Rights stated:
Severe destruction of Chechen towns and villages with consequent displacement of a large proportion of the civilian population is a conspicuous feature of military actions in the Republic this year as in 1995. In this context, the Commission calls for an immediate and permanent cessation of the bombardment of civilian towns and villages that is still continuing. The Commission strongly deplores this and the serious destruction of installations and infrastructure used by civilians. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Statement by the Chairman, 24 April 1996, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1996/177–E/1996/23, 7 July 1996, § 371.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1998 on the human rights situation in southern Lebanon and western Bekaa, the UN Commission on Human Rights deplored “the bombardment of peaceful villages and civilian areas”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1998/62, 21 April 1998, § 1, voting record: 52-1-0.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2004 on the question of the violation of human rights in the occupied Arab territories, including Palestine, the UN Commission on Human Rights stated it was:
Gravely concerned at the continued deterioration of the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and at the gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law, in particular … the shelling of Palestinian residential neighbourhoods by warplanes, tanks and Israeli battleships. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2004/10, 15 April 2004, preamble, voting record: 31-7-15.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the rights of the child, the UN Commission on Human Rights urged “all parties to armed conflict to end … violations against children, including … attacks against schools”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/44, 19 April 2005, § 36, voting record: 52-1-0.
UN Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 2005 on the situation of human rights in the Sudan, the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned the “violence against civilians and … destruction of villages” and urged “all parties to take necessary steps to prevent further violations”. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Res. 2005/82, 21 April 2005, § 2(b), adopted without a vote.
UN Human Rights Council
In a resolution adopted in 2007 on the situation of human rights in Darfur, the UN Human Rights Council:
Expresses its deep concern regarding the seriousness of the ongoing violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Darfur, including armed attacks on the civilian population and humanitarian workers, widespread destruction of villages, and continued and widespread violence, in particular gender-based violence against women and girls, as well as the lack of accountability of perpetrators of such crimes. 
UN Human Rights Council, Res. 4/8, 30 March 2007, § 3, adopted without a vote.
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1988 on the situation in the Palestinian and Arab territories occupied by Israel, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights:
Reaffirms that the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 is applicable to the Palestinians and to the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel, and that Israel’s violation of the provisions of these Conventions, by … attacking and destroying properties and homes, are war crimes under international law. 
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1988/10, 31 August 1988, § 3.
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights
In a resolution adopted in 1989 on the situation in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel, the UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights:
Reaffirms that the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 is applicable to the Palestinians and to the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied by Israel, and that Israel’s violation of the provisions of these Conventions, by … attacking and destroying properties and homes, are crimes of war under international law. 
UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, Res. 1989/4, 31 August 1989, § 3.
UN Secretary-General
On 9 June 1984, in a message addressed to the Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq, the UN Secretary-General stated:
Deliberate military attacks on civilian areas cannot be condoned by the international community … Therefore, I call upon the Governments of the Republic of Iraq and of the Islamic Republic of Iran to declare to the Secretary-General of the United Nations that each undertakes a solemn commitment to end, and in the future refrain from initiating, deliberate military attacks, by aerial bombardment, missiles, shelling or other means, on purely civilian population centres. 
UN Secretary-General, Message dated 9 June 1984 to the Presidents of Iran and Iraq, UN Doc. S/16611, 11 June 1984.
UN Secretary-General
In a statement to the UN Security Council in 1992, the UN Secretary-General reported that “heavy artillery has been used against the civilian population” during the bombardment of the area of Dobrinja, a suburb of Sarajevo close to the airport, adding that these attacks were occurring “despite an agreement … by the Serb side to stop shelling civilian areas”. 
UN Secretary-General, Statement to the UN Security Council, 26 June 1992, UN Doc. S/24201, 29 June 1992, p. 1.
UN Secretary-General
In 1996, in a report on UNIFIL in Lebanon, the UN Secretary-General referred to an agreement adopted in the summer of 1993. Although the document was not transmitted to the UN, the Secretary-General stated that, based on public statements by Israeli and Hezbollah officials, “it would appear that the Islamic Resistance agreed to refrain from targeting villages and towns in northern Israel, while IDF [Israel Defense Forces] agreed to refrain from doing the same in Lebanon; there has been no mention of limitations concerning attacks on military targets”. 
UN Secretary-General, Report on UNIFIL, UN Doc. S/1996/575, 20 July 1996, § 5.
UN Secretary-General
In 1998, in a report on the situation in Sierra Leone, the UN Secretary-General noted that the office of his Special Envoy continued to receive information about the “destruction of residential and commercial premises and property”. 
UN Secretary-General, Fifth report on the situation in Sierra Leone, UN Doc. S/1998/486, 9 June 1998, § 37.
UN Secretary-General
In 1998, in a report on UNOMSIL in Sierra Leone, the UN Secretary-General mentioned that elements of the former junta continued to shell population centres such as Koidu and Daru. 
UN Secretary-General, First progress report on UNOMSIL, UN Doc. S/1998/750, 12 August 1998, § 33.
UN Commission on Human Rights (Special Rapporteur)
In 1993, in a report on the situation of human rights in the former Yugoslavia, the Special Rapporteur of the UN Commission on Human Rights condemned the parties to the conflict for the shelling of civilian objects, including residential areas, houses, apartments and schools. 
UN Commission on Human Rights, Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Former Yugoslavia, Fifth periodic report, UN Doc. E/CN.4/1994/47, 17 November 1993, §§ 162–164.
