Syria: Incendiary weapons used in populated areas

Human Rights Watch: The Syrian military has used air-delivered incendiary bombs in at least four locations across Syria since mid-November2012, Human Rights Watch said today. The conclusion is based on interviews with four witnesses and multiple videos analyzed by Human Rights Watch.

The Syrian military should cease its use of incendiary weapons immediately, Human Rights Watch said. A total of 106 nations have prohibited the use of air-delivered incendiary weapons, which cause serious burns, in populated areas, but Syria has not banned the weapons.

“We’re disturbed that Syria has apparently begun using incendiary munitions, as these weapons cause especially cruel civilian suffering and extensive property destruction when used in populated areas,” said Steve Goose, Arms division director at Human Rights Watch. “Syria should stop using incendiary weapons in acknowledgment of the devastating harm this weapon causes.”

Incendiary weapons can contain any number of flammable substances, including napalm, thermite, or white phosphorus and are designed to set fire to objects or to cause burn injuries. They are not chemical weapons, which kill and incapacitate by the toxic properties of the chemicals released.

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