Somewhat related to my other recent question... there's footage of (almost certainly Russian) mortar interdiction fire landing on an empty intersection in Kharkiv (last week).
The US army too used to have this kind of tactic, but it was largely abandoned during/after Vietnam.
HARASSMENT and Interdiction (H&I) fire, a type of artillery mission
practiced by the United States Army throughout two world wars and
bitter fighting in Korea, proved controversial during the Vietnam War.
Before America’s large-scale ground commitment in 1965, the army had
drawn H&I into new, but rudimentary, tactical doctrine for prosecuting
counterinsurgency warfare. As in previous conflicts, H&I constituted
those artillery missions, not visually directed by friendly personnel, that
targeted Viet Cong (VC) or North Vietnamese Army (NVA) routes and
positions. These unobserved missions consisted of no more than a few
rounds fired at random intervals throughout the night, and sometimes
during the day. Usually based on rough tactical intelligence, these strikes
did not aim directly at enemy soldiers. Instead, they sought to achieve a
larger purpose: to inspire in the enemy a fear of random casualties. This
fear, H&I proponents contended, would curtail the enemy’s freedom of
movement and also hurt his morale. In a war without fronts, however,
profligate employment of such unobserved strikes offered few benefits
and harbored a significant potential to harm Vietnamese civilians or
their property. Some officers identified this problem early in the war and
argued against the practice, but the army nevertheless fired the majority
of its artillery strikes, and nearly half of its artillery ammunition, as H&I
during 1966 and 1967. The army reversed course, nearly eliminating
H&I by mid-1970, and antiwar activists such as John F. Kerry deemed
H&I a “war crime” allegedly perpetrated as “accepted policy by many
units in South Vietnam.”
So, given the increased level of controversy with the practice in more recent times, I'm curious if there were such practices invoked or analyzed for conflicts that "went to court" like that in former Yugoslavia (ICTY).
Basically, can one still fire interdiction missions in urban areas nowadays, under modern interpretations of international law?