Practice Relating to Rule 8. Definition of Military Objectives
Canada’s LOAC Manual (1999) considers that combatants, airborne troops and unlawful combatants are “legitimate targets”.
Canada’s LOAC Manual (2001) states in its chapter on targeting:
406. Definition of legitimate targets
1. “Legitimate targets” include combatants, unlawful combatants and military objectives.
1. Combatants are legitimate targets and may be attacked unless they have been captured, surrendered, expressed a clear intention to surrender, or are hors de combat (i.e., out of combat), provided they refrain from hostile acts and do not attempt to escape …
409. Airborne troops
1. Airborne troops are combatants and therefore legitimate targets. They may be attacked during their descent by parachute from aircraft.
410. Unlawful combatants
1. Unlawful combatants are legitimate targets for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities. Unlawful combatants include:
a. civilians (except those who are lawful combatants because they are participating in levée en masse);
b. mercenaries; and