Signs Syria used cluster bombs

2012-09-06 22:32

London - Syrian government forces have almost certainly used cluster bombs, which kill and maim civilians long after conflicts end, during their crackdown on a 17-month revolt, a disarmament group said on Thursday citing video and photographic evidence.

The Cluster Munition Coalition (CMC) said it had collected pictures and footage from Syrian activists showing fragments of cluster munitions at at least two sites in Syria.

The Damascus government has not signed a convention against the weapons, meaning it would not have broken any international laws by using them, said officials the centre.

But many humanitarian groups and governments have condemned the use of the munitions, which spray hundreds of small explosives over wide areas of land, where they can lie undetected for months if not years.

"We think the evidence is compelling that the Syrian government forces have used cluster munitions," Stephen Goose, from both CMC and the campaign group Human Rights Watch, told reporters in London as he launched a report on the use and disposal of the weapons worldwide.

The group could not be 100% certain how the bombs were used, as it did not have witness accounts of fighting from the sites, it said.

But "cluster munitions are there, there's no question. They're cluster munitions that have been used, they haven't just been pulled out of a warehouse and torn apart with a screwdriver", said Goose.

Damascus has not made any public comment on whether it uses the bombs, CMC said, urging the Damascus government to confirm or deny the reports.

The group cited videos posted online in July showing cluster munition remnants and bomblets in Jabal Shahshabu, a mountainous area near Hama, a flashpoint city in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

CMC activists identified the remnants of a cluster bomb canister and at least 20 unexploded submunitions, it added in its report.

Human Rights Watch also drew attention to the alleged use of cluster weapons in Hama in July.

Other online footage posted in August showed remnants of cluster munitions in the town of Albu Kamal, a battle-hit Syrian town near the border with Iraq, Goose told Reuters.

  • andre.krige - 2012-09-06 22:46

    A bit like USA's use of white phosphorous in Iraq . And USA use of agent orange in Vietnam ....war is sick. Period.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-07 05:22

      Since Vietnam, when the then US administration was rightfully shown the door because of its use of chemical weapons, subsequent administrations have shied away from doing so. Thankfully. It is never acceptable, imo.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-09-07 07:47

      @Andre Up until recently in Libya, Nato used cluster bombs and depleted uranium in Misrata and tried to pin the blame on the Libyan forces, only for it to later come out the batch # correspond to those used by Nato. The Northern terrorists will come up with all kind of excuses to explode their toys in Syria. The Nato thugs will not accept Arabs and Africans killing each other, but will willingly do it for them.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-07 07:59

      . The problem with you silly radicals is, that as soon as you get 'stuck' you make up your own stories, and everything you want, is PROVEN!!!! With hundreds of millions of pages on Nato, you can PROOF EVERYTHING!! WOW....So clever !!!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-09-07 08:06

      Denying the truth never made it go away!

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-07 08:28

      . Again, the problem with radicals like yourself is, that you never answer an allegation directly. Here is a 'leader' or let's rather call him , a criminal thug, who drops 'cluster bombs' on unarmed civilians. You have not got it in you, to denounce this as being barbaric and totally unacceptable, but no, you much rather spew a bit more of you anti Western rhetoric. All your comments are soo shallow, no base of any morality or decency. The life you lead is one of 'tit for tat" THAT is the reason, that the radicals of the sixties, seventies, eighties, nineties, and even the ones in the twenty first centuary, have achieved NOTHING. When I say, that all you radicals do is entertain each other, I don't do so, to say something 'nasty, but it is the plain truth !!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-09-07 08:49

      The problem with you is that you are an imbecile who struggles with comprehension, who fails to follow the structure of a conversation and wants to read each post on his own. "The group could not be 100% certain how the bombs were used, as it did not have witness accounts of fighting from the sites, it said." "Syrian government forces have almost certainly used cluster bombs," What does "almost certainly" mean? Is it spin meant for simpletons like you, who need others to think for them? Why do you swallow every piece of "news" at face value?

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-07 09:09

      WOW, Fidel, Sorry to have upset you sooo much! But; Denying the truth never made it go away !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Here we have a country, whose cities and towns, are getting smashed to pieces, mostly bombed into rubble. Only an imbicile, will believe one can do so with rifles and other small arms. This is done with rockets fired from tanks, and mainly by bombs dropped from the air. The Syrian terrorist regime, is the ONLY ones with TANKS and who CONTROL SYRIA'S AIRSPACE You get the point ??????? Or you want me to go more slowly?????

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-09-07 09:16

      Don't try to distract me with these hollow moral indignation if they do not pertain directly to what I write or the original subject of this thread.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-09-07 11:02

      Look i'm not commentin on my opinion on the use of these weapons but just the general legality and use . White phosphorous can be used but has restrictions on when its use is deemed legal , it is often used to flush out soldiers in positions where conventional weapons cannot work but should not be used in civilian area's (one reason human shields are often used and take up positions in civilian homes). Depleted Uranium has only two countries who have banned it , there are movements to ban these but as yet are still used and have a function as armour piercing rounds . The big concern with cluster bombs are the explosive remanants , the bombs which didn't go off and can kill later on much like land mines. The suggestion here with Syria is that its a statement that govt is willing to use these showing its disregard for the population.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-07 14:52

      It's hard to take anything Fidel says seriously when he believes Nelson Mandela is a phony, a lackey of the West. What else is he getting wrong?

