The Assad government in Syria has been "salting" ammunition.
The government of Syria, trying to contain a rapidly expanding insurgency, has resorted to one of the dirty tricks of the modern battlefield: salting ammunition supplies of antigovernment fighters with ordnance that explodes inside rebels’ weapons, often wounding and sometimes killing the fighters while destroying many of their hard-found arms.
The practice, which rebels said started in Syria early this year, is another element of the government’s struggle to combat the opposition as Syria’s military finds itself challenged across a country where it was not long ago an uncontested force. The government controls the skies, and with aircraft and artillery batteries it has pounded many rebel strongholds throughout this year. But the rebels continue to resist, mostly with small arms.
Doctored ammunition offers an insidious way to undermine the rebels’ confidence in their ammunition supply while simultaneously thinning their ranks. ...NYT
We did the same in Iraq, tampering with ammunition going to the other side -- and some of that is now being used in Syria. We are, for that matter, doing it in Afghanistan. As one expert points out, the practice is much the same as using land mines: the results are brutal and often visited upon civilians and their children.
We do it and we have programs for it..
In the Pentagon’s programs, ... some rounds are packed with relatively small amounts of high explosives, enough to jam a firearm permanently. These are used in cases involving ammunition that runs the risk of reaching unintended targets, as when an ammunition crate including the doctored cartridges is shoved off a transport truck to make it appear as if it has been lost.
Other rounds carry a lethal high-explosive charge. These are used when the ammunition is expected to remain in narrow possession, as when exploding cartridges are inserted into the magazines of dead enemy fighters on the assumption that their fellow fighters will find those magazines and use them later.
The legality of such tactics is uncertain. ...NYTThe US, rather than fighting wars to end wars, is making sure that whole populations and generations are gunning for us.