Secretary of the of the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC), Abdul Majeed Barakat, stressed that the Assad regime and its backers and other terrorist militias have turned Syria into a minefield over the past 11 years as landmines continue to claim the lives of innocent civilians.
Barakat’s comments came on the occasion of the UN International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action which falls on April 4 of each year.
Barakat stressed that explosions of landmines and unexploded ordnance occur in Syria on a daily basis, resulting in civilian casualties. He said that the Assad regime forces randomly planted landmines and booby traps in many areas across Syria, pointing out that the Assad regime did not remove these mines in order to prevent civilians from returning to their homes and lands.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that landmines accounted for 27 percent of the death toll it recorded across Syria in March. It said that 67 civilians were killed in Syria last month, including 20 children and three women, and seven people who were killed under torture.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Civil Defense said that it responded to 20 explosions of landmines and unexploded ordnance in 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, pointing out that these explosions killed 15 people, including eight children, and injured 27 others.
According to the annual report of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), Syria was ranked first in the world in 2020 in terms of the number of victims of landmines and explosive remnants of war.
According to ICBL’s report, landmines and unexploded ordnance killed 2,729 people in Syria in 2020, most of them were civilians, and half of them were children, out of 7,073 people who were killed or injured worldwide in 2020. ICBL indicated that the death toll it recorded in Syria has been the highest in one year since it began documenting the death toll from landmines in 1999.
(Source: SOC’s Media Department)