Practice Relating to Rule 42. Works and Installations Containing Dangerous Forces
In 1996, in a letter to the UN Secretary-General, Iraq reported that “a number of United States warplanes dropped 10 heat flares in the Saddam Dam area of Ninawa Governorate in northern Iraq” and requested the Secretary-General “to intervene with the Government of the United States with a view to halting these acts of aggression against Iraqi civilian installations committed in violation of the Charter of the United Nations and international law”.
According to the Report on the Practice of Iraq, “the duty to refrain from striking installations containing dangerous forces is considered an important principle, as great dangers may result as a consequence of striking them”.
The report refers to a letter from the President of Iraq to the World Association for Peace and Life against Nuclear War in 1983 which stated:
Iraq believes that an attack directed against peaceful nuclear installations by conventional weapons is tantamount to an attack by nuclear weapons, as the consequences of such an attack lead to the danger of exposure to radiation.