HRW: Syria continuing use of cluster bombs

The Syrian government is currently using cluster munitions in its ongoing conflict, according to a report issued Sept. 4 by the Landmine and Cluster Munition Moniter (LCMM), an organization co-founded by Human Rights Watch (HRW). Cluster munitions are banned under two separate treaties, in 1997 (Mine Ban Treaty) and 2008 (Convention on Cluster Munitions). The latest report identified more than 200 cluster munition sites in Syria, charging: “Syria is persisting in using cluster bombs, insidious weapons that remain on the ground, causing death and destruction for decades… Meanwhile, other countries around the world that have joined the treaty are showing a strong commitment to get rid of cluster bombs once and for all.” Neither Syria nor the US have signed either treaty.

This is not the first report calling attention to Syria using cluster munitions. In March HRW reported that the Syrian military was using cluster munitions against civilians, following up on their July and October 2012 reports of their use of Soviet-era munitions. Syria’s last comment on the subject was at the 2011 Conference on Cluster munitions. There, the representative stated that Syria supported the convention but cited the ongoing conflict with Israel in the Golan Heights as the reason the country could not ban the weapon.

From Jurist, Sept. 4.

Note: The Cluster Munition Coalition on Aug. 22 protested a new deal for the US to supply cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia.