Regime Forces Have Dropped Nearly 70,000 Barrel Bombs in Syria
Since the start of the civil war in Syria, Regime Forces have ruthlessly bombed civilians, dropping nearly 70,000 barrel bombs since July 2012. Despite mounting evidence, the international community has not done enough to stop these bombings.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) recently published a report detailing the bombings perpetrated by Regime Forces in Syria. The nearly 70,000 bombs have resulted in 10,763 civilians being killed, and 565 vital civilian facilities left destroyed.
After years of the Syrian Regime dropping barrel bombs in Syria, the Security Council adopted Security Council Resolution 2139, which specifically called out the use of barrel bombs. Up until that point, an estimated 20,183 barrel bombs had been dropped by the Syrian Regime. The SNHR reports that in the time before the adoption of the resolution, 67 schools, 54 mosques and 20 markets were targeted.
Since the Security Council Resolution was adopted in February 2014, there have been a total of 48,151 bombs dropped, targeting 73 schools, 106 mosques and 30 markets. 87 of the attacks after the resolution included poison gas.
The greatest targeted areas since July 2012 include Aleppo and Damascus and its suburbs. The Regime dropped the greatest amount of bombs in 2016, with an estimated 17,318, two years after Security Council Resolution 2139 was adopted.
Barrel bombs are often rudimentary manufactured metal cylinders that are loaded with explosive materials and metal pieces. Metal pieces can include nails, bars and chips in order to inflict as much damage as possible.
Initially the Syrian Regime relied on fuse-based bombs, but then evolved into using mechanical denominators, adding directed wings to the body. The Regime also used bombs loaded with poison chemicals starting in mid-2014 according to the SNHR. Of the nearly 70,000 barrel bombs used, an estimated 87 of them contained poisonous gas.
“The repeated use of this arbitrary, indiscriminate weapon against residential communities is a message to the Syrian people that protecting civilians and the international law are mere illusions, and that you have to submit and accept the regime that is killing you" says SNHR chairman Fadel Abdul Ghany.
Since the Regime began using barrel bombs in July 2012, there is not been any sign of the slowing, despite de-escalation agreements and Geneva talks. Ghany explains that the, "Security Council has to take decisive action against the Syrian regime’s use of arbitrary weapon on this large, widespread scale. The U.N. special envoy has also to play a more effectual role in putting an end to the winter of barrel bombs in Syria.”
The Syrian Regime continues to use barrel bombs against its civilians, and the International Community has not done enough to stop the human right violations. Namely, pressure needs to be put on countries like Russia, who support the Assad Regime, who is using barrel bombs and poisonous gas against civilians.