Human Rights Watch said Monday that it has credible evidence that the Islamic State has used ground-fired cluster munitions in at least one place in northern Syria. These weapons explode in the air, releasing hundreds of tiny bomblets. Those that fail to explode pose a long-lasting danger to civilians.
The New York-based rights group said that reports from local Kurdish officials as well as photographs indicate the extremists fired cluster munitions on July 12 and August 14 during clashes with Kurdish forces around Ayn Arab near the Turkish border. Five people were killed in the attacks, Human Rights Watch said.
It was not clear how Islamic State fighters had acquired the weapons, the group said.
"Any use of cluster munitions deserves condemnation, but the best response is for all nations to join the treaty banning them and work collectively to rid the world of these weapons," said HRW's Steve Goose.