The Syrian Civil Defense Corps launched a campaign to raise awareness of the danger of unexploded ordnance (UXO) by educating children about the dangers of remnants of bombs and landmines which killed many civilians across Syria.
Organizers of the campaign visited six schools in the town of Al-Bab in eastern rural Aleppo in the first day of the campaign. Head of the civil defense center in the town, Khalid Karez told Smart News Network that the campaign began on Wednesday and will last for about two weeks. Karez said that they would visit all elementary, preparatory and secondary schools in the town.
Officials in the Syrian Coalition said that lukewarm response by the international community towards the use of internationally banned weapons is to blame for the death of many civilians in UXO incidents.
Coalition officials participated in several international workshops on the need to protect civilians from the danger of UXO items and how to remove them.
Karez pointed out that the campaign included the distribution of awareness pamphlets and explanation of the dangers of UXO. He noted that children do not have sufficient awareness of how to deal with UXO items.
Karez stressed that UXO have caused many casualties among children who found and play with UXO items, especially unexploded cluster bomblets.
The civil defense teams continue to clear UXO items from the town, Karez said. He noted that among the biggest difficulties the teams are facing are the wide area of the town, the fact that it is heavily contaminated with UXO, and the widespread destruction in the town. He said that they intend to train their teams on the use of detection devices.
The National Police and Internal Security Center in Al-Bab town pointed out that in cooperation with the civil defense, various expert teams have removed more than 10,000 UXO items, booby-traps, IEDs, and landmines since the Free Syrian Army captured the town from ISIS in February. According to estimates by civil defense center in the town, more than 150 people died in UXO incidents. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Smart News Network)