DAMASCUS – Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Sunday that Syrian regime troops and allied Russian air force have extensively used cluster bombs against anti-Assad rebel groups since September 30.
The HRW revealed in a new report that it had documented 20 military raids during which cluster munitions were used by Syrian and Russian forces on rebel-held areas.
The attacks caused dozens of civilian casualties, including women and children.
“HRW collected detailed information about attacks in nine locations that have killed at least 35 civilians, including five women and 17 children, and injured dozens,” the report said, adding that all the bombs were “either made in Russia or the former Soviet Union”.
“Syria’s promises on indiscriminate weapons ring hollow when cluster munitions keep hitting civilians in many parts of the country,” HRW’s Ole Solvang said in the report, urging the UN to “get serious about its commitment to protect Syria’s civilians by publicly demanding that all sides stop the use of cluster munitions”.
According to experts, the widely banned cluster munitions contain dozens or hundreds of bomblets and are fired in rockets or dropped from the air. The munitions are capable of killing even long after the initial attack, especially when unexploded bomblets detonate.
Reporting by: Laila Majdalawi
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