G8 Summit Communiqué addresses chemical weapons in Syria, falls short on cluster munitions

A communiqué from today's G8 Summit in Northern Ireland has revealed that there are plans to stop the use of chemical weapons in Syria. However, perhaps an equally critical issue is the use of cluster munitions by the Assad regime. Cluster bombs, which are known for their unpredictable and wide-spread collateral damage, were initially outlawed by 30 nations in 2008 when the Convention for Cluster Munitions treaty was signed. As of May 2013, 113 nations have signed the treaty and 83 have ratified it, making it one of the world's most-accepted forms of disarmament. 

The worst effect of cluster munitions, however, often stems from a bomblet's failure to explode upon impact. It is common for such ordnance to remain dormant for decades, causing injuries (usually leg amputation) to civilians and children. The Washington Post has sited that the munitions come brightly colored and resemble "Easter eggs," which goads inspection from civilians.    

Eliot Higgins, who blogs under the pseudonym Brown Moses, uncovered that the Syrian government has been using cluster munitions since October 2012 and that in December 2012 the Assad regime used Soviet issued RBK-250 cluster bombs with AO-1 SCH bomblets to target civilians in the town of Mare' near Aleppo. Consequently Human Rights Watch has condemned the use of cluster munitions by the Syrian government and has called for an end to cluster bombings in the Syrian Conflict.