Daily News Egypt

Use of barrel bombs in Syria and Iraq devastate civilians’ lives - Daily News Egypt

Advertising Area




Advertising Area




Use of barrel bombs in Syria and Iraq devastate civilians’ lives

By Dr Cesar Chelala UN Security Council Resolution 2139 of 22 February 2014, ordered all parties to the conflict in Syria to end the discriminate use of barrel bombs and other weapons in populated areas. In spite of that, both the Syrian and the Iraqi governments continue using them against civilians. Human rights groups have characterised …


Dr. Cesar Chelala
Dr. Cesar Chelala

By Dr Cesar Chelala

UN Security Council Resolution 2139 of 22 February 2014, ordered all parties to the conflict in Syria to end the discriminate use of barrel bombs and other weapons in populated areas. In spite of that, both the Syrian and the Iraqi governments continue using them against civilians. Human rights groups have characterised them as weapons of terror and illegal under international conventions.

Barrel bombs are a type of improvised explosive device (IED) sometimes described as “flying IED” typically made from a barrel that has been filled with high explosives, shrapnel, oil and chemicals and then dropped from a plane or a helicopter. They are cheap to produce, so they are used extensively in ongoing conflicts such as Syria and Iraq. Because different explosives can fit into them, and due to their poor accuracy and indiscriminate use in civilian areas they provoke devastating effects and loss of lives.

The earlier use of these bombs was in South Sudan in the 1990s, where they were expelled from transport planes. Since then, they are now being extensively used by the Syrian Air Force and by the Iraqi government forces, as happened during the Anbar clashes (2013-2014.)

“What is happening now in Iraq definitely started in Syria. If I were Al-Maliki, and seeing Assad next door using the same tactics without a slap on the wrist and gaining ground as a result, it stands to reason he would say, “Why the hell not?’” said Erin Evers of Human Rights Watch.

Residents of Tikrit, Baiji and Mosul report also that government forces dropped barrel bombs on their cities during the 2014 Northern Iraq offensive, as they also did later in July in Fallujah and the nearby town of Al-Karmath.

Barrel bombs use in Syria was first identified in August 2012. Although a Russian military expert initially denied its existence, an October 2012 video clearly showed a barrel bomb being lit and dropped by Syrian Air Force personnel. It is estimated that between 5,000 and 6,000 barrel bombs have been used and that more than 20,000 people have been killed by them since the conflict in Syria began in March 2011.

Aleppo has been the focal point for the use of barrel bombs by the Syrian government. According to evidence gathered by Human Rights Watch, Syrian government forces have increased the use of barrel bombs since the UN Security Council passed the resolution banning their use last February.

Since that resolution was passed until 14 July 2014, Human Rights Watch identified over 650 new major strikes in Aleppo neighbourhoods held by groups opposing the government. According to statistics from the Violations Documentation Centre, aerial bomb attacks killed 1,655 civilians in the Aleppo governorate between February 22 and July 22, 2014.

Area bombing or carpet bombing, where conventional shells are used to bombard a large are from the air – a practice widely used during Second World War – was banned by the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Convention. The Geneva Conventions of 1949 are still considered the cornerstone of contemporary humanitarian law.

Additional Protocol I relates to the protection of victims of international armed conflicts. According to this Protocol, it is not lawful to treat a whole city as a target simply because it contained a number of separate military targets within it. These kinds of actions also violate the principles established in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court regarding the protection of civilians in combat zones.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has been extremely critical of the use of weapons that increasingly kill innocent civilians and continue to fuel the conflict.

“Further escalation of violence will only serve the agenda of those who see military means as the only way forward, at the expense of the Syrian people, who have suffered enough already,” he said referring to the war in Syria.

 

Dr. Cesar Chelala is a winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award.

Advertising Area




  • Pingback: Use of barrel bombs in Syria and Iraq devastate civilians’ lives - Egypt()

  • Pingback: Syria News – 17 Aug 2014 - Confero Aviation()

  • Reda Sobky

    I applaud you for your clarity and ethical perspective. The dynamic