Whether from land, sea or air, bombardment is a legitimate method of warfare, subject to the general principle that the right of the parties to choose methods of warfare is not unlimited. In accordance with that principle, it is prohibited to employ methods of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering or destruction. Bombardment is, however, subject to prohibitions and limitations with respect to medical units, cultural property, non-defended localities and demilitarized zones. Bombardment of the civilian population as such is prohibited, as are indiscriminate bombardments and those whose primary purpose is to spread terror. Precautions in bombardments and against their effects are prescribed.

See also Naval warfare; Aerial warfare; Terror (spreading of); Indiscriminate attacks; WeaponsConduct of hostilities



    HR, 25

    HR, 26 

    HR, 27

    PI, 49/3

From air: 

    GCIII, 23/3

    GCIV, 88

From sea: 

    GCII, 23  (see ICRC updated Commentary)