European Community
In 1982, during a debate in the UN General Assembly, Denmark condemned, on behalf of the EC, the invasion of Lebanon by Israeli forces and in particular the bombardment of residential areas in Beirut. 
EC, Statement before the UN General Assembly by Denmark on behalf of the EC, UN Doc. A/ES-7/PV.26, 19 August 1982, p. 13.
Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
In a resolution adopted in 1992 on the crisis in the former Yugoslavia, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly severely criticized the Yugoslav People’s Army for the repeated shelling of Dubrovnik and other Croatian cities. 
Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Res. 984, 30 June 1992, § 9.
Organization of the Islamic Conference
In a resolution adopted in 1992 on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the OIC Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs expressed its strong condemnation of the deliberate destruction of cities. 
OIC, Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Res. 1/5-EX, 17–18 June 1992, § 89.
Minsk Conference of the CSCE on Nagorno-Karabakh
In 1993, in a report submitted to the President of the UN Security Council, the Chairman of the Minsk Conference of the CSCE on Nagorno-Karabakh suggested that an official Security Council denunciation should be made of all bombardments and shelling of inhabited areas and population centres in the area of conflict.  
CSCE, Minsk Conference on Nagorny Karabakh, Report by the Chairman to the President of the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/26184, 28 July 1993, Annex, § 16(b).
No data.
ICRC
In an appeal issued in October 1973, the ICRC urged all the belligerents in the conflict in the Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic) to observe forthwith, in particular, the provisions of, inter alia, Article 47(2) of draft Additional Protocol I which stated in part: “Objects designed for civilian use, such as houses, dwellings, installations … shall not be made the object of attack, except if they are used mainly in support of the military effort.” All governments concerned replied favourably. 
ICRC, The International Committee’s Action in the Middle East, IRRC, No. 152, 1973, pp. 584–585.
ICRC
In a press release issued in 1984 in the context of the Iran–Iraq War, the ICRC stated:
In violation of the laws and customs of war, and in particular of the essential principle that military targets must be distinguished from civilian persons and objects, the Iraqi armed forces have continued to bomb Iranian civilian zones. The result was loss of human life on a large scale, and widespread destruction of strictly civilian objects. 
ICRC, Press Release No. 1480, Conflict between Iran and Iraq and breaches of international humanitarian law: a renewed ICRC appeal, 15 February 1984, IRRC, No. 239, 1984, pp. 113–115.
International Institute of Humanitarian Law
The Rules of International Humanitarian Law Governing the Conduct of Hostilities in Non-international Armed Conflicts, adopted in 1990 by the Council of the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, provide: “The general rule prohibiting attacks against the civilian population implies, as a corollary, the prohibition of attacks on dwellings and other installations which are used only by the civilian population.” 
International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Rules of International Humanitarian Law Governing the Conduct of Hostilities in Non-international Armed Conflicts, Rule A6, IRRC, No. 278, 1990, p. 393.
Chicago Convention
Article 3 bis of the 1944 Chicago Convention provides: “All States must abstain from using force against a civilian plane in flight.” 
Convention on International Civil Aviation, Chicago, 7 December 1944, as amended by the Protocol relating to an Amendment to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Montreal, 10 May 1984, Article 3 bis.
Report of the Commission on Responsibility
Based on several documents supplying evidence of outrages committed during the First World War, the 1919 Report of the Commission on Responsibility lists violations of the laws and customs of war which should be subject to criminal prosecution, including the destruction of merchant ships and passenger vessels without warning and without provision for the safety of passengers or crew and the destruction of fishing boats. 
Report submitted to the Preliminary Conference of Versailles by the Commission on Responsibility of the Authors of the War and on Enforcement of Penalties, Versailles, 29 March 1919.
Hague Rules of Air Warfare
Article 33 of the 1923 Hague Rules of Air Warfare provides:
Belligerent non-military aircraft, whether public or private, flying within the jurisdiction of their own state, are liable to be fired upon unless they make the nearest available landing on the approach of enemy military aircraft. 
Rules concerning the Control of Wireless Telegraphy in Time of War and Air Warfare, Part II, drafted by a Commission of Jurists, The Hague, December 1922–February 1923, Article 33.
Hague Rules of Air Warfare
Article 34 of the 1923 Hague Rules of Air Warfare provides:
Belligerent non-military aircraft, whether public or private, are liable to be fired upon, if they fly (1) within the jurisdiction of the enemy, or (2) in the immediate vicinity thereof and outside the jurisdiction of their own state or (3) in the immediate vicinity of the military operations of the enemy by land or sea. 
Rules concerning the Control of Wireless Telegraphy in Time of War and Air Warfare, Part II, drafted by a Commission of Jurists, The Hague, December 1922–February 1923, Article 34.
New Delhi Draft Rules
Article 6 of the 1956 New Delhi Draft Rules prohibits attacks against “installations or means of transport, which are for the exclusive use of, and occupied by, the civilian population”. 
Draft Rules for the Limitation of the Dangers Incurred by the Civilian Population in Time of War, drafted by the International Committee of the Red Cross, September 1956, submitted to governments for their consideration on behalf of the 19th International Conference of the Red Cross, New Delhi, 28 October–7 November, Res. XIII, Article 6.
San Remo Manual
Paragraph 41 of the 1994 San Remo Manual states: “Merchant vessels and civil aircraft are civilian objects unless they are military objectives in accordance with the principles and rules set forth in this manual.” 
