70 Countries Demand End to Assad Barrel Bomb Attacks
70 countries across the planet united on Thursday to express outrage over the Syrian regime's systematic use of barrel bombs and to demand an end to the deadly, indiscriminate attacks.
The letter, organized by Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, was signed by European countries, Canada and the United States, and regional powers including Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
May 2015 was "reportedly the deadliest month of the Syrian crisis so far," said a letter addressed to the president of the UN Security Council.
Recent barrel bombings in and around the northern city of Aleppo had killed hundreds of civilians and wounded dozens "with many victims blown to pieces or burnt beyond recognition. The attacks were among the most brutal perpetrated since the start of the Syrian crisis," the letter said.
Since the beginning of the war, "grisly and horrific" bombings of markets, hospitals, schools, places of worship and residential buildings have killed thousands. The indiscriminate use of weapons, including barrel bombs, is prohibited under international law and must cease,” the countries said.
It called on the Security Council "to advance its efforts" on preventing the Syrian air force from carrying out barrel bombings.
Diplomats say that France has started consultations with its allies on the Security Council to table a specific resolution on barrel bombs in order to increase the political pressure on Damascus.
The 70 countries urged all parties to work towards a political solution and a "genuine political transition" after UN peace envoy Staffan de Mistura extended the latest talks until July.
The Syrian Coalition emphasizes that the Assad regime’s continued atrocities lay responsibility on the international community to protect Syrian civilians through the imposition of a safe areas to rein in Assad’s air force. All kinds of legal recognition of the Assad regime must be withdrawn as it would not have committed all these atrocities had it not been for its confidence the inaction of the international community.
The Syrian Coalition points out that Assad’s escalation of his crimes reveal a sense of defeat and weakness after the rebel successive gains in various Syrian provinces. To avenge these defeats, the Assad regime retaliates by targeting civilians with all types of weapons, including prohibited ones such as barrel bombs and chemical weapons. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)