Over 4,000 killed by Syrian regime barrel bombs

The Syrian regime has killed over 4,000 people using improvised "barrel bombs," said a Damascus-based human rights group.

Over 4,000 killed by Syrian regime barrel bombs

World Bulletin / News Desk

The use of "barrel bombs" by Syria's regime forces has killed 4,000 people, 97 percent of who were civillians, according to Monday's most up-to-date statistics in a report by the Syria Network for Human Rights.

The report says forces loyal to the embattled President of Syria, Bashar al-Assad, have used 2,250 such bombs over the last months, targeting opposition-held areas but mostly hitting civilian neighborhoods.

A barrel bomb is an improvised explosive device containing Trinitrotoluene (TNT), which is a non-precise and highly-explosive chemical, as well as pieces of sharp metal and concrete to enhance its destructive power. Each barrel weighs around half a tonne and is deadly in an area of 250 square meters.

The report says bombs are jettisoned from helicopters, where they can be dropped from a higher up than planes and making them harder to shoot down.

The Free Syrian Army Secretary General Ammar al-Wawi told Anadolu Agency the regime used barrel bombs both before and during the international conference on Syria that began last week in Geneva, which was the first time opposition and regime delegations met face-to-face.

"Barrel bombs are cheaper than air-to-ground missiles and cause more destruction. They (regime forces) want to change the demographics of the area by killing people, and the survivors are forced to migrate," al-Wawi said.

"There is no correlation between the front lines and where barrel bombs land. These bombs are more often thrown in civilian neighborhoods."

The Syrian civil war, which will reach its third-year mark in March, has resulted in the deaths of over 130,000 people and displaced millions, according to UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

In August last month, United Nations Refugee Agency announced one million Syrian children were registered as refugees in neighboring countries, raising fears of a 'lost generation' in Syria.

Barrel bomb attacks in Aleppo kill 24 on Monday

At least 24 people, including four children, were killed on Monday as Syrian army helicopters dropped barrel bombs on opposition-controlled areas in Aleppo, the Syrian Revolution General Commission (SRGC) said in a statement.

Activist, Mustafa Sultan from Aleppo, told an AA correspondent that army helicopters are bombing opposition-controlled areas every day at around 10am.

Dozens of homes have been destroyed in Monday's attacks. “Opposition controlled places are turned into wrecks,” Sultan added.

"Assad's forces have attacked the opposition-areas with 600 barrel bombs and have killed thousands of people in January alone,” he said. "The Damascus government is using various types of weapons against the opponents; Aleppo is like a ghost town now,” he added.

Sultan said that the Syrian army forces did not attack the ISIL military quarters in Raqqa, and instead aimed for the civilian settlements.

More than 500,000 people have been forced to flee Aleppo to safe areas near the Turkish border.

Last Mod: 04 Şubat 2014, 09:50
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