The handbook of the international law of military operations
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2015
This chapter discusses the rules governing targeting under international humanitarian law. The core treaty that addresses targeting—Additional Protocol I to the 1949 Geneva Conventions (AP I)—contains provisions on general protection against effects of hostilities. They apply to any land, air, or sea warfare which may affect the civilian population, individual civilians, or civilian objects on land. They further apply to all attacks from the sea or from the air against military objectives on land but do not otherwise affect the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict at sea or in the air. These provisions include the requirement that parties to the conflict distinguish between civilians and combatants, and the prohibition of attacks against civilians unless they directly participate in hostilities. Special protection is also given to persons because of either the humanitarian functions they perform or because they are particularly liable to be harmed.