Incendiary weapons cause extremely painful and cruel injuries to both civilians and combatants alike that are difficult to treat. Theyalso start fires that can destroy civilian objects and infrastructure. Incendiary weapons have been used at great civilian cost in conflicts such as the one raging in Syria, where incendiary weapons attacks on populated areas including schools. More than 110 nations are party to the 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) Protocol III on Incendiary Weapons.

Human Rights Watch urges that the incendiary weapons protocol be reviewed and strengthened by banning the use of all incendiary weapons in civilian areas and by broadening the definition in the protocol to cover white phosphorus.