The White House addressed reports Friday that it was planning to arm Ukraine with cluster bombs, a controversial munition that has been banned by more than 100 countries because of its potential to kill indiscriminately.
“Ukraine has provided written assurances that it’s going to use these in a very careful way that is aimed at minimizing any risks to civilians,” said White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, during the White House press briefing.
Sullivan said the Ukrainian military would have no incentive to abuse the cluster munitions because the civilian casualties they are trying to minimize are their own.
Various international agreements have sought to limit the use of cluster munitions since World War II, and the weapons come in a variety of forms.
In addition to civilian deaths, the concern with cluster munitions, which can contain hundreds of sub-munitions, is that unexploded ordinances are more common than with standard bombs.
That means areas target with cluster bombs can remain unsafe for civilians for years.