Louise Doswald-Beck (ed.), San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994, Prepared by international lawyers and naval experts convened by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995, § 41.
San Remo Manual
Paragraph 62 of the 1994 San Remo Manual provides: “Enemy civil aircraft may only be attacked if they meet the definition of a military objective.” 
Louise Doswald-Beck (ed.), San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994, Prepared by international lawyers and naval experts convened by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995, § 62.
San Remo Manual
Paragraph 63 of the 1994 San Remo Manual states that the following activities may render enemy civil aircraft military objectives:
(a) engaging in acts of war on behalf of the enemy, e.g., laying mines, minesweeping, laying or monitoring acoustic sensors, engaging in electronic warfare, intercepting or attacking other civil aircraft, or providing targeting information to enemy forces;
(b) acting as an auxiliary aircraft to an enemy’s armed forces, e.g., transporting troops or military cargo, or refuelling military aircraft;
(c) being incorporated into or assisting the enemy’s intelligence-gathering system, e.g., engaging in reconnaissance, early warning, surveillance, or command, control and communications missions;
(d) flying under the protection of accompanying enemy warships or military aircraft;
(e) refusing an order to identify itself, divert from its track, or proceed for visit and search to a belligerent airfield that is safe for the type of aircraft involved and reasonably accessible, or operating fire control equipment that could reasonably be construed to be part of an aircraft weapon system, or on being intercepted clearly manoeuvring to attack the intercepting belligerent military aircraft;
(f) being armed with air-to-air or air-to-surface weapons; or
(g) otherwise making an effective contribution to military action.  
Louise Doswald-Beck (ed.), San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994, Prepared by international lawyers and naval experts convened by the International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995, § 63.
Australia
Australia’s Commanders’ Guide (1994) states:
Civilian vessels, aircraft, vehicles and buildings may be lawfully attacked if they contain combatant personnel, military equipment, supplies or are otherwise associated with combat activity inconsistent with their civilian status. 
Australia, Law of Armed Conflict, Commanders’ Guide, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 Supplement 1 – Interim Edition, 7 March 1994, § 951.
Australia
Australia’s Defence Force Manual (1994) states:
Civil aircraft in flight (including state aircraft which are not military aircraft) should not be attacked. They are presumed to be carrying civilians who may not be made the object of direct attack. If there is doubt as to the status of a civil aircraft, it should be called upon to clarify that status. If it fails to do so, or is engaged in non civil activities, such as ferrying troops, it may be attacked. Civil aircraft should avoid entering areas which have been declared combat zones by the belligerents.
Civil aircraft which have been absorbed into a belligerent’s air force and are being ferried from the manufacturer to a belligerent for this purpose, may be attacked. 
Australia, Manual on Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Force Publication, Operations Series, ADFP 37 – Interim Edition, 1994, §§ 852 and 853.
Australia
Australia’s LOAC Manual (2006) states in its chapter on “Maritime Operations”:
6.39 Enemy merchant vessels. Enemy merchant vessels may only be attacked if they meet the definition of military objective.
6.40 Enemy civil aircraft. Enemy civil aircraft may likewise only be attacked if they meet the definition of a military objective.
6.44 Classes of vessels exempt from attack. The following classes of enemy vessels are exempt from attack:
• passenger vessels when engaged only in carrying civilian passengers;
6.56 The destruction of enemy passenger vessels carrying only civilian passengers is prohibited at sea. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 6.39, 6.40, 6.44 and 6.56.
In its chapter on “Air Operations”, the manual states:
8.56 Civil aircraft in flight (including state aircraft, which are not military aircraft) should not be attacked. They are presumed to be carrying civilians who may not be made the object of direct attack. If there is doubt as to the status of a civil aircraft, it should be called upon to clarify that status. If it fails to do so, or is engaged in non-civil activities, such as ferrying troops, it may be attacked. Civil aircraft should avoid entering areas that have been declared conflict zones by the belligerents.
8.57 Civil aircraft, which have been absorbed into a belligerent’s air force and are being ferried from the manufacturer to a belligerent for this purpose, may be attacked.
8.59 Civil aircraft on the ground may only be attacked in accordance with the normal rules relating to military objectives. However, since they may be used for transporting troops or supplies, their status will frequently depend upon the prevailing military situation. 
Australia, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Australian Defence Doctrine Publication 06.4, Australian Defence Headquarters, 11 May 2006, §§ 8.56–8.57 and 8.59.
The LOAC Manual (2006) replaces both the Defence Force Manual (1994) and the Commanders’ Guide (1994).
Benin
Benin’s Military Manual (1995) states:
Foreign civilian aircraft may be attacked when escorted by enemy military aircraft. When flying alone they can be ordered to modify their route or to land or alight on water for inspection … If a foreign civilian aircraft refuses to modify its route or to land or alight on water, it may be attacked after due warning. 
Benin, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Forces Armées du Bénin, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1995, Fascicule II, p. 8.
Burkina Faso
According to Burkina Faso’s Disciplinary Regulations (1994), it is prohibited to attack “the crew and passengers of civil aircraft”. 
Burkina Faso, Règlement de Discipline Générale dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 94-159/IPRES/DEF, Ministère de la Défense, 1994, Article 35(2).
Cameroon
According to Cameroon’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975), it is prohibited to attack “the crew and passengers of civil aircraft”. 
