New evidence has emerged that the Syrian air force has used cluster munitions in recent days, Human Rights Watch said today. Many of the strikes were near the main highway that runs through Ma`arat al-Nu`man, the site of a major confrontation between government and rebel forces this week.
Videos posted online by Syrian activists on October 9-12 showed cluster munition remnants reportedly in or near the towns of Tamane`a, Taftanaz, al-Tah, and Ma`arat al-Nu`man, in the Northern governorate of Idlib, Eastern Bouwayda and al-Salloumiyyeh in Homs governorate, Tel Rifaat in Aleppo governorate, the countryside in Lattakia governorate, and Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus.
The cluster bomb canisters and submunitions shown in the videos all show damage and wear patterns produced by being mounted on and dropped from an aircraft.
Residents from Taftanaz and Tamane`a confirmed in interviews with Human Rights Watch that helicopters dropped cluster munitions on or near their towns on October 9.
Human Rights Watch does not yet have any information on casualties caused by the recent cluster munition strikes.
[link to www.hrw.org