Activists said that Assad’s helicopters dropped barrel bombs on the towns of Kafr Zeita, Khan Shaykhun, Al Najiya and Ibtaa’, killing and injuring dozens of civilians.
The United Nations Director of HRW Philippe Bolopion said that regime forces continue to randomly drop barrel bombs on populated areas. Barrel bombs are unguided high explosive weapons that are cheaply made, locally produced, and typically constructed from large oil drums, gas cylinders, and water tanks, filled with high explosives and scrap metal to enhance fragmentation, and then dropped from helicopters usually flying at high altitude.”
As for Assad, “we know he is simply lying. We know it’s the Syrian government using these deadly weapons because the rebels don’t have helicopters; only the government does. Despite this flagrant disregard for the Security Council resolution, the Syrian government has paid no price for this,” Bolopion added.
“We certainly hope UN Security Council members will stand by their own resolution and impose consequences on the regime for thumbing its nose at the Security Council,” Bolopion said.
Asked if protests by HRW and other human rights organizations will be an exercise in futility, he said: “Sadly, when thousands of civilians are being slaughtered, we have to continue to place the Security Council, and Russia and China in particular, in front of their responsibilities, no matter how futile it may sound.”
President Khoja said that “the HRW latest report on Syria further adds to the disappointment over the UN Security Council’s failure to take any steps to stop the Assad regime’s aerial bombing campaigns against civilians and also over its failure to shoulder its responsibilities for maintaining international peace and security.”
He also said that “the report once again raises the need that the UN Security Council immediately activate the UN resolution 2139 to ensure the protection of Syrian civilians, which entails the imposition of safe havens in northern and southern Syria and to protect civilians from Assad’s air force. We call for referring all the violations committed in Syria to the International Criminal Court and for the implementation of the recommendations contained in the HRW report concerning the imposition of an arms embargo on the Assad regime as a punishment for its continued use of devastating barrel bombs in attacks against the civilian population.” (Source: Syrian Coalition)