• Print Friendly, PDF & Email
  • Send to Kindle

Syria: Another Wave of Barrel Bomb Attacks Has Human Rights Groups Seething

CNN on Thursday reported that forces loyal to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime had, as part of an ongoing attack on the country’s largest city, Aleppo, dropped barrel bombs out of helicopters on a vegetable market, killing at least 24 people.

Activists and human rights workers distributed video of what Agence France-Presse (AFP) described as “scenes of chaos, with bodies lying amid mounds of grey rubble in what was clearly a market”:

The amateur footage shows a woman in a white headscarf screaming as she leaned over the body of a loved one.

Another image showed a man attending to a boy whose leg had been ripped off. It was unclear whether the child was alive or dead.

“The area that was struck today is a market area, that’s why there were so many civilians killed,” said Aleppo-based activist Abu Omar.

“The regime is hitting back against the civilians who support the revolt” against President Bashar al-Assad, he added.

The news comes just days after reports of a similar Monday attack that killed at least 29 people in a single Aleppo neighborhood. The regime’s use of the mass-casualty shrapnel-packed IEDs – which can quite literally level entire buildings with a single hit – has consistently been emphasized by analysts and lawmakers as a particularly compelling justification for more robust Western intervention on behalf of opposition elements.

Syrian forces also launched airstrikes on Atareb, injuring dozens, and on the nearby village of Tal Rifaat.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday that, alongside the violence, almost 3.5 million civilians have little to no access to humanitarian aid:

In a report to the Security Council, the U.N. chief criticized both the Syrian government and rebel forces for their failure to implement a U.N. resolution adopted in February. The resolution is aimed at eliminating obstacles to deliver food, medicine and other essentials to millions of civilians caught up in the three-year civil war that has killed more than 150,000 people.

The resolution demanded that all parties, especially the Syrian government, promptly allow safe access for humanitarian aid across conflict lines and borders. It called on both sides to immediately lift sieges of populated areas and stop depriving civilians of food. It also demanded a halt to indiscriminate shelling and aerial bombardment, including the use of barrel bombs in populated areas and the withdrawal of all foreign fighters from Syria.

[Photo: SyrianZero / YouTube]