Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Wednesday said that “facing Bashar Al-Assad alliance’s use of incendiary weapons cannot be postponed” as it called on the UN to address the flaws in its conventions on the use of these lethal weapons.
The international human rights organization said that in 2018, the Syrian-Russian military alliance used incendiary weapons in at least 30 attacks in six different Syrian provinces.
An investigation by HRW found that most of these attacks were carried out using surface-to-surface missiles, but air-dropped incendiary weapons have also caused damages. For example, a March 16 air strike on Eastern Ghouta killed at least 61 civilians and wounded more than 200, according to the same source.
Human Rights Watch also said it documented 90 additional incendiary attacks in Syria from November 2012 to 2017. However, the total number of attacks aggression is likely to be higher.
In comments it made on Thursday, the Syrian Coalition said that these findings provided yet further evidence of the widespread war crimes committed by the Assad regime and its allies. It called for adding these findings to hundreds of thousands of other items of evidence of the Assad regime’s crimes against civilians in Syria.
The Syrian Coalition reiterated the need to activate the international, impartial mechanism to hold accountable perpetrators of war crimes in Syria, stressing that accountability is essential to any sustainable political solution in Syria.
The latest HRW findings coincided with announcement by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that a core team of 10 experts charged with apportioning blame for poison gas attacks in Syria will be hired soon.
Fernando Arias, the new OPCW head, on Tuesday said that Syria team will be able to look into all attacks previously investigated by the OPCW, dating back to 2014. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)