This Section does not apply to airborne troops.
- This Rule is based on Art. 42 (3) of AP/I. See also Para. 188.8.131.52 of NWP.
- Although the phrase “airborne troops” is used in the plural, Rule 133 applies also to one individual person. The term must, furthermore, be understood comprehensively: it includes paratroopers, special forces, commando units, etc.
- The real difference between “airborne troops” and “parachut[ists] from an aircraft in distress” relates to their status during the descent from the aircraft. Airborne troops may be lawfully attacked during their descent. However, upon landing, they may surrender (see Rule 125). Should they surrender, they are no different from any other combatant. Therefore, all conditions of Rule 127 must be complied with.
- Rule 133 applies also in non-international armed conflict.
- Art. 42 (3) of AP/I: “Airborne troops are not protected by this Article.”
- NWP, Para. 184.108.40.206, third and fourth sentences: “Airborne troops, special warfare infiltrators, and intelligence agents parachuting into combat areas or behind enemy lines are not so protected and may be attacked in the air as well as on the ground. Such personnel may not be attacked, however, if they clearly indicate in a timely manner their intention to surrender.”