The Assad regime is continuing to bomb Syrian cities with explosive barrels; an action which no longer leads to any international reaction, especially in that any previous international reactions during the use of barrels were dimmed in the first place.
The Syrian regime has not stopped bombing areas in Aleppo and its suburbs which do not fall under its control for more than four months, dropping an approximation of 26 barrels per day, whilst areas in Daraa which do not fall under its control face an approximate 13 barrels per day.
The continuous use of explosive barrels has led to the fall of a high number of victims, which could amount to 6000 civilians in Aleppo alone. This is in addition to the large number of injuries sustained as well as those who have been permanently disabled due to these attacks, as the fragments of barrels spread over long distances, leaving tens injured after every barrel attack.
In addition to the immediate effects on civilians, the bombing of explosive barrels (especially in Aleppo), has caused widespread destruction in a large number of districts which are continuously targeted such as Qadi Askar, Tareeq al-Baab and al-Mashad.
Damage is not limited to the building on which the bomb falls, but to neighbouring buildings, especially as all the districts targeted are crowded and popular districts: buildings are adjacent and old, leading to cracks and complete collapsing in buildings that adjoin places in which the barrel falls.
The continuous fall of barrels has also led to widespread destruction of the infrastructure of these districts, and particularly in water, sanitation, and road networks, an issue which has largely increased the suffering of civilians.
The increase in use of explosive barrels in 2014 has taken place in an alarming manner for a number of reasons, the most important of which include:
– The drop in the price of explosive barrels compared to the destruction the barrels are causing. This is allowing the regime and its allies to continue using explosive barrels intensely over a long period of time despite the difficult economical situation the regime is facing.
– Lack of international reaction over this crime: the constant dropping of barrels has not attracted any international reaction over the last four months at least, and even before that, the reactions were dim and ineffective. This has encouraged the regime to continue using barrels on the widest scale possible.
– The refusal of the United States to equip the opposition forces with anti-aircraft weapons, which would have allowed the opposition to stop regime helicopters from dropping the explosive barrels.
The International community should hold full responsibility for the continuation of the dropping of explosive barrels, as well as for the casualties and victims falling every day in Syria. SHRC calls upon all international organisations to do their utmost in placing pressure on acting governments to take action which will stop the bloodshed in Syria and send the perpetrators of these crimes to court.