Originally posted by Air.177
1.)Will they cease fire during Christmas? I think Not. NO
2.)Santuaries for Combatants, In a War zone, WTF? Sanctuary for wounded and civilians, yes.
Why would they (whoever "they" is) be expected to observe a Christmas ceasefire? While occasionally customary, at least up to Christmas 1915, there is no such requirement in the laws of war as generally understood in the West.
The relevant question is, are Muslims required or expected to observe a ceasefire for Ramadan? The answer is no. There is no such requirement in Islamic law. In fact, soldiers on the battlefield are one of the categories of people exempted from the requirement to fast during Ramadan. And going back to Muhammad's own time, Muslims routinely commence or continue military operations during Ramadan.
The second question has the same answer. Under Islamic law, it is unclear if mosques have a protected status that prevents their use in warfare (although a number of Shi'ite leaders have specifically criticized Muqtada al-Sadr for storing weapons in mosques, I don't recall them specifically saying it was because it was against Islamic law to do so). But like most Western states, most Muslim or predominantly Muslim countries are parties to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict
(1954). Among them are Albania, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Uzbekistan and Yemen. So the general rules on loss of protected status apply. And of course, as noted, the protected status never applies to enemy combatants, only to protected persons who are non-combatants and protected places when not used by enemy combatants.
In other words, the answer to both questions would likely be "no" if we were a Muslim military bound by shari'a. Except to the extent we are worried about being sensitive, the answer should be the same for us. And we are sensitive - we follow the rules by not using such sites ourselves, by warning occupants of a protected site that their actions will cause the loss of protected status, by seeking available alternatives before commencing action, and by making every effort to mitigate the consequences when we are forced to take action. The blowing up of a wall or a minaret with PGMs to avoid damage to the rest of the mosque is evidence of our care.
This is something we have made progress on. In World War Two, we bombed the monastery at Monte Cassino because we thought the Germans might
be using it as an OP. It turns out we were wrong, but the big pile of rubble we created turned into a hell of a defensive position for the Fallschirmjaeger afterwards.