A Syrian boy holds unexploded cluster bombs in Aleppo..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Syrian government is using banned cluster bombs on its own citizens as part of the civil war that has devastated the country, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.
The rights organization said that Syrian military forces used the weapons in attacks on Keferzita, a town north of Hama, last week.
"The rocket is the largest type of cluster munition rocket to be used in Syria and contains submunitions that are more powerful and deadly than other types of submunitions," Human Rights Watch said.
“It is appalling that Syrian government forces are still using banned cluster munitions on their people," said Steve Goose, the organization's arms division director.
Human Rights Watch said it spoke with doctors and witnesses on the ground in northern Syria who took pictures of rocket shells which seem to confirm the use of cluster bombs.
"A rocket fell on the eastern part of Keferzita on a neighborhood called al-Makassem al-Hatef," a witness told Human Rights Watch. "There is a small square and the rocket fell there. The rocket released small bomblets when it exploded in the air. I did not see any helicopter or warplane at the time of the attack or before. One of the rockets did not explode, and military specialists dismantled the rockets and they found dozens of bomblets. They removed the fuze from every bomblet."