Cluster bombs have been used in at least 47 airstrikes in Syria since May 27, 2016, according to a Human Rights Watch report issued on July 28. These offensives have killed dozens of civilians.
“The international community must firmly condemn the repeated use of cluster munitions,” says Marion Libertucci, advocacy manager at Handicap International. “It is important to remember that these weapons are banned under the Oslo Convention, which has been signed by 119 States. These barbaric weapons pose an unacceptable threat to the lives of Syrian civilians, who are the main casualties of this conflict.”
Between 2012 and 2014, at least 1,968 casualties of cluster munitions were recorded in Syria, higher than any other global casualty total for a single country since before the Convention on Cluster Munitions was adopted, according to the Cluster Munition Monitor 2015, which is co-produced by Handicap International. The vast majority were civilians.
Globally, civilians account for more than 90% of all cluster bomb casualties. These indiscriminate weapons kill, injure, maim and cause serious psychological trauma. Up to 40% of cluster munitions do not explode on impact, and entire areas become uninhabitable, severely limiting social and economic activity, and displacing people from their homes. These explosive weapons pose a threat to civilians, sometimes for decades after a conflict has ended.