Watchdog accuses Syria and Russian allies of using incendiary weapons

Human Rights Watch on Tuesday accused Syrian regime forces and their Russian allies of using incendiary weapons, which burn their victims and start fires, in rebel-held civilian areas in north and north-western Syria.

"Incendiary weapons have been used at least 18 times over the past six weeks, including attacks on the opposition-held areas in the cities of Aleppo and Idlib on August 7, 2016," the watchdog said.

Photographs and videos recorded by Human Rights Watch at the time of the attacks indicate there were incendiary weapon attacks on opposition-held areas in Aleppo and Idlib governorates between June 5 and August 10.

"Countries meeting at the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva on August 29 should condemn the use of air-dropped incendiary weapons ... and press Syria and Russia to immediately stop using incendiary weapons in civilian areas," the watchdog appealed. 

The statement noted that incendiary weapon attacks in Syria have increased significantly since the Russian Federation began its joint military operation with the Syrian government on September 30, 2015.

"There is compelling evidence that Russian government aircraft are being used to deliver incendiary weapons or at least are participating with Syrian government aircraft in attacks using incendiary weapons," it said. Fighting in Aleppo has intensified since early July, when government forces captured the last supply route to the rebel-held eastern sector of the city, raising fears that its estimated 250,000 to 300,000 remaining residents could suffer a lengthy siege.

Last update: Tue, 16/08/2016 - 09:42
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