Syria, Russia make extensive use of cluster munitions, HRW says

Syrian government forces and their Russian allies have extensively used widely banned cluster munitions in their attacks on opposition-held areas, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday.

The New York-based watchdog added that it had documented 47 cluster munition attacks that killed and injured dozens of civilians in opposition-controlled territory across three Syrian provinces over the past two months

"Since Russia and Syria have renewed their joint air operations, we have seen a relentless use of cluster munitions," Ole Solvang, HRW's deputy emergencies director, said.

Cluster bombs are banned by a 2008 convention signed by 98 states because they have a wide range of impact and tend to leave behind unexploded bomblets, resulting in civilian casualties during and after their use.

A large number of the documented cluster munition attacks in Syria took place north and west of the city of Aleppo, as Russian and regime forces tried to besiege the part of the city controlled by opposition groups, HRW said. 

On June 16, aircraft attacked US-backed opposition forces near Syria's al-Tanf border crossing with Iraq, HRW said.

It added that on July 11, aircraft carried out multiple attacks on fuel trucks on the outskirts of Termanin, a village in Idlib province in north-western Syria, killing at least 10 people and wounding others.

HRW said that since mid-2012, the Syrian forces have used both air-dropped and ground-launched cluster munitions. 

Cluster munition attacks in Syria have increased significantly since Russia began its military operation there in September 2015, according to the watchdog.

Last update: Thu, 28/07/2016 - 10:21
Author: 

Related

More from World

Jammeh looted state coffers before leaving Gambia, say officials

Former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh emptied the country’s state coffers before relinquishing power, a member of the...

Trump invites Netanyahu to meeting as new settlement action weighed

US President Donald Trump has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to meet him at the White House next...

Trump's senior staff sworn in at White House

About 30 officials who will serve as advisers and assistants to President Donald Trump were were sworn in Sunday at...

Dozens killed in clashes in south-west Yemen

ozens of people have been killed in clashes in war-torn Yemen's south-west, a source in the Yemeni military told dpa...

Iran hands down 5-year prison sentence to British woman for spying

A court in Tehran has sentenced a British woman, who has already been held in custody in Iran for 10 months, to five...