first published on June 24, 2016 by Will
Rare video from Syria shows Russian cluster munitions as filmed from directly below. As you can see, the canisters descend with parachutes, and some prematurely detonate well above the ground.
Many are calling the use of these weapons a war crime on the part of Russia. In 2008 the Convention on Cluster Munitions convened, and an international treaty was signed by around 100 nations, promising not to use, develop, or encourage the use of said munitions. Of all the signatories to the treaty, Russia and the US were not on the list because we reserved the right to bring the pain when we feel it is necessary. Additionally, Syria did not sign the treaty either, so it isn’t applicable here.
However, Russia is a signatory of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, which prohibits the use of incendiary munitions to injure or kill human targets. Recently, we have seen multiple videos of Russia dropping thermite based incendiary rounds on densely populated residential areas, and even their own state-run RT news network accidentally featured videos showing the use of such weapons. RT removed the videos after international outcry.
Yet, there are aways loopholes to the rules, much like in Afghanistan when we would use white phosphorous rounds to smoke screen or mark enemy positions. Don’t expect anything to come of the investigation. What’s the worst that could happen to Russia? A slap on the wrist with more sanctions?