Over 13,000 barrel bombs hit rebel-held areas across Syria in 2016, claiming the lives of hundreds of civilians, a monitoring group has said. This indiscriminate, highly destructive weapon is made of oil barrels that are stuffed with scrap metal and TNT explosives and is dropped from helicopters.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that at least 635 civilians, including 160 children and 80 women, were killed in barrel bomb attacks in 2016. These attacks mostly targeted Rural Damascus, Aleppo, Hama, and Idlib.
Barrel bomb attacks hit nearly 97 vital civilian facilities, 28 medical centers, and 23 houses of worship, the SNHR added.
Regime forces and the Iranian-backed militias have breached the ceasefire more than 399 times since it went into force on December 29, 2016. At least 271 people, including 25 women and 34 children, were killed in those breaches.
According to figures compiled by the Syrian Coalition’s media office, the majority of breaches took place in southern rural Aleppo, Wadi Barada valley in Rural Damascus, rural Hama, and rural Dara’a. The figures did not include areas controlled by the ISIS extremist group.
The Syrian Coalition condemned the continued violations of the truce by regime forces and their allied foreign militias, especially in the Wadi Barada valley. It called upon the UN Security Council and guarantors of the ceasefire agreement to immediately put an end to those breaches and hold the perpetrators to account.
(Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Office / 11.01.2017)