The Geneva Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War
The Geneva Conventions (Geneva, 12 August 1949) are rules that apply only in times of armed conflict and seek to protect people who are not or are no longer taking part in hostilities including civilians.
It might appear that the Geneva convention might not apply if the United States is not in a state of war, but according to the H.R.2810 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 and the Report on the Legal and Policy Frameworks Guiding the United States’ Use of Military Force and Related National Security Operations the President of the United States submitted to Congress on December 11, 2017 and every six months after, consistent with the War Powers Resolution, "hostilities or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances" a war Powers report. The War Powers Report includes: Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libia, and Niger.
According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International humanitarian law is based on treaties, in particular the Geneva Conventions and their Additional Protocols, and a series of other conventions and protocols on specific topics. There is also a substantial body of customary law that is binding on all States and parties to a conflict.
The parties to the conflict must at all times distinguish between civilian objects and military objectives according to Rule 7. The Principle of Distinction between Civilian Objects and Military Objectives Attacks may only be directed against military objectives. Attacks must not be directed against civilian objects. State practice establishes this rule as a norm of customary international law applicable in both international and non-international armed conflicts. The three components of this rule are interrelated and the practice pertaining to each reinforces the validity of the others. Belligerent reprisals against civilian objects are discussed in Chapter 41.