The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that the Assad regime’s air force has dropped over 3,436 barrel bombs on Syrian civilians since the beginning of 2018. The regime extensively deploys this type of improvised weapon given its cheap cost and massive destructive power during its military campaigns.
In a new report issued on Tuesday, the Network said that the majority of these barrel bombs were used in March and April which coincided with the large-scale military campaigns in eastern Ghouta and then in northern rural Homs. The offensives ended with the mass forced displacement of the local population of the two areas.
The rights group went on to say that the Assad forces used 528 barrels in July, killing nine civilians. A barrel bomb attack targeted a shelter for the displaced.
According to the report, no fewer than 26,412 barrel bombs have hit rebel-held areas since the intervention of the Russian forces on the side of the Assad regime on September 30, 2015. Former Russian Ambassador to the United States, Vitaly Churkin, previously stated that the Assad forces would stop using this type of indiscriminate weapon.
The rights group pointed out that the Assad forces filled many of these barrel bombs with poison gas and incendiary substances such as Napalm, both internationally prohibited weapons. The attacks caused large fires to civilian homes and shops.
Many rights groups said that the Assad regime used this weapon to target vital civilian centers and populated areas, stressing that none of these attacks targeted rebel military positions.
The independent rights group confirmed that the Assad regime and its Russian ally carried on with their military operations and attacked Dara’a in July. The offensive in Dara’a saw extensive use of barrel bombs and intense Russian airstrikes with the aim of forcing civilians to flee their homes, SNHR added. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)