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Half of global casualties from cluster bomb were in Syria in 2020, report reveals

Syrian rebel fighters show what appears to be cluster bomblets which they accuse government forces of using in attacks on rebel-held areas in the northwestern town of Maaret al-Numan on 19 October 2012. [BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images]
Syrian rebel fighters show what appears to be cluster bomblets which they accuse government forces of using in attacks on rebel-held areas in the northwestern town of Maaret al-Numan on 19 October 2012. [BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images]

Over half of all worldwide casualties caused by cluster bombs in 2020 were in Syria, a new report has revealed.

According to the publication released by the Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) last week, cluster bomb casualties in Syria resulted in a staggering 52 per cent of all similar casualties around the world last year, with 44 per cent of those Syrian injured being children.

The report, which monitors the use of cluster weapons globally, stated: "Syria is the only country to have experienced continued use of these weapons since 2012…causing immense human suffering both directly from attacks and from explosive remnants left behind."

Throughout the ongoing decade-long Syrian civil war, the regime of Bashar Al-Assad has used cluster bombs against opposition forces in predominantly civilian areas in the country. Assad's ally Russia has also used the weapon, assisting the regime and allegedly providing it with those bombs.

READ: Has the UN simply failed in Syria, or is it complicit in the regime's crimes?

The high death toll caused by the cluster bombs, especially of children, is reportedly due to the fact that the regime and Russia have continuously targeted schools and hospitals where children are located.

According to the report, Syria's use of cluster bombs is so high that it is responsible for 80 per cent of worldwide cluster munition casualties since 2012, with at least 687 attacks with cluster munitions having been recorded so far.

The use of cluster munitions by Damascus and Moscow also violate international law, as the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) prohibits the use, purchase and stockpiling of the weapon.

Categories
Europe & RussiaMiddle EastNewsRussiaSyria
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