The United Nations humanitarian chief said that the use of barrel bombs in the Syrian conflict “constitutes indiscriminate attacks” against civilians, adding that their sole purpose is “to terrorize and punish the civilian population.”
“These barrel bombs are documented facts, indisputable facts, for which, however long it takes, the decision-makers and perpetrators will be held to account one day,” said Stephen O’Brien, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, in a briefing to the UN Security Council on Thursday.
“Imprecise weaponry, notably the unrelenting use of barrel bombs by Government forces, has resulted in hideous loss of life. For example, in Darayya, now dubbed ‘Syria’s capital of barrel bombs,’ dozens of barrel bombs have reportedly been dropped during the last few weeks alone.”
O’Brien denounced the international community’s silence over crimes committed by the Assad regime and terrorist groups in Syria for over five years. “And yet, the world continues to watch Syria disintegrate into bloodshed,” he said.
“Future generations will judge harshly the inability of the international community to save and protect civilians in Syria,” O’Brien added.
O’Brien cited the latest report of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, issued on 16 June, which confirmed that airstrikes and shelling increased on the Castello road, the only remaining access route for rebel-held parts of Aleppo, and the adjacent villages of Anadan, Huraytan, Kafr Hamra and Khan Alassal, risking again the complete encirclement of the area and the entrapment of more than 300,000 civilians.
The Syrian Coalition has repeatedly called for referring the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court and hold to account all perpetrators of war crimes, led by Bashar al-Assad. It said that Russia is complicit in Assad’s crimes and must be held to account as well. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)