Syria Plants Landmines on Lebanese Border

 

Lebanon.
Syria.
Graphic courtesy of CIA Factbook.

According to BBC and CBS news reports, Syrian troops planted landmines along its border with Lebanon, further perpetuating the uprising that began in March 2011 against President Bashar Assad and his regime. The mines are primarily located in Homs province, across from the eastern Lebanon region of Baalbek. Syrian government officials claimed that these mines were emplaced to keep weapons from being smuggled across the border, but some view this as an effort to section the country off from the rest of the world.1 According to the report from CBS News, however, no evidence suggests Syria is planting landmines along its borders with Iraq, Jordan or Turkey.2

Since the uprisings began, more than 5,000 Syrians fled the country to avoid the violence. CBS reported at least one victim: A Syrian man had his foot amputated after stepping on one of these newly-planted landmines.2,3 Subsequently, in November 2011, a 24-year-old man became the first Lebanese casualty of the landmines planted along the border.4

In Syria, no national mine-action program or mine-action center exists. The United Nations Disengagement Observer Force is responsible for mine clearance in the Area of Separation near Golan Heights, which comprises a Syrian-controlled area, an Israeli-controlled area and a buffer zone.5 According to the report from CBS News, no evidence suggests Syria has planted landmines along its borders with Iraq, Jordan or Turkey.3 J

Katy Lovin, CISR staff.

Center for International Stabilization and Recovery
James Madison University
Harrisonburg, VA / USA
Tel: +1 540 568 2503
http://cisr.jmu.edu


 Endnotes

  1. “Syria army deserters ‘kill 15 security personnel.’ ” BBC News. 2 November 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/
    news/world-middle-east-15560324
    . Accessed 10 November 2011.
  2. “Syria plants landmines on Lebanese border.” CBS News. 1 November 2011. http://www.cbsnews.com/
    8301-501713_162-20128280/syria-plants-land-mines-on-lebanese-border/
    . Accessed 10 November 2011.
  3. “Syrian official: Damascus planting landmines.” The Seattle Times. 31 October 2011. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2016655874_apmlsyria.html. Accessed 10 November 2011.
  4. “First Lebanese casualty of Syrian landmines.” The Daily Star. 11 November 2011. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Politics/2011/Nov-11/153777-first-lebanese-casualty-of-syrian-landmines.ashx#axzz1dzomSB6h. Accessed 17 November 2011.
  5. “Syria.” Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor. International Campaign to Ban Landmines. 21 September 2011. http://www.the-monitor.org/index.php/cp/display/region_profiles/theme/1384. Accessed 17 November 2011.

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