HRW: Syrian Regime Using Egyptian-Made Cluster Bombs
by Max Elstein Keisler
A new report by Human Rights Watch alleges that the Assad regime is using Egyptian made cluster bombs in its war against Free Syria Army rebels.
Major General Sameh Seif el-Yazal, a former member of the Egyptian military questioned the report, saying Egypt is “not providing the Syrian army or the revolutionaries with any weapons or ammunition, whether directly or indirectly, not even through a third party. This is for certain.”
“It would be irrational and inconceivable for the Egyptian state to support the rebels and then send munitions to the Syrian regime, which is in a state of collapse,” he concluded.
Nadim Houry, director of HRW’s Beirut office backed up the charge in an interview with the Arabic newspaper Asharq Alawsat, saying that “we obtained what we published from several sources. The report includes photographs depicting these Egyptian-made bombs, but we cannot ascertain the year Syria obtained them. Egypt is one of the countries that manufacture cluster bombs, and HRW has already asked them to stop producing this kind of internationally prohibited weapon.”
A Free Syrian Army (FSA) officer told Asharq Al-Awsat that Syria had obtained the bombs from Iran and Russia during the 1990s. He added that the regime is also using surface-to-surface missiles marked with the “Egyptian National Organization for Military Production” stamp.