The International Campaign to Ban Landmines is deeply concerned by recent claims that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) Ė the main armed opposition group currently fighting the Syrian government Ė intends to use landmines in armed conflict against the Assad regime.
On Wednesday 1 August 2012 an Al Jazeera report featured a statement from a combatant who said he was with the rebel group, and that the FSA would re-use antipersonnel mines that they have lifted from minefields laid by Syrian government troops near the Turkish border earlier this year.
ďThese indiscriminate weapons are far more likely to maim or kill a civilian than a combatant, which is why theyíve been internationally banned. Antipersonnel landmines must not be used by anyone, at any time, regardless of the situation,Ē said Kasia Derlicka, Director of the ICBL.
Since the armed conflict in Syria started, mines have been newly laid on Syriaís borders with neighboring countries.
Land Mine Treaty Wonít Be Signed By Obama Administration (2009)
The Obama administration has decided not to sign an international convention banning land mines.
State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Tuesday that the administration recently completed a review and decided not to change the Bush-era policy.
"We decided that our land mine policy remains in effect," he said.
More than 150 countries have agreed to the Mine Ban Treatyís provisions to end the production, use, stockpiling and trade in mines. Besides the United States, holdouts include: China, India, Pakistan, Myanmar and Russia.
Other non-signatories include: Israel, Iran, Syria, Libya, Korea and Bahrain, 36 countries in all.
So, can a ball "rid the world of landmines"? It can help, but countries actively working towards peace and disarmament are MUCH more effective.
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