658 Barrel Bombs Dropped in September 2016 Killing 71 Civilians including 15 Children and Nine Women
SNHR has published its monthly report on the use of barrel bombs by government forces for the month of September.
The report notes that the barrel bomb is a distinctively indiscriminate weapon with huge destructive impact. Therefore, 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.
Furthermore, the report notes that barrel bombs were used notably for the first time on Monday 1 October 2012 against the residents of Salqein city. 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 has documented that 13,024 barrel bombs have been dropped since the beginning of the Russian military campaign in Syria.
The report documents that no less than 658 barrel bombs were dropped in the month of September 2016, most of these barrel bombs were dropped in Aleppo and Damascus suburbs governorate followed by Homs and Hama. Additionally, 71 civilians were killed including 15 children and nine women were killed in barrel bombs attacks in September. In addition, barrel bombs attacks caused damages to no less than four 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 murder, 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 funding and weapon should be prosecuted considering the risk that these weapons might be used to commit crimes and serious violations of human rights.