Syria, the consequences of unexploded ordnance

An old unexploded mortar round  lying on the ground An old unexploded mortar round lying on the ground Photo by sb-borg on iStock

19 May 2021

A child was injured near al-Najiyyah and a civilian was killed in al-Khumaysiyah due to an unexploded explosive ordnance (UXO)

On May 15, in the city of al-Najiyyah in the western part of the Idlib province in Syria, a child was seriously injured following the detonation of an unexploded cluster bomb submunition. Similarly, a civilian was recently killed and a further one injured following the explosion of an old landmine in the village of al-Khumaysiyah in the eastern part of al-Raqqah.

Many similar events have been observed over the last few months. In February, a child was killed in the regime controlled city of Hariyatan in northwest Aleppo following the explosion of an unexploded cluster submunition that was dropped on the city during the prior air strikes. Earlier on 31 December 2020, a 6-year-old boy was killed by UXO in the town of Sarmin, near Idlib: the bomb went off in the hands of the child who picked it up from the ground, thinking it was a toy. According to data recorded by Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) activists since January 2019 530 people have lost their lives, including 77 women and 168 children, due to the detonation of unexploded ordnance and because of the collapse of dilapidated residential structures in different parts of Syria. 

According to Othman Moqbel, CEO of Syria Relief, it is necessary to train children to recognize unexploded ordnance through the use of educational programs. Those who care for child victims also require support and to that end, the Paediatric Blast Injury Partnership has published a manual that aims to provide doctors with a wide range of tools needed to support children who are victims of such accidents, which also includes instructions towards helping them overcome the resulting psychological trauma. For its part, Save the Children affirms that states should help prevent and mitigate the effects that war has upon minors by respecting the fundamental principles of the "Stop War on Children" campaign: this includes compliance with international laws and regulations, the persecution of those who carry out crimes against children and, finally, implementing measures that favour children’s access to healthcare and assistance.

 

To read more, please visit:

Old ordnance | Explosion injures child in western Idlib • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights (syriahr.com)

Old ordnance | Explosion of unexploded cluster bomb kills child in Hariyatan city • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights (syriahr.com)

6-year-old killed by unexploded cluster bomb in Idlib, possibly 364 days after the initial attack - Syrian Arab Republic | ReliefWeb

Ferite di guerra: le conseguenze sui bambini | Save the Children Italia

 

Author: Sara Taherzadeh;  Editor: Maxime Grenier

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