Only 996 Barrel Bombs in May 2016 and the use is still ongoing
SNHR issued its monthly report documenting the government forces’ use of barrel bombs during May.
This report has mentioned that despite the cessation of hostilities agreement, but the Syrian regime did not stop bombing of large areas using barrel bombs.
The report stated the level of killing and attack on the civilian vital facilities through using barrel bombs went back to what it was before the statement of the cessation of hostilities after one day of the declaration of the Supreme Commission for negotiations to postpone its participation in the Geneva talks on 19 / April.
The report clarified that the barrel bomb is a random weapon per excellence that has the effect of massive destruction. This impact does not just stop at only killing civilian casualties; but also affects the destruction, consequently displacement and terror of the people of the targeted area. The throwing of the barrel bombs from the airplane in this savage way is considered as a war crime so it is possible to consider each barrel bomb a crime of war.
The report mentioned that the first prominent use of barrel bombs was by the government forces on Monday 1 October 2012 against the people of the city of “Silqeen” in Idlib governorate. Also it mentioned that barrel bombs are considered local costs much less than the cost of the rocket and it has a large-destructive impact; that’s why the government forces used it in addition to it being a random weapon par excellence, and if it killed a gunman it would be a matter of coincidence, as 99% of the victims are civilians, and the proportion of women and children ranging between 12% and up to 35% in some cases.
The report noted that the monitoring and daily documentation done by SNHR have proven with no doubt that the Syrian Regime is proceeding in killing and destroying Syria through dropping hundreds of barrel bombs; and that denies the declaration of the Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin, who confirmed that he Syrian Regime had stopped using barrel bombs.
The report documented statistical indications of the number of barrel bombs dropped by the government helicopters in May, which amounted to 996 barrel bombs, The 974 barrels amongst are considered as a breach for the statement of the cessation of hostilities which were dropped over areas under the control of armed opposition factions while the rest were shelled at areas under the control of both ISIS and Al Nusra Front who are not covered by statement of cessation of hostilities.
The report mentioned that the largest number of the barrel bombs was dropped mostly on Aleppo and Damascus countryside governorates, and then Daraa. The bombardment led to the killing of 57 civilians including 18 children and 10 women.
The report stressed that the Syrian government had violated, without doubts, the Security Council Resolution no. 2139, and used barrel bombs widely and systematically; and also violated the cross-murder of Article VII of the Rome Statute; what constitutes crimes against humanity, in addition to the violation of many provisions of international humanitarian law, committed dozens of crimes that considered to be war crimes, through random bombardment and indiscriminate and inappropriate shelling.
The report recommended that the Security Council ensures earnestly the implementation of its resolutions; which is till now, just ink on paper, and thus have lost full credibility and legitimacy of its existence.
It also called that it should impose an arms embargo on the Syrian government and prosecute anyone who supplies the Syrian government with money and weapon considering that those resources are being used to perpetrate crimes and serious human rights violations.