Russian fighter jets on Wednesday attacked Syrian opposition-held areas with white phosphorous bombs, killing at least two victims in Idlib province, local defense sources told Anadolu Agency.
Warplanes struck the town of Taftanaz, located northeast of the province, according to the sources who spoke on condition of anonymity due to concerns for their safety, according to Anadolu Agency.
White phosphorus is a chemical substance used in shells and grenades, but it is not considered a chemical weapon like mustard gas or chlorine.
Weapons experts warn it can cause painful and fatal burn damage. Russian troops reportedly used it in the 1994 battle of Grozny in Chechnya.
Fire erupted out in the area following the attack Wednesday, but fire fighters managed to extinguish the blaze, the sources added.
Taftanaz resident Abu Mervan told Anadolu Agency that Russian jets first attacked with cluster munitions before the white phosphorous bombs.
”The bombs fired on the residential areas kept on exploding for half an hour,” he said.
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the regime of Bashar al-Assad cracked down on pro-democracy protests.
According to the Syrian Center for Policy Research, at least 470,000 Syrians have died in the five-year conflict.