A report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) claims that the organisation has documented 85 places which have been targeted by the bombing of explosive barrels during the 40 days after the UN Security Council decree 2139 was issued on 22/2/2014. The places documented by the report include official hospitals on which were clear signs to show that they were medical centres.
In addition to explosive barrels, the report mentioned that there were strong evidences that government forces had released hundreds of mortars and heavy artillery during the period of time covered by the report.
The devastation caused by explosive barrels centred on the districts of Masakin Hanano, al-Sakhoor, Tirbat Lala, al-Halwaniyah, Jabal Badoor, al-Haidariyah, and al-‘Awijah. The majority of these places of destruction are in districts which lie far from front line positions, have high numbers of civilian homes, and in most cases, have no military targets close to them.
According to the Council of Medics in Aleppo- a non-profit and independent organisation which offers medical services in Aleppo- four field hospitals linked to the council took in 589 injured people during explosive barrel air strikes which took place between 22 February and 17 April. Among those injured, 51 died.
One of the doctor’s working in these hospitals said to HRW that regime forces also attacked some medical centres with explosive barrels. He said that the barrels hit two official hospitals which had clear signs atop marking the fact that they were hospitals in the areas of Hanano and al-Sha’aar. It is also known to the regime that these buildings are hospitals due to the fact that are official and were in existence from before the uprisings began. The doctor also told HRW that the regime had begun to target hospitals through air strikes in January, targeting hospitals in Hanano, al-Sukari, al-Sakhoor and al-Sha’aar.
The report confirmed that through its use of explosive barrels on areas of high population, the Syrian regime has used the methods and means of warfare which cannot distinguish between fighter and civilian, making these arbitrary attacks unlawful.
In addition, the report mentioned that HRW received details about shelling from armed opposition groups, and that they attacked civilian areas which are under the control of regime forces, including al-Hamdaniah, al-Ashrafiah, al-Sulaimaniyah, al-Midan, al-Jamiliah, and al-Khalidiyah.
Finally, the report requests of the Security Council to impose an arms embargo on the Syrian regime, as well as on any group which has embroiled itself in human rights violations of a systematic and widespread manner.