International organization: 80% of prohibited weapons victims are Syrians

The International Campaign to Ban Landmines and the Cluster Munition Coalition have said that 80 percent of the victims of internationally banned weapons are Syrians.

The International Campaign confirmed, according to the New York Times, that the number of victims of cluster bombs doubled last year, mostly due to their use by Damascus government forces.

It revealed that at least 286 people were killed or wounded in 2019 as a result of cluster bomb attacks or munitions remnants, of whom 219 were in Syria alone, compared to 149 in 2018.

The campaign said that between 2010 and 2019, at least 4,315 victims of cluster munitions were reported in 20 other countries and regions, but more than 80 percent were in Syria, and noted that 686 cluster munition attacks have been reported in Syria since July, 2012, making it the "only country to have seen continued use of weapons" during that period.

The campaign indicated that cluster munitions were used in Libya in 2019, and that it reviewed allegations of its use last year in Yemen and in the disputed Kashmir region on the India-Pakistan border, but it was unable to take a decisive decision, adding, "Victims have also been reported from remnants of cluster munitions unexploded last year in Afghanistan, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Serbia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, as well as the disputed areas in Nagorno Karabakh and Western Sahara.

The campaign, in its 10-year review of compliance with the Convention on Cluster Munitions, which is the treaty banning weapons that entered into force in August 2010 after 30 countries ratifies on, indicated that the number of countries that signed this convention has reached about 110 countries, none of which used these bombs.

Of note, cluster munitions are weapons consisting of a container that opens in the air and disperses large numbers of "small bombs" or explosive submunitions, over a wide area. Depending on the model, the number of sub-munitions can range from several dozen to more than 600, and they can be dropped. Cluster munitions are taken by aircraft, artillery, or shells, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

J.O


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