Rights Group: Assad Regime Used Hundreds of Barrel Bombs in Onslaught on Eastern Ghouta
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the Assad regime air force dropped as many as 407 barrel bombs on rebel-held areas during the month of February, including 297 on the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta.
In a report published on Sunday, the monitoring group said that the Assad regime resumed the use of barrel bombs in the ongoing onslaught on eastern Ghouta in February 19 after a respite in the use of this indiscriminate weapon that had lasted since June 2016.
At least 2,810 barrel bombs have hit the rebel-held areas since the start of the direct Russian military intervention on September 30, 2015.
According to the report, the majority of barrel bomb attacks targeted eastern Ghouta and Idlib province, the latter of which was hit with at least 72 barrel bombs. The report indicated that Assad regime helicopters dropped two barrel bombs containing chlorine gas on the town of Sarqib on February 4, causing 11 civilians to suffer from asphyxiation.
The Network said that the Assad regime continues to violate UN Security Council resolution 2139, stressing that "the use of barrel bombs promotes the systematic and widespread crime of murder."
In a separate report published on early 2018, SNHR said that regime forces deployed a total of 6,243 barrel bombs across Syria in 2017. It noted that the first time this weapon was used was in an attack on the town of Salqin in the province of Idlib in early October 2012.
The Network concluded its report by putting forward a set of recommendations to the UN Security Council including calling on the Council to ensure the serious implementation of the resolutions it passed on Syria. It stressed that these resolutions have become a “dead letter,” and that the UN Security Council “lost its credibility and legitimacy." (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)