Cameroon, Règlement de discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret No. 75/700, 6 November 1975, Article 32.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (1992) states: “Belligerents must … distinguish between military and civilian aircraft … As a result, only enemy military aircraft may be attacked; civilian, private or commercial aircraft may only be intercepted.” 
Cameroon, Droit international humanitaire et droit de la guerre, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les Forces Armées, Présidence de la République, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-major des Armées, Troisième Division, Edition 1992, p. 113.
Cameroon
Cameroon’s Instructor’s Manual (2006) states in a section on “Armed Operations in the Air”:
“During hostilities, belligerents must ensure a distinction between military and civilian aircraft.” 
Cameroon, Droit des conflits armés et droit international humanitaire, Manuel de l’instructeur en vigueur dans les forces de défense, Ministère de la Défense, Présidence de la République, Etat-major des Armées, 2006, p. 259, § 614.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) states that civilian aircraft and vehicles are military objectives “if they contain combatants, military equipment or supplies”. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 4-2, § 10.
With respect to civil aircraft, the manual specifies:
Civil aircraft (including state aircraft which are not military aircraft) in flight should not be attacked. They are presumed to be carrying civilians who may not be made the object of direct attack. If there is doubt as to the status of civil aircraft, it should be called upon to clarify that status. If it fails to do so, or is engaged in support of military activities, such as ferrying troops, it may be attacked. Civil aircraft should avoid entering areas which have been declared combat zones by the belligerents, since this increases the risk of their being attacked. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Level, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 1999, p. 7-4, § 38.
Canada
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on targeting:
Civil aircraft (including state aircraft which are not military aircraft) in flight should not be attacked. They are presumed to be carrying civilians who may not be made the object of direct attack. If there is doubt as to the status of civil aircraft, it should be called upon to clarify that status. If it fails to do so, or is engaged in support of military activities, such as ferrying troops, it may be attacked. Civil aircraft should avoid entering areas that have been declared combat zones by the belligerents, since this increases the risk of their being attacked. 
Canada, The Law of Armed Conflict at the Operational and Tactical Levels, Office of the Judge Advocate General, 13 August 2001, § 716.2.
Central African Republic
The Central African Republic’s Instructor’s Manual (1999) states in Volume 2 (Instruction for group and patrol leaders):
1.1 Principles of combat and the need to verify the military nature of objectives (targets)
It is especially important to avoid attacking merchant ships and civilian aircraft of no military importance.
1.2 Foreign ships
In contrast [to ships that are military objectives], the following ships may be neither captured nor attacked:
- ships granted safe conduct
- small coastal fishing boats;
- other ships of no military importance.
However, in case of doubt a ship can reasonably be stopped and searched to ascertain its status. If it refuses to stop or resists being visited and searched it may be destroyed after a warning to this effect has been given.
Normally, neutral warships are not military objectives for the belligerent forces unless they refuse to be visited and searched, as described above.
1.3 Foreign aircraft
Unless they enter prohibited national airspace, foreign aircraft other than enemy military aircraft, must not be attacked.
Foreign civilian aircraft may be attacked if they are escorted by enemy military aircraft.
If civilian aircraft are flying alone they may be ordered to change their route, or to land or alight on water for inspection. If the inspection reveals that the aircraft contains personnel or objects of military importance or breaches the law of war in some other way, or if the foreign civilian aircraft refuses to alter its route or to land, it can be attacked after due warning has been given.
The above also applies to neutral military aircraft. 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter II, Section 1.1–1.3.
In Volume 2, the manual further states: “Unless they enter prohibited national airspace, foreign aircraft other than enemy military aircraft must not be attacked. … Merchant ships escorted by military vessels and civilian aircraft escorted by enemy military aircraft may be attacked.” 
Central African Republic, Le Droit de la Guerre, Fascicule No. 2: Formation pour l’obtention du certificat technique No. 2 (Chef de Groupe), du certificat Inter-Armé (CIA), du certificat d’aptitude de Chef de Patrouille (CACP), Ministère de la Défense, Forces Armées Centrafricaines, 1999, Chapter III, Section 4.
Congo
According to the Congo’s Disciplinary Regulations (1986), it is prohibited to attack “the crew and passengers of civil aircraft”. 
Congo, Décret No. 86/057 du 14 janvier 1986 portant Règlement du Service dans l’Armée Populaire Nationale, 1986, Article 32(2).
Croatia
Croatia’s LOAC Compendium (1991) provides that “civilian aircraft escorted by enemy military aircraft” and “civilian aircraft that refuse to modify their routes, land or alight on water if so ordered and after warning” are proper targets in the air. The manual adds that “civilian aircraft that do not violate the airspace of a belligerent” are protected aircraft. 
Croatia, Compendium “Law of Armed Conflicts”, Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Defence, 1991, p. 44.
Ecuador
Ecuador’s Naval Manual (1989) provides:
Civil passenger vessels at sea and civil airliners in flight are subject to capture but are exempt from destruction. Although enemy lines of communication are generally legitimate military targets in modern warfare, civilian passenger vessels at sea, and civil airliners in flight, are exempt from destruction, unless at the time of the encounter they are being utilized by the enemy for a military purpose (e.g., transporting troops or military cargo) or refuse to respond to the directions of the intercepting warship or military aircraft. Such passenger vessels in port and airliners on the ground are not protected from destruction. 
Ecuador, Aspectos Importantes del Derecho Internacional Marítimo que Deben Tener Presente los Comandantes de los Buques, Academia de Guerra Naval, 1989, § 8.2.3(6).
