Effects of cluster bombs used in Tall Tamr by Turkey

The Turkish state has breached the ceasefire agreement signed by Turkey, Russia and the US on October 17 and 22, 2019, in the Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain) and Girê Spî (Tell Abyad), NE Syria.


Hasakah – By targeting civilian areas, the Turkish state has violated the ceasefire agreement and violated international humanitarian law. Aside from the attacks on schools and governmental institutions such as the People's Municipality and the City Council, as well as places of worship where hundreds of people were murdered or injured.

This week, the Turkish government attacked Syria's north and east, targeting Tall Tamr and surroundings. In the attack, the Church of Mar Sawa in the village of Tal Tawil, west of Tel Tamer, was targeted. A mosque in the village of Dardara was once again targeted by artillery fire a few months ago. There is no doubt that the ongoing attacks           threaten civilians.

Mar Sawa Church in Tal Tawil was targeted

The Turkish state bombed the Mar Sawa Church, which had been turned into a temple for the Assyrian people as ISIS mercenaries bombed eight Assyrian churches in the Tal Tamer area in 2015. Religious places should be protected and not attacked during conflicts, yet the Turkish government has specifically targeted the churches in NE Syria due to the international silence.

In the past, Kurds, Armenians, and Syriacs were killed with swords, and now they are killed with artillery. While the Assyrian people are resisting side by side with the Kurds and Arabs, this unity makes the Turkish state angry and it is attacking everywhere.  

The use of cluster bombs

Furthermore, on June 4, the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries bombarded the Umm al-Kif village, which is home to hundreds of residents. The explosives, however, were not the same as the guns that were typically used. They openly dropped cluster bombs on the Tall Tamr for the first time.

When cluster bombs are dropped, they do not explode and turn into mines, which spread across the ground. Of course, these explosives stay for days, months, and even years. Women, the elderly, and children are particularly vulnerable. These explosives pose a significant risk for all people, particularly children playing in the fields as well as shepherds.

Cluster bombs have been employed extensively in recent wars, from the Kosovo war to Iraq and Lebanon's south. Furthermore, 40% of these explosives do not detonate and may remain dormant for generations. Hundreds of artillery shells, bombs, and rockets were used during the Vietnam War; some of them are still unexploded.

Unexploded bombs are like a wounded snake

Unexploded bombs could remain for years but they explode when someone touches them. This type of ammunition especially attracts the attention of children due to its luster and bright colors. When children touch them, or children play with them, they explode, killing children. These explosives produce a powerful blast that may affect about an area of two kilometers. 

The use of cluster bombs will lead new attacks

The use of these bombs is considered a war crime and is prohibited globally. As a result, the guarantor forces, Russia and the US, must take the use of these bombs seriously and find a solution. If the international community remains silent against the use of these bombs by Turkey, Turkey will deploy more illegal weapons in the future.

If the silence against the use of forbidden weapons by the Turkish occupation continues, the Turkish state will launch more attacks on NE Syria. We have been facing attacks and military operations, and everyone must act in accordance with their duties and responsibilities.