The Syrian High Negotiations Committee (HNC), the Saudi-backed coalition of rebel factions, has today called for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to investigate evidence of Russia using incendiary bombs in airstrikes in Syria.
Incendiary weapons are banned under the 1980 Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW). Russia has denied using them but recent footage broadcast by Russian state media outlet RT showed what experts identified as canisters of incendiary cluster munitions.
The canisters are marked RBK-500, which can carry either explosive or incendiary cluster munitions. Though there is also an international ban on cluster munitions, Russia, as with most nations that had them, is not a signatory of that ban.
The use of incendiary weapons are only actually banned if used against areas where civilians may be present, and could legally be used for illumination. Russia maintains they aren’t using either type of weapons in Syria, though there have been several such reports from groups like Amnesty International.
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