Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Civilian deaths from weapons used in the Syrian conflict

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 29 September 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h4736
Weapons of war
View an interactive graphic showing the impact of different weapon types on civilian men, women, and children in Syria.

Rapid Response:

Re: Civilian deaths from weapons used in the Syrian conflict

Cheap infantry mortar high explosive rounds, artillery cluster shells, armour piercing projectiles, rocket-propelled grenades, multiple rocket launchers, are widespread all over the World and easily trafficable, without being traced.
Rebel militants and terrorist factions can use them from a distance of many kilometres, and destroy entire towns.
$1 billion buys 2,000,000-3,000,000 of such projectiles, enough to destroy an entire Country.
Entirely plastic anti-personnel mines, impossible to trace, are sold for only a few dollars, and can infest vast areas, for decades.
Improvised bombs and mines can even be constructed by cheap industrial explosives.
Expensive laser guided GPS-oriented fancy missiles released from airplanes could be banned from city areas, after International Treaties, but all the rest of the destructive weaponry is still going to be used, unfortunately.

Competing interests: No competing interests

02 October 2015
Stavros Saripanidis
Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Thessaloniki, Greece