France
According to France’s Disciplinary Regulations (1975), as amended in 1982, it is prohibited to attack “the crew and passengers of civil aircraft”. 
France, Règlement de Discipline Générale dans les Armées, Decree No. 75-675 of 28 July 1975, replacing Decree No. 66-749, completed by Decree of 11 October 1978, implemented by Instruction No. 52000/DEF/C/5 of 10 December 1979, and modified by Decree of 12 July 1982, Ministère de la Défense, Etat-Major de l’Armée de Terre, Bureau Emploi, Article 9 bis (2).
Germany
Germany’s Military Manual (1992) provides that enemy aircraft used exclusively for the transport of civilians may neither be attacked nor seized. Their protection ends
if such [aircraft] do not comply with conditions lawfully imposed upon them, if they abuse their mission or are engaged in any other activity bringing them under the definition of a military objective … Such aircraft may be requested to land on ground or water to be searched. 
Germany, Humanitarian Law in Armed Conflicts – Manual, DSK VV207320067, edited by The Federal Ministry of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, VR II 3, August 1992, English translation of ZDv 15/2, Humanitäres Völkerrecht in bewaffneten Konflikten – Handbuch, August 1992, §§ 1034–1036; see also § 463.
Hungary
Hungary’s Military Manual (1992) provides that “civilian aircraft escorted by enemy military aircraft” and “civilian aircraft that refuse to modify their routes, land or alight on water if so ordered and after warning” are proper targets in the air. The manual adds that “civilian aircraft that do not violate the airspace of a belligerent” are protected aircraft. 
Hungary, A Hadijog, Jegyzet a Katonai, Föiskolák Hallgatói Részére, Magyar Honvédség Szolnoki Repülötiszti Föiskola, 1992, p. 71.
Kenya
Kenya’s LOAC Manual (1997) provides: “Specifically protected transport shall be allowed to pursue their assignment as long as needed. Their mission, contents and effective use may be verified by inspection (e.g. aircraft may be ordered to land for such inspection).” 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 3, p. 12.
The manual also states:
Subject to prohibitions and restrictions on access to national air space, foreign aircraft except enemy military aircraft may not be attacked. Foreign civilian aircraft may be attacked:
(a) when escorted by enemy military aircraft, or
(b) when flying alone under the conditions stated below.
Foreign civilian aircraft can be ordered to modify their route or to land or alight on water for inspection … If a foreign civilian aircraft refuses to modify its route or to land or alight on water, it may be attacked after due warning. The provisions of this part governing foreign civilian aircraft can be applied by analogy to neutral military aircraft. 
Kenya, Law of Armed Conflict, Military Basic Course (ORS), 4 Précis, The School of Military Police, 1997, Précis No. 4, pp. 10–11.
Morocco
According to Morocco’s Disciplinary Regulations (1974), it is prohibited to attack “the crew and passengers of civil aircraft”. 
Morocco, Règlement de Discipline Général dans les Forces Armées Royales, Dahir No. 1-74-383 du 15 rejeb 1394, 5 August 1974, Article 25(2).
New Zealand
New Zealand’s Military Manual (1992) states:
Civilian vessels, aircraft, vehicles and buildings may be lawfully attacked if they contain combatant personnel or military equipment or supplies or are otherwise associated with combat activity inconsistent with their civilian status and if collateral damage would not be excessive under the circumstances. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 516(3); see also § 623(3).
The manual further states:
Civil aircraft (including State aircraft which are not military aircraft) in flight should not be attacked. They are presumed to be carrying civilians who may not be made the object of direct attack. If there is doubt as to the status of a civil aircraft, it should be called upon to clarify that status. If it fails to do so, or is engaged in non-civil activities, such as ferrying troops, it may be attacked. Civil aircraft should avoid entering areas which have been declared combat zones by the belligerents, since this increases the risk of their being attacked. 
New Zealand, Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual, DM 112, New Zealand Defence Force, Headquarters, Directorate of Legal Services, Wellington, November 1992, § 628(1).
Nigeria
Nigeria’s Military Manual (1994) states: “The military character of the objectives and targets must be verified and precaution taken not to attack non-military objectives like merchant ships, civilian aircraft, etc.” 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 45, § 16(a).
The manual further states that foreign aircraft “of no military importance shall not be captured or attacked except [when] they are of a dubious status, i.e., when it is uncertain whether it is a military objective or not. In that case, it may be stopped and searched so as to establish its status.” 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 45, § 16(d).
The manual also states: “Specifically protected … transports recognised as such must be respected … though they could be inspected to ascertain their contents and effective use.” 
Nigeria, International Humanitarian Law (IHL), Directorate of Legal Services, Nigerian Army, 1994, p. 45, § 16(f).
Nigeria
According to Nigeria’s Manual on the Laws of War, “civilian aircraft belong[ing] to the enemy flying outside their own territory, in a zone controlled by the state or close to it, or near the battle zone can be shot down only when they do not comply with landing orders”. 
Nigeria, The Laws of War, by Lt. Col. L. Ode PSC, Nigerian Army, Lagos, undated, § 20(d).
Peru
Peru’s IHL Manual (2004) states:
(a) Enemy merchant vessels
(1) Enemy merchant vessels may only be attacked if they meet the definition of a military objective.
(3) Any attack on these vessels must comply with the basic rules of international humanitarian law, the requirement to distinguish between protected persons and objects and military objectives and the conditions that must be met for an object to be considered a military objective.
