Target: Foreign Minister Walid Al-Mualem
Goal: End the use of cluster munitions in Syria and hold officials accountable for breaking their written promises about not using them.
Cluster munitions are inherently indiscriminate in their targets and, as such, are internationally banned. Apparently this means nothing to the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates. In November 2015 they promised—in writing—that Syrian soldiers do not and would not use indiscriminate weapons. So far, Humans Rights Watch has documented at least 20 incidents involving cluster munitions. The actual count is likely much higher. They have detailed information on 35 deaths as a direct result: 5 women, 17 children, and 13 men. Why not just blow up a kindergarten and accomplish the same mortality rate? This is not acceptable in any shape or form. On the very day that Syria made its promises about not using indiscriminate weapons, cluster munitions fell on a refugee camp. Condemn such flagrant disregard of written promises and morality.
These cluster munitions were created in the former Soviet Union or Russian factories. They are explosive weapons that can be shot from either the ground or from the air and oftentimes do not immediately explode, making them even more of a hazard for civilians. One member of the Syria Civil Defense, Mansour, said about a cluster munition attack:
“There were many killed. I saw 10 to 15 killed, one of them was a child. I saw a woman who was veiled crying next to a child in a white shroud. He was her only child. He was killed when a cluster bomb exploded. She was on her way to pick him up at the school, while a cluster bomb fell and he died. I was so moved by this, she was saying her goodbyes to him.”
Simply put, there are rules about war for a reason. A “slippery slope” logic applies to this case; if the world ignores Syria’s crimes and does not take a stand, what else will they let slide? War is terrible enough without indiscriminate weapons. Those 35 people did not need to die. Condemn Syria’s action and help change things for the better.
Dear Mr. Al-Mualem,
Custer munitions are indiscriminate in their targets. They do not always explode when expected and too many Syrian civilians have been killed as a result of their use, according to Human Rights Watch. Your ministry promised, in writing, that indiscriminate weapons would not and have not been used by Syrian soldiers. On the very day that promise was made, cluster munitions fell on a refugee group.
I don’t think I need to spell out how wrong that is.
There are more than enough ways to wage war. Why add cluster munitions to the mix? Syrian people have suffered enough already and should not have to deal with indiscriminate weapons. There have already been 35 documented–and needless–civilian deaths caused by cluster munitions. Seventeen of those deaths were children. Please, help to change this.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Freedom House