Despite denials by Russia that they are not targeting civilians, a video on Youtube appears to show the possible use of incendiary cluster weapons being dropped on a village in Syria Friday night, according to Thiqa Agency, a news agency in Syria that reports on the civil war.
Syrian and Russian forces have utilized a wide variety of deadly munitions including barrel bombs, thermobaric bombs, incendiary munitions, cluster bombs, and bunker-busters, according to U.S. Intelligence and military officials.
In the video, a large wall of fire appears to consume the village of Darat Izza, west of Aleppo Friday night. The news agency said the cluster weapons were dropped by Russian jets supporting Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s regime.
A U.S. Intelligence official, with knowledge of the Syrian civil war, said “the regime and Russia’s use of incendiary weapons has contributed to the unconscionable civilian deaths and suffering.”
“These incendiaries are designed for the destructive effects they have on the human body,” the U.S. Intelligence source said. “Russia and the Syrian regime’s use of these weapons is evidence of their deliberate strategy to use wanton destruction against innocent civilians for military and political objectives.”
Russian officials have denied the use of these weapons. But evidence surfaced earlier this year that Syrian and Russian jets resumed a bombing campaign that used cluster weapons that indiscriminately killed hundreds of civilians, including women and children.
In July, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said 47 different cluster munition attacks were conducted across three Syrian areas since May 27. The majority of the attacks were in areas close to Aleppo, where the Syrian government has met most of its resistance.
A U.S. Intelligence official that spoke to Circa said reliable sources in the region, as well as “the United Nations and World Health Organization, have chronicled the devastating human toll wrought by airstrikes in Aleppo.”
They noted, in late September, “hundreds of airstrikes have decimated densely populated urban areas and killed hundreds of civilians, including over a hundred children in a week’s time” including two hospitals.
According to a U.S. military official the use of these weapons in a civilian area is “unthinkable.”
“It’s white phosphorus, knick named Willy Pete, and kills everyone in contact with it,” the U.S. military official, who serves in Iraq told Circa. “It’s unthinkable and inhuman. Every time the Russians or Syrian government open their mouths, they are lying.”
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