Nothing in this Section of the Manual ought to be deemed as derogating from the right of a Belligerent Party:
- to control civil aviation in the immediate vicinity of hostilities; or
- to take appropriate measures of force protection in the form of, e.g., the establishment of warning zones.
- As indicated in paragraph 11 of the chapeau to this Section, “exclusion zones” and no-fly zones must be distinguished from other well-established belligerent rights, such as the right of belligerent control within the immediate area of operations.
- The concept “immediate vicinity of hostilities” includes the contact zone on land and the counterpart area at sea or in the air in which hostilities are taking place or in which belligerent forces are actually operating in support of the hostilities.
- In order to prevent “civil aviation in the immediate vicinity of hostilities” from jeopardizing the military operations through (i) presence; or (ii) communication with anyone outside that area, a Belligerent Party may prohibit civil aviation from entering that area, or may establish special restrictions upon flights or activities (e.g., by controlling or blocking their communication).
- Art. 30 of the HRAW provides: “In case a belligerent commanding officer considers that the presence of aircraft is likely to prejudice the success of the operations in which he is engaged at the moment, he may prohibit the passing of neutral aircraft in the immediate vicinity of his forces or may oblige them to follow a particular route. A neutral aircraft which does not conform to such directions, of which it has had a notice issued by the belligerent commanding officer, may be fired upon.”
- Para. 12.58 of the UK Manual: “Parties to a conflict may establish zones of immediate operations or exclusion zones within which they intend to pursue or are actively pursuing hostilities.”
Para. 7.8 of NWP, see fn. 601.
Para. 703 of the Canadian Joint Doctrine Manual: “2. Operational Zones. Parties to a conflict may, by appropriate notice, establish areas of immediate air operations where they pursue combat activities. Such zones may exist over the territories and territorial waters of all states involved in the hostilities. All aircraft entering such zones, including the aircraft of neutral states, risk damage from the hostilities.”
- Para. 108 of SRM/ACS, see fn. 600.
- Rule 106 (b) relates to “force protection”, which is a generally recognized belligerent right. Such measures may include the establishment and enforcement of “warning zones” around naval units (“defence bubbles”) or around military units stationed on the ground, and other measures the responsible commander considers necessary in view of a given threat.
- Such “warning zones” merely serve to keep aviation or navigation at a distance from the force subject to protection, and to indicate that — should they enter the zone — they are at increased risk of defensive action. The establishment of a “warning zone” may never result in attacks without prior warning. However, aircraft approaching a “warning zone” may become liable to attack if, after prior warning, they continue on their course and military necessity warrants attack.
Categories: P: General Rules