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Northwest Syria: Government Uses Cluster Munitions

Beirut, November 7, 2023, Syrian government forces used widely banned cluster munitions in an attack on Termanin, a town in northern Idlib, on October 6, 2023, killing two civilians and injuring nine others, Human Rights Watch said today. The next day, a 9-year-old boy picked up a munition that had failed to detonate on impact during the attack. It exploded, injuring him and two others.

This attack was part of a larger military campaign by Syrian and Russian forces on opposition-held northwest Syria that started on October 5 and had, as of October 27, affected more than “2,300 locations” across Idlib and western Aleppo. At least 70 people have been killed, including 3 aid workers, 14 women and 27 children, 338 others injured, and 120,000 newly displaced, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“Syrian government forces’ use of cluster munitions during its bombardment of opposition-held areas proves just how tragically indiscriminate these weapons are and their devastating legacy of lasting harm,” said Adam Coogle, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Amid the ongoing bombardment by Syrian and Russian forces, the children of Idlib yet again fall victim to callous and unlawful military actions.”

The attacks, which in some instances involved the use of incendiary weapons, also damaged critical services and infrastructure, including 23 health facilities and hospitals and 17 schools, the UN said. By October 30, the Syria Civil Defence, a volunteer search and rescue group operating in opposition-held areas, reported that airstrikes and artillery shelling was continuing to damage residential areasschools, and health facilities across the region. One October 24 airstrike hit a camp for displaced people near the village of al-Hamama in the western countryside of Idlib governorate, killing five members of the same family, including a pregnant woman, two infants, and their 70-year-old grandmother.

Source- Human Rights Watch

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