international community is not happywith the United States and Saudi Arabia amid news that they have inked a deal for hundreds of millions of dollars of controversial and potentially unethical cluster bombs.
The $US641 million deal would send 1,300 cluster bombs to America’s closest ally on the Arabian Peninsula, through U.S. defence contractor Textron, according to a Pentagon release on the contract.
Cluster are controversial because they are by nature less accurate than more modern munitions. The Human Rights Watch page on cluster bombs puts it this way:
[Cluster munitions] pose an immediate threat during conflict by randomly scattering thousands of submunitions or “bomblets” over a vast area, and they continue to take even more civilian lives and limbs long after a conflict has ended, as hundreds of submunitions may fail to explode upon impact, littering the landscape with landmine-like “duds.
Presently, a treaty banning cluster bombs has been signed by 112 of the 192 member U.N. states. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are not signatory.
This comes as both the U.S. and Saudi Arabia criticise the violence that has waged on in Syria for more than two years.
Among a litany of human rights violations that include targeting civilians and using chemical weapons, the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria has also been accused of using cluster bombs.
Here’s a YouTube video of what a cluster bomb looks like in action:
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