Rights Group: Syria Dropping Cluster Bombs in Civilian Areas

Widely banned munitions pose long-term risk
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2012 11:28 AM CDT
This April 15, 2011 photo provided by Human Rights Watch shows what the group claims to be the remnant base section of a cluster bomb.   (AP Photo/Human Rights Watch)

(Newser) – Human Rights Watch today blasted Syria, saying it has new evidence that the Assad regime is dropping cluster bombs into populated areas, reports the AP. "Syria's disregard for its civilian population is all too evident in its air campaign, which now apparently includes dropping these deadly cluster bombs into populated areas," said a spokesman. Cluster bombs are widely banned and pose a serious danger to civilians because they blanket an area in bomblets, and often languish on the ground, detonating when passersby touch them.

Syria reportedly possesses Soviet-made RBK-250 cluster bombs; HRW had earlier this summer found cluster-bomb remnants in Homs and Hama. The group said in its report today that Syrian activists posted at least 18 videos from Oct. 9-12 showing remnants of the bombs in several towns, including Homs, Idlib, Aleppo, Latakia, and the eastern Ghouta district near Damascus. The report said the remnants in the videos "all show damage and wear patterns produced by being mounted on and dropped from an aircraft.

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