(b) Enemy civil aircraft
(1) Enemy civil aircraft may only be attacked if they meet the definition of a military objective.
(3) Any attack on these aircraft must comply with the basic rules of international humanitarian law, the requirement to distinguish between protected persons and objects and military objectives and the conditions that must be met for an object to be considered a military objective. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial Nº 1394-2004-DE/CCFFAA/CDIH-FFAA, Lima, 1 December 2004, § 130.a.(1) and (3) and b.(1) and (3).
Peru
Peru’s IHL and Human Rights Manual (2010) states:
120. Enemy vessels and aircraft which benefit from immunity against attack
a. The following classes of enemy vessels cannot be attacked:
(5) Passenger ships if they only transport civilian passengers.
121. Other enemy vessels and aircraft
a. Enemy merchant vessels
(1) Enemy merchant vessels may only be attacked if they meet the definition of a military objective.
b. Enemy civil aircraft
(1) Enemy civil aircraft may only be attacked if they meet the definition of a military objective.
(3) Any attack on these aircraft must comply with the basic rules of International Humanitarian Law (IHL), the requirement to distinguish between protected persons and objects and military objectives and the conditions that must be met for an object to be considered a military objective. 
Peru, Manual de Derecho Internacional Humanitario y Derechos Humanos para las Fuerzas Armadas, Resolución Ministerial No. 049-2010/DE/VPD, Lima, 21 May 2010, § 120(a)(5), p. 310, § 121(a)(1), p. 312, and § 121(b)(1) and (3), p. 313.
Russian Federation
The Russian Federation’s Regulations on the Application of IHL (2001) states:
113. War-ships shall not destroy any enemy civil ships or otherwise divert it from its destination, except for the following cases:
- the vessel refuses to stop after it was requested to do so, or
- the vessel resists a visit.
Prior to using force against a civil vessel the war-ship shall provide for the security of passengers and crew, of the documents and papers, unless the war-ship is in danger of being sunk by an enemy war-ship, escort ship or aircraft.
114. Destruction of the enemy passenger vessels carrying only civilians is prohibited at sea. For the safety of the passengers, such vessels shall be diverted to an appropriate area or port in order to complete capture. 
Russian Federation, Regulations on the Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation, Moscow, 8 August 2001, §§ 113–114.
Senegal
According to Senegal’s Disciplinary Regulations (1990), it is prohibited to attack “the crew and passengers of civil aircraft”. 
Senegal, Règlement de Discipline dans les Forces Armées, Décret 90-1159, 12 October 1990, Article 34(2).
Togo
Togo’s Military Manual (1996) states:
Foreign civilian aircraft may be attacked when escorted by enemy military aircraft. When flying alone they can be ordered to modify their route or to land or alight on water for inspection … If a foreign civilian aircraft refuses to modify its route or to land or alight on water, it may be attacked after due warning. 
Togo, Le Droit de la Guerre, III fascicules, Etat-major Général des Forces Armées Togolaises, Ministère de la Défense nationale, 1996, Fascicule II, p. 8.
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
The UK LOAC Manual (2004) states: “The following classes of enemy aircraft are exempt from attack: … b. aircraft granted safe conduct by agreement between the parties to the conflict; and c. civil airliners.” 
United Kingdom, The Manual of the Law of Armed Conflict, Ministry of Defence, 1 July 2004, § 12.28.
United States of America
With respect to civil aircraft, the US Air Force Pamphlet (1976) states:
If identified as a civil aircraft, air transport in flight should not be the object of attack, unless at the time it represents a valid military objective such as when there is an immediate military threat or use. An unauthorized entry into a flight restriction zone might in some conflicts be deemed an immediate military threat. Wherever encountered, enemy civil aircraft are subject to instruction in order to verify status and preclude their involvement … Civil aircraft on the ground, as objects of attack, are governed by the rules of what constitutes a legitimate military objective as well as the rules and principles relative to aerial bombardment. As sources of airlift they may, under the circumstances ruling at the time, qualify as important military objectives. Civil aircraft entitled to protection include nonmilitary state aircraft and a state owned airline. The principle of law and humanity protecting civilians and civilian objects from being objects of attack as such, protects civil aircraft in flight, because civil aircraft are presumed to transport civilians. Such an aircraft is not subject to attack in the absence of a determination that it constitutes a valid military objective. 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law – The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, US Department of the Air Force, 1976, § 4-3.
United States of America
The US Air Force Commander’s Handbook (1980) states: “Civilian vehicles, aircraft, vessels … may be the object of attack if they have combatant personnel in them and if collateral damage would not be excessive under the circumstances.” 
United States, Air Force Pamphlet 110-34, Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Armed Conflict, Judge Advocate General, US Department of the Air Force, 25 July 1980, § 2-2.
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (1995) provides:
Civil passenger vessels at sea and civil airliners in flight are subject to capture but are exempt from destruction. Although enemy lines of communication are generally legitimate military targets in modern warfare, civilian passenger vessels at sea, and civil airliners in flight, are exempt from destruction, unless at the time of the encounter they are being utilized by the enemy for a military purpose (e.g., transporting troops or military cargo) or refuse to respond to the directions of the intercepting warship or military aircraft. Such passenger vessels in port and airliners on the ground are not protected from destruction. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-2.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Transportation, US Coast Guard, October 1995 (formerly NWP 9 (Rev. A)/FMFM 1-10, October 1989), § 8.2.3(6).
