Cluster bomb in Syria

A screenshot from an unverified video posted by opposition activists purportedly showing cluster bombs in Deir al-Asafir

(London, 27 November 2012):  Use of cluster munitions by Syrian Armed Forces may have caused the deaths of at least 11 children and wounded others playing near their homes outside Damascus. This follows confirmed use of cluster munitions by Assad’s forces in recent months. The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) is calling on the Syrian government to stop immediately all use of these banned weapons, and is pressing all other states to condemn this outrage.

Sarah Blakemore, Director of the CMC, said, “These attacks leading to so many children’s deaths mark a new low for the Syrian government. The indiscriminate nature of this weapon is exactly why it is banned by the majority of the world.  Other governments must condemn Syria’s use of cluster munitions and call for a complete halt in use of the weapon.”

CMC member organisation Human Rights Watch has confirmed that the remnants according to video footage include at least two RBK-250/275 cluster bombs and dozens of their AO1-SCH submunitions which failed to explode. The destructive footprint of this type of cluster bomb is 4,800 square meters.

The CMC reiterates its call for all countries to join the Convention on Cluster Munitions and to end for all time the unacceptable harm to innocent civilians caused by cluster bombs. Cluster munitions have a devastating impact, both at the time of use and for years after a conflict ends. More than half the world has joined the global ban on cluster munitions, which bans the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of the weapon.

“The use of cluster munitions is never acceptable, and their use in populated areas is even more outrageous given the clear risk to civilians. This tragedy further underlines the need for all production, trade and use of cluster bombs to end now,” said Blakemore.