1379 barrel bombs that Resulted in the Death of 111 Civilians including 35 children and 16 women in August 2016
SNHR has published its monthly report on the use of barrel bombs by government forces for the month of August.
Given that the barrel bomb is a distinctively indiscriminate weapon with huge destructive impact, the barrel bomb doesn’t only kill civilians but also terrorizes and displaces residents in light of the destruction it creates. Dropping barrel bombs from warplanes in this savage and primitive manner amount to a war crime. Every barrel bomb dropped is considered a war crime.
The report notes that barrel bombs were distinctly used by government forces for the first time on Monday 1 October 2012 against the residents of Salqein city in Idlib governorate. Also, the barrel bomb is a locally-made weapon which is used by government forces due to the fact that it is costs notably less than missiles and it has a huge destructive impact. Barrel bombs are distinctively indiscriminate weapon that even if it killed an armed man, this would be an accident as 99% of the victims killed by barrel bombs are civilians and the percentage of women and children victims varies between 12% to 35% in some cases.
Vitaly Churkin, the Russian representative to the United Nations, said that the Syrian regime has stopped using barrel bombs. However, the daily monitoring and documentation conducted by SNHR prove, beyond any doubt, otherwise as the Syrian regime continues to kill and destroy Syria by dropping hundreds of barrel bombs. The report documents that 12,366 barrel bombs by government forces helicopters since the beginning of the Russian intervention.
The report recorded in August the use of barrel bombs that contatin explosive hoses and others contain poison gases in Aleppo govenrorates. Added to that, barrel bombs contacting incendiary substances were used in Darayya in Damascus sububrs.
The report documents that 1,379 at least were dropped in August 2016 most of which were dropped in Damascus suburbs and Aleppo, followed by Hama and then Idlib. 111 civilains were killed in barrel bombs attack in August 2016 including 35 children and 16 women. Additoinally, the bombardment damaged no less than seven vital facilities.
The report emphasizes that the Syrian government has, beyond any doubt, violated Security Council Resolution 2139, and used barrel bombs in a widespread and systematic manner and violated, through the crime of willful killing, Article 7 of the Rome Stature in a widespread and systematic manner as well which constitutes crimes against humanity. Additionally, the Syrian government violated many rules of the international humanitarian law by perpetrating tens of crimes that amount to war crimes which manifested in the indiscriminate and random bombardment that was also disproportionate due to the use of excessive force.
The report calls on the Security Council to insure the serious implementation of its Resolutions. These Resolutions have become merely words and, thus, the Security Council has lost all of its credibility and purpose.
Also, the report demands that an arms embargo is imposed on the Syrian government, and all those who are supplying the Syrian government with funds and weapon should be prosecuted considering the risk that these weapons might be used to commit crimes and serious violations of human rights.