Syria, explosion of an old landmine in Arshounah village injures two

A warning sign placed next to unexploded ordnance in Syria A warning sign placed next to unexploded ordnance in Syria Photo by Syrian Civil Defence

23 May 2021

Living in a country plagued by armed conflict, civilians in Syria may suffer injuries as a result of old ordnance and unexploded cluster bombs

Two children in Syria were injured on 23 May as a result of the explosion of an old landmine in the eastern countryside of the Hama region. The children were picking capers in the fields in an effort to support their families’ income throughout the year. This report of injury comes in addition to that of a young man found dead after an unexploded cluster bomb went off while he was picking fruit in the Jabal al-Zawiyah area in southern Idlib.

Unfortunately, these reports are not uncommon, as Syria is a country ravaged by ongoing conflict due to the country’s civil war. The unexploded remnants from the conflict in Syria have lasting effects on civilians, who often sustain lifelong injuries as a result of the dormant ordnance’s eventual explosion. Individuals most greatly affected include those working in the farmlands and rural areas of the country, construction workers, humanitarian workers and children, who make up 25 percent of victims. The inability for civilians to work due to traumatic injuries sustained from these explosions puts even more pressure on the creation of incomes for a country that is already economically and physically ravaged by war.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has previously called for Syria to implement a humanitarian demining programme throughout the country in order to reduce the risks of explosion for civilians living throughout the country. The ICRC has also worked with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) to raise awareness of the issue and encourage civilians to take precautions. However, the struggle for reducing unexploded bombs and old ordnance continues, as the country is still in the midst of a ten-year-long civil war with little end in sight.

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Author: Emily Herstine; Editor: Andrew Goodell

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