Geotechical company Humboldt Geotecnics has said that it’s seen an “explosion” in the number of “dirt bombs” being used in Iraq and Syria.
The company’s chief executive, Chris Hall, told BBC News that the “dirty bomb” – which he described as “a little bit like a potato bomb” in that it has a “potato shape” but is made of “fractured metal” – was “one of the things that is changing the world”.
Mr Hall said the company had seen a “huge increase” in use of “dirty bombs” – bombs which detonate and release a cloud of shrapnel – and the number was “growing exponentially”.
“I think what you see in Iraq is that the bombs are being used by a lot of the people who are in power,” he said.
“It is a sign that people are tired of the way things are going, and that there is a lot more going on.”
“We see that in Syria and in Iraq.
I think people are starting to think that maybe there are other options for dealing with the situation.”
Mr Hall told the BBC that he expected that “dough bombs” would become more common in the future.
“They are a new element of warfare,” he added.
“There is a real opportunity to use them against these other [groups] as well as the regime.”
In Iraq, Mr Hall said there had been a rise in the use of explosive devices in the country.
“We have seen the emergence of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) as an increasingly significant weapon,” he told the programme.
“In Syria, the explosion has happened on a much more global scale, with a much wider range of devices being used.”
“It’s the first time in a decade that I can remember where it has happened in one country,” he continued.
“What we have seen is that these things are not new, they’re just been deployed with greater frequency, and it is not just in Iraq, but across the world.”
Mr Barra said the number and variety of dirty bombs deployed by the Iraqi security forces was “increasingly worrying”.
“This is not only a threat to the Iraqi people, but also to the people in Syria, because they’re getting a lot less training and equipment and training and arming for the fight against ISIL,” he explained.
“These things are getting more and more sophisticated.”‘
It’s a sign of desperation’Mr Hall added that the explosion in Iraq was “a sign of despair” and a sign the US-led coalition was not “doing enough to get the [coalition] out of Iraq”.
“There’s a lot that we are doing that we should be doing to get them out of there,” he warned.
“The Iraqi government should be more prepared for the consequences of any use of these weapons.”
Mr Ban added that he was “sickened” by the explosion, saying: “This is a horrific sight, and I’m sickened by it.”
“I’m sick of the idea that this is some sort of a foreign policy thing, that this has anything to do with our national security,” he declared.
“I’ve said it before, I’m very sick of that, and this is an indication that this isn’t.”
The number of bombs being dropped in Iraq has been rising, as the US has stepped up air strikes in the conflict.
The US has also increased its use of drones and cruise missiles, and Mr Ban said the “war on terror” had become “more complex and more global”.
Mr Ban’s comments were welcomed by the United Nations, which described the number one reason for the increased use of the bombs as “war crimes”.
“The use of dirty weapons in the war on terror continues unabated,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a statement.
“This can no longer be ignored.
They are a key weapon of war and a war crime.”
Mr Guterges statement came after an investigation into a cluster bomb used by the US military in Afghanistan found that it had a range of uses and was not being used to target insurgents.
“A cluster bomb, also known as a warhead, is a highly lethal weapon that is used for both conventional and unconventional warfare,” the UN said.
“It can be used to inflict massive damage on a battlefield.”
In an interview with CNN, Mr Ban added: “What we’re going to see over the next 10 days is a much bigger escalation, which is exactly what the UN is going to be looking at.”
The UN has warned that more than 10,000 people are believed to have been killed in the campaign, with the UN estimating that at least 5,000 civilians have been “killed or injured” as a result of the “dirty war” since January.The