April 30, 2014
Human Rights Watch said today that despite a United Nations Security Council Resolution passed on February 22, 2014, “the Syrian government is indiscriminately striking civilians and civilian objects in Aleppo with unguided, high-explosive barrel bombs.”
UNSC resolution No.2139 called for the end of “the indiscriminate employment of weapons in populated areas, including shelling and aerial bombardment, such as the use of barrel bombs.”
While the international community’s diplomatic efforts recently focused on the elimination of the Assad regime’s chemical arsenal, little has been done to stop the daily horrors of conventional weapons which killed hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians since the start of the uprising in 2011.
HRW said it “documented 85 separate attacks by the Syrian government on residential areas,” where the regime targeted hospitals, schools, and crowded local markets. According to the Violations Documentation Center (VDC) which HRW cited in its report, aerial bombardment by Assad’s forces, including the use of barrel bombs, has resulted in the death of 651 civilians in Aleppo between February 22 and April 22.
Clearly, the regime is comfortable continuing to use murderous force in plain sight of the international community. Without mechanisms that allow for the credible threat of force, the regime will be emboldened to continue and even escalate its violence. Experience has shown that diplomatic pressure backed by the threat of direct action is necessary to make the regime take notice.
May our wounded recover, our detainees be free, and our fallen heroes rest in peace.
Long live Syria and its people, free and with honor.