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Use of barrel bombs in Syria needs to be stopped along with that of other explosive weapons

Explosive weapons

France announced this week that they will propose a resolution to the United Nations Security Council aimed at stopping the use of barrel bombs on civilian population in Syria. Handicap International asserts that this would only be an important step in protecting civilians if it would lead to recognition of the global problem related to the massive use by all parties to this conflict of explosive weapons with wide area effects in populated areas.

A resolution from the United Nations Security Council should also address the damages caused on civilians by the extensive use of other types of explosive weapons in Syria.

A study conducted by Handicap International “The Use of Explosive Weapons in Syria: a Time Bomb in the Making”  shows that explosive weapons are the most commonly used weapons in the Syria conflict with more than four out of five reported incidents related to explosive weapons. The lives of civilian populations are gravely endangered as 75% of these incidents are taking place in populated areas.

As Handicap International has documented, barrel bomb attacks in Syria are only one prominent example of the wider problem of civilian harm caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. They contain a large amount of explosive material, and due to the difficulty of delivering them accurately to a target, they have a wide area effect resulting in a great majority of victims to be civilians. Additionally, they cause destruction and displacement that affect communities for years after use. When explosive weapons are used in populated areas, we are seeing the horrifying and predictable pattern of unacceptable harm.


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