Ronan L Tynan:
More reports from Idlib provide clear evidence Assad, backed by Russia and Iran, is using illegal cluster bombs against civilians which exact a heavy toll, a threat that also lingers long after the initial bomb attack as so many unexploded lethal bomblets are left strewn across a wide area. Ireland where convention to ban cluster munitions was first agreed at an international diplomatic conference in Dublin should lead in demanding an end to civilian slaughter with these egregious weapons.
The latest report from citizen journalist and photographer FARED (@Fared60350386 on Twitter) shows video of the remains of a cluster rocket one of many fired by the Assad regime on Ma’arat al-Nu’man in the southern Idlib countryside yesterday (Saturday, March 2, 2019).
This is one of the cluster rockets landed yesterday by the Assad regime on the cities of Ma’arat al-Nu’man in the southern Idlib countryside#Syria #Idlib #EyesOnIdlib #MaaratAlNuman pic.twitter.com/gzXxUalU0L
— FARED (@FARED60350386) March 3, 2019
In using illegal cluster munitions Assad with Russia and Iran are potentially not only implicated in warcrimes but crimes against humanity because these lethal munitions are directed at civilians. The terrible toll these weapons exact on civilians in the first instance is amplified over time because so many are killed or suffer horrific injuries especially children when they encounter unexploded bomblets.
Given the support for the Syrian people in Ireland as exemplified by the internationally recognised Irish Syria Solidarity Movement the Irish government should raise its voice to demand adherence to the convention in Idlib to halt the use of cluster bombs and save civilians.
The international Convention on Cluster Munitions was agreed in Dublin in May, 2008 and has now been ratified by almost 110 states and prohibits the use, transfer and stockpiling of these egregious weapons. Leading Irish diplomat Daithi O’Ceallaigh then Ambassador to the UN in Geneva who chaired the conference played a decisive role in securing the adoption of the convention.
Ronan L Tynan is Director of the multi award winning ‘Syrian – The Impossible Revolution’ and co-founder with Anne Daly of Esperanza Productions:
Web site: http://www.esperanza.ie