The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the Assad regime and Russia’s use of cluster munitions in attacks on populated areas in northwestern Syria have displaced hundreds of thousands of people since December 1, 2019.
In a report issued on Thursday, the Network said that it has recorded no fewer than 492 attacks involving the use of cluster munitions since July 2012. Of those, 248 attacks were carried out by the Assad regime, while 236 were carried out by the Russian forces.
According to the report, the attacks killed 1,030 civilians, including 382 children and 217 women as well as injured 4,350 others. It added that the attacks maimed thousands of people who are now in need of prosthetic limbs and a series of rehabilitation and support operations.
The report indicated that the violent bombardment and shelling on the liberated areas, especially the one involving the use of cluster munitions, is mainly to blame for the mass forced displacement of more than 900,000 people. The figure has been verified by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
The Network went on to say that the Assad regime carried out at least four attacks involving the use of cluster munitions in Idlib province in the period between December 1, 2019 and February 25, 2020. The attacks killed 12 civilians, including seven children and two women as well as wounded 27 others.
The monitoring group stressed that the use of cluster munitions is a war crime. It pointed out that the unexploded remnants of these munitions constitute a major obstacle to the return of displaced persons, the relief and rescue operations, and the rebuilding process.
The Network called on the UN Security Council to issue a resolution banning the use of cluster munitions in Syria similar to the one banning the use of chemical weapons. It also called on UNICEF to highlight the danger of the Assad regime and its Russian ally’s use of cluster munitions on the lives of Syrian children now and in the future. (Source: Syrian National Coalition’s Media Department)