Assad regime uses nearly 82,000 barrel bombs in 9 years

By Faruk Zorlu

ANKARA (AA) – The Bashar al-Assad regime used nearly 82,000 barrel bombs in nine years of attacks on civilian settlements under the control of the opposition in different parts of Syria, a monitoring group said Friday.

In a report on the regime's attacks on civilians with barrel bombs from July 2021 to April 2021, the Syrian Network for Human Rights said the regime dropped 81,916 barrel bombs, killing 11,087 civilians, including 1,821 children and 1,780 women.

Regime forces used 2,314 barrel bombs in 2012, 14,976 in 2013, 19,654 in 2014, 17,318 in 2015, 12,958 in 2016, 6,243 in 2017, 3,601 in 2018, 378 in 2019 and 474 in 2020.

The use of barrel bombs has not been recorded in 2021 in Syria.

Since 2012, the regime has used barrel bombs filled with poison gas in 93 attacks.

The provinces most targeted were Damascus, Aleppo, Daara and Idlib but the most casualties were reported in Aleppo.

The bombs also were used in at least 728 attacks on civilian facilities, including 104 on medical facilities, 205 against mosques, 188 on schools and 57 targeting markets.

The regime used barrel bombs as a tool to displace civilians, and millions of civilians were displaced as a result of attacks by the regime and its supporters, the report said.

Attacks were carried out with barrel bombs because of their low cost, around $50, but their massive destructive effect.

It mostly targets civilian areas with the bombs and aims for the highest number of casualties and greatest destruction.

The regime’s use of chemical weapons was previously confirmed by UN investigators as well as the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical weapons.

Assad forces’ use of chlorine as a chemical weapon is a violation of its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention, to which it is a party, as well as UN Security Council Resolution 2118.

Syria has been embroiled in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN estimates.