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-07 18:22

      . Fidel, ""The problem with you is that you are an imbecile who struggles with comprehension, who fails to follow the structure of a conversation and wants to read each post on his own"" Let me give you a tip Fidel; You are not just insulting me, but many readers on this site!!!!! The problem with radicals like you, is that you all got this 'superior flare' Just because you might have done some little course in history or whatever, you look down on the masses, and you feel it is your calling to educate these dumb people. But you are so fully bloated with self importance, that you cannot see, and will never understand , why you are the most unpopular commentator on these comment sites !!!! GROW UP, just maybe will start taking you serious !!!!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-09-09 00:56

      I haven't felt so utterly crushed by being called mean names since, I dunno, kindergarten. Putting a prefix in front of someone's name is not a sign of great wit, but that of a halfwit! @Anthony To turn comments into a popularity contest turns News24 into a high school. I've told you several times that I couldn't give a rats @$$ whether you take me seriously or not, as I'm not trying to convert you. Is that simple enough for your addled brains to comprehend?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-09 16:27

      Fidel, you're on a South African website. You've called Nelson Mandela a phony, a lackey of the West, a modern-day Uncle Tom. What are you expecting when YOu are so insulting to a national hero, when YOU display such arrogance?

  • AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-07 05:50

    . Like all dictators , this assad does not give a damn about 'his' people. As long as he, his family and his buddies are ok, to hell with Syria and its people. Using cluster bombs, on its 'own' people......and than some, want the opposition to go and sit down , with this monster. How ignorant and far from reality can one get ??? And while his 'own' soldiers from his terrorist army, get blown up into pieces, this COWARD is sitting somewhere in a bunker. Cause all dictators know, that 'it' won't last, and that at a certain point, the people will stand up against him. It would be interesting to know, how many billions of US $, these assad thugs have moved to accounts accross the world, as they know, their 'rainy day' is close by !!!!

  • antonio.pisapia2 - 2012-09-07 08:00

    sorry where is Syria

  • rick.kabose - 2012-09-07 09:06

    Wow. We didn't use cluster bombs on townships here in RSA and it was called a crime against humanity.Go figure???

      Shane Loxton - 2012-09-07 11:39

      Fred u really have no Idea do u of what happens out there in the real world, the USA used cluster bombs and white Phosphorus in both Gulf wars not to mention some other nasty stuff, and i talk from personal experience, In Afghanistan gas was pumped into the cave complex's that the Taliban we using and hiding in, Thousands of civilians dies at the ands of US bombings in Iraq Afghanistan and by their drones in Pakistan

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-07 13:48

      . No Shame, YOU don't get it !!! This is an article about a criminal thug, bombing a country into rubble, and is now being accused of even using cluster bombs. Twenty six thousand Syrians have now been killed , mainly UNARMED CIVILIANS. And all you can come up with, "ya well, THEY also do bad things" You are a bullsh.tter !!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-07 14:55

      Shane, you believe the US attacked itself on 9/11. This is the extent to which you distort reality. Regarding your post here, there is only conjecture that the US used phospherous as you describe. ANd I think we all know where that conjecture comes from. People like you who believe the US attacked itself on 9/11.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-07 14:57

      Regarding your statement that "thousands of civilians die at the end of US bombings in Iraq and Afghanistan, and by their drones in Pakistan" it is easy to see here too that you're making this up, distorting the facts with your false anti-US beliefs.

      Shane Loxton - 2012-09-08 15:20

      Fred and Anthony u guys have the IQ of a pea all the two of u can do is throw falsity and stupid statements never backed up by any facts Tony states states but leaves out complete stats such as 133 countries against Assad and only 12 not, but leaves out the 37 countries who abstained including your south africa, u Fred make such childish claims of 911 etc... classical tactics of politicians and the likes of you to avoid answering the questions directly. If we had a chance to met i would show u a 1 TB of pics i have to back up all i have said of which i have personally taken, so people talk the talk, others walk the talk.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-09-08 16:01

      Shame, This notion, that when one is close by a conflict, that one has a better understanding of it, than someone 10 000 km away, is PLAIN BS. 14 year schoolkids utter such CRAP. Grow up, and show your holiday photo's to ypour aunti, she might be very impressed of her 'big' boy !!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-08 17:22

      137 countries decided in the UN General Assembly that Assad was an illegitimate leander and must step down. 17 countries abstained. 12 voted against.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-09-08 17:24

      On 9/11 the US and freer world was attacked by Al-Quaida. Citizens of 90 countries died in the attacks. Al-Quaida declared war on the US and freer world in 1992 after Saudi Arabia allowed Nato to use its bases to repel Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait.

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