Cluster munitions continue to pose a serious threat to the lives of civilians in war-torn Syria, a human rights group warned yesterday, Anadolu News Agency reports.
In a statement, the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said cluster munitions were used by the regime and Russian forces in at least 496 attacks between July 2012 and January 2023.
According to the NGO, at least 1,053 civilians were killed in these attacks, including 394 children and 219 women. It added that a total of 382 civilians, including 124 children and 31 women, also lost their lives as a result of the explosion of sub-munitions, taking the overall toll to 1,435 civilians, including 518 children and 250 women.
Cluster munitions are dropped from aircraft or fired from the ground or sea, opening up in mid-air to release tens or hundreds of sub-munitions or bomblets, which can saturate an area up to the size of several football fields. Many fail to explode on initial impact, leaving dangerous duds that can kill and maim, like landmines.