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White phosphorus bomb attack in Syria: White Helmets

Assad regime attack thought to cause no casualties in mostly evacuated area

Burak Karacaoğlu, Eşref Musa, Levent Tok   | 13.03.2019
White phosphorus bomb attack in Syria: White Helmets

IDLIB, Syria

The Bashar al-Assad regime forces attacked southern Idlib with white phosphorus bombs, forbidden as weapon, according to the White Helmets civil defense agency.

Mustafa Haj Yousuf, head of the White Helmets in Idlib, told Anadolu Agency regime forces deployed in Abu Dali village in Hama province and Iran-backed foreign terrorist groups, attacked southern Idlib with white phosphorus bombs.

“The attack was carried out twice. In both of them, some 40 bombs loaded with white phosphorus were thrown,” Haj Yousuf said, adding his group failed to get any casualty information till now.

Use of white phosphorus, which can be clearly seen in the footages obtained by Anadolu Agency, is forbidden under international law.

Phosphorus, which poisons the person when inhaled, causes major damage to the brain and lungs and leads to death.

The area targeted by the bombs is mostly evacuated due to intensified regime attacks in the region. It is estimated that the bombing would have caused no casualty.

The regime had last used white phosphorus bombs last March in Eastern Ghouta.

Regime attacks in Idlib’s de-escalation zone are estimated to have killed at least 124 civilians -- and injured more than 362 others -- since the beginning of 2019.

In September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a demilitarized zone after a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Sochi, Russia.

Ankara and Moscow signed a memorandum of understanding calling for the stabilization of the situation in Idlib's de-escalation zone, in which acts of aggression are prohibited.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million others displaced, according to UN officials.

*Writing by Sena Guler

White phosphorus bomb attack in Syria: White Helmets

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