United States of America
The US Naval Handbook (2007) states:
Civilian passenger vessels at sea and civil airliners in flight are subject to capture but are exempt from destruction. Although enemy lines of communication are generally legitimate military targets in modern warfare, civilian passenger vessels at sea, and civil airliners in flight, are exempt from destruction, unless at the time of the encounter they are being utilized by the enemy for a military purpose (e.g., transporting troops or military cargo) or refuse to respond to the directions of the intercepting warship or military aircraft. Such passenger vessels in port and airliners on the ground are not protected from destruction. 
United States, The Commander’s Handbook on the Law of Naval Operations, NWP 1-14M/MCWP 5-12.1/COMDTPUB P5800.7, issued by the Department of the Navy, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters, US Marine Corps, and Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard, July 2007, § 8.6.3.
Denmark
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (1973), as amended in 1978, provides:
Any person who uses war instruments or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or the general rules of international law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. a fine, lenient imprisonment or up to 12 years’ imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 1973, as amended in 1978, § 25(1).
Denmark’s Military Criminal Code (2005) provides:
Any person who deliberately uses war means [“krigsmiddel”] or procedures the application of which violates an international agreement entered into by Denmark or international customary law, shall be liable to the same penalty [i.e. imprisonment up to life imprisonment]. 
Denmark, Military Criminal Code, 2005, § 36(2).
Spain
Spain’s Penal Code (1995), as amended in 2010, states:
1. Anyone who in the event of an armed conflict commits or orders to be committed any of the following acts shall be punished with four to six years’ imprisonment:
h. … [D]estroying non-military ships or aircraft and the cargo of an adverse or neutral party, or capturing them, in violation of international norms applicable to armed conflicts at sea;
2. … In all other cases mentioned in the above article, the higher sentence can be imposed when extensive and important destructions are caused to the property, objects or installations or [the acts] are of extreme gravity. 
Spain, Penal Code, 1995, as amended on 23 June 2010, Article 613(1)(h) and (2).
No data.
Belgium
In a communiqué issued in 1973, the Belgian Government condemned the deliberate destruction of a Libyan Boeing by Israeli air force units because it “condemns all violence of which innocent civilians are the victims”. 
Belgium, Government communiqué, 22 February 1973, RBDI, Vol. XI, 1975, p. 375.
Islamic Republic of Iran
The Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran states that during the Iran–Iraq War, the Iranian authorities accused Iraq on many occasions of having carried out attacks against civilian objects, including civilian aircraft, trains and merchant ships. 
Report on the Practice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, 1997, Chapter 1.3.
Malaysia
The Report on the Practice of Malaysia states that no civilian aircraft may be attacked. 
Report on the Practice of Malaysia, 1997, Answers to additional questions on Chapter 1.4.
Malaysia
In 2010, during the consideration of the Status of the 1977 Additional Protocols by the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly, a statement of the delegation of Malaysia was summarized by the Committee in its records as follows:
8. [The delegate of Malaysia] said that …
10. … [t]he laws of naval warfare incorporated the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law, including necessity and proportionality …
11. [In the case of the attacks by the Israel Defense Forces on the Mavi Marmara and five accompanying vessels in May 2010] … Clear justification needed to be provided for unprovoked attacks on neutral vessels. 
Malaysia, Statement by the delegation of Malaysia before the Sixth Committee of the UN General Assembly on the Status of the Protocols Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and relating to the protection of victims of armed conflict, 18 October 2010, as published in the summary record of the 13th meeting, 8 December 2010, UN Doc. A/C.6/65/SR.13, §§ 8, 10 and 11.
Peru
The Report on the Practice of Peru refers to a scholar who wrote that in 1879, during a conflict against Chile, a Peruvian admiral refused, on humanitarian grounds, to attack an enemy vessel that he believed to be a transport ship. 
Report on the Practice of Peru, 1998, Chapter 1.3, referring to E. Angeles Figueroa, El Derecho Internacional Humanitario y los Conflictos Armados, Lima, 1992, pp. 119–120.
Poland
Following investigations by the Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) into the shooting down of two civil aircraft by the Cuban air force on 24 February 1996, a debate took place on 26 July 1996 in the UN Security Council, during which Poland asserted that the principle that States must refrain from resorting to the use of weapons against civil aircraft in flight was well established in customary international law and codified in Article 3 bis of the 1944 Chicago Convention. According to Poland, an attack against a civilian aircraft in flight violates elementary considerations of humanity. 
Poland, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3683, 26 July 1996, p. 19.
United States of America
Following investigations by the Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) into the shooting down of two civil aircraft by the Cuban air force on 24 February 1996, a debate took place on 26 July 1996 in the UN Security Council, during which the United States stated: “Cuba violated the principle of customary law that States must refrain from resorting to the use of weapons against civil aircraft in flight – a principle that applies whether the aircraft are in national or international airspace”. According to the United States, an attack against a civilian aircraft in flight violates elementary considerations of humanity. 
United States, Statement before the UN Security Council, UN Doc. S/PV.3683, 26 July 1996, p. 3.
UN Security Council
In resolutions adopted in 1986 and 1987 in the context of the Iran–Iraq War, the UN Security Council deplored attacks against civilian aircraft. 
