The preceding chapters have dealt with the concept of armed conflict and the history and sources of international humanitarian law. The present chapter begins our exploration of the substantive rules of international humanitarian law by examining the limitations placed on the means and methods of warfare. We will look first at the role of combatants as the primary agents of warfare, examining the legal significance of combatant status. We will then examine the main duties of combatants when conducting armed attacks, beginning with the fundamental principles governing this area and then turning to particular kinds of prohibited weapons and forbidden tactics. The chapter concludes by briefly examining environmental and cultural protection under the law of armed conflict.
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