A challenge in IHL that has arose recently lies in the states capability of labelling every warfare act as terrorist act even though it had been committed through armed groups in the armed conflict course, specifically in non-global armed conflicts. Even though it is a general agreement that parties within IAC (International armed conflict) under IHL, might attack lawfully the military objectives of each other but still the states have kept a reluctance to understand that similar principles are applicable within non-global armed conflicts.
Therefore the states that indulge in non-global armed conflicts with increased frequency label any act as an act of terrorists even when under IHL, domestic insurgents as acts are not unlawful. For example, attacks in opposition to the personnel from military groups. From this perspective, it becomes apparent that there is something missing here or has been overlooked is the fact that there is an essential difference between legal regime’s and IHL that govern terrorist acts.
The difference is that IHL has its basis on the premise that specific violence based acts in opposition to the goals and objectives of military groups cannot be considered as prohibited in nature. Any terrorism act, anyhow, by its very definition is not only prohibited but also criminal.
The requirement of differentiating between lawful war acts and terrorism acts should be kept in mind in order to avoid conflating the legal regimes. This is specifically essential within armed conflicts in non-international regions, wherein violence acts are organized through armed groups in opposition to the objectives of military forces remaining in any situation, subjected to the prosecution of domestic crimes. The capability of designating these, in addition as “terrorist acts”, can lead towards diminishing the incentive of armed groups to pay their respect to the laws of IHL and can also cause a barrier in conflict political process subsequently to resolve conflict.