UN Security Council, Res. 582, 24 February 1986, § 2, voting record: 15-0-0; Res. 598, 20 July 1987, preamble, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In a report on Angola in 1993, the UN Secretary-General described an incident which took place on 27 May 1993 whereby “UNITA [União Nacional para Independência Total de Angola] ambushed a train … as a result of which up to 300 people, including women and children, died and hundreds of others were wounded. UNITA alleged that the train was ferrying troops and weapons and not civilians, as claimed.” Noting that UNAVEM helicopters evacuated 57 seriously injured civilians, mostly women and children, from the site, the Secretary-General supported “the statement made by the President of the Security Council to the press on 8 June 1993 in which the Council strongly condemned the 27 May train attack and urged UNITA’s leaders to make sure that its forces abide by the rules of international humanitarian law”. 
UN Secretary-General, Further report on UNAVEM II, UN Doc. S/26060, 12 July 1993, § 5.
In a subsequent resolution, the UN Security Council reiterated “its strong condemnation of the attack by UNITA forces, on 27 May 1993, against a train carrying civilians” and reaffirmed that “such criminal attacks are clear violations of international humanitarian law”. 
UN Security Council, Res. 851, 15 July 1993, § 18, voting record: 15-0-0.
UN Security Council
In 1996, in a statement by its President in connection with the shooting down of two civil aircraft by the Cuban air force, the UN Security Council stated:
The Security Council strongly deplores the shooting down by the Cuban air force of two civil aircraft on 24 February 1996, which apparently has resulted in the death of four persons.
The Security Council recalls that according to international law, as reflected in article 3 bis of the International Convention on Civil Aviation of 7 December 1944 added by the Montreal Protocol of 10 May 1984, States must refrain from the use of weapons against civil aircraft in flight and must not endanger the lives of persons on board and the safety of aircraft. States are obliged to respect international law and human rights norms in all circumstances. 
UN Security Council, Statement by the President, UN Doc. S/PRST/1996/9, 27 February 1996.
UN Security Council
Following investigations by the Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) into the shooting down of two civilian aircraft by the Cuban Air Force in 1996, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on the conclusions of the ICAO report, in which it condemned
the use of weapons against civil aircraft in flight as being incompatible with elementary considerations of humanity, the rules of customary international law as codified in article 3 bis of the Chicago Convention, and the standards and recommended practices set out in the annexes of the Convention. 
UN Security Council, Res. 1067, 26 July 1996, § 6, voting record: 13-0-2.
UN Human Rights Council
In a resolution adopted in 2006 on the grave situation of human rights in Lebanon caused by Israeli military operations, the UN Human Rights Council stated that it was:
Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, relevant human rights instruments and international humanitarian law, in particular the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 on the Laws and Customs of War on Land which prohibit attacks and bombardment of civilian populations and objects and lay down obligations for general protection against dangers arising from military operations against civilian objects, hospitals, relief materials and means of transportation. 
UN Human Rights Council, Res. S-2/1, 11 August 2006, preamble, voting record: 27-11-8.
UN Secretary-General
In 1993, in a report concerning the situation in Abkhazia, Georgia, the UN Secretary-General stated that he was particularly shocked by deliberate attacks on Georgian aircraft, which had resulted in heavy civilian losses. 
UN Security Council, Report concerning the situation in Abkhazia, Georgia, UN Doc. S/26551, 7 October 1993, § 17.
No data.
No data.
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
In its final report to the ICTY Prosecutor in 2000, the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia stated, concerning the “attack on a civilian passenger train at the Grdelica Gorge on 12 April 1999”, that “the bridge was a legitimate military objective. The passenger train was not deliberately targeted.” The Committee did not refer specifically to the civilian character of the passenger train, but implied that, had the train been intentionally targeted, or had there been in the conduct of the attack against the bridge a sufficient “element of recklessness in the conduct of the pilot or weapons systems officer”, an investigation could have been opened. 
ICTY, Final Report to the Prosecutor by the Committee Established to Review the NATO Bombing Campaign Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, The Hague, 14 June 2000, § 62.
ICRC
To fulfil its role of disseminating IHL, the ICRC has delegates around the world teaching armed and security forces the following rules of IHL applicable to foreign aircraft:
Subject to prohibitions and restrictions on access to national air space, foreign aircraft, except enemy military aircraft, may not be attacked. Foreign civilian aircraft may be attacked:
a) when escorted by enemy military aircraft;
b) when flying alone: under the conditions stated in this chapter.
Foreign civilian aircraft can be ordered to modify their route or to land or alight on water for inspection … If a foreign civilian aircraft refuses to modify its route or to land or alight on water, it may be attacked after due warning. 
Frédéric de Mulinen, Handbook on the Law of War for Armed Forces, ICRC, Geneva, 1987, §§ 466–469.
ICRC
In an appeal issued in October 1973, the ICRC urged all the belligerents in the conflict in the Middle East (Egypt, Iraq, Israel and the Syrian Arab Republic) to observe forthwith, in particular, the provisions of, inter alia, Article 47(2) of draft Additional Protocol I which stated in part: “Objects designed for civilian use, such as … installations and means of transport … shall not be made the object of attack, except if they are used mainly in support of the military effort.” All governments concerned replied favourably. 
ICRC, The International Committee’s Action in the Middle East, IRRC, No. 152, 1973, pp. 584–585.
ICRC
In an appeal issued in 1979 with respect to the conflict in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, the ICRC specifically requested that the Patriotic Front “cease the shooting down of civilian passenger aircraft”. 
ICRC, Conflict in Southern Africa: ICRC appeal, 19 March 1979, §§ 5 and 6, IRRC, No. 209, 1979, pp. 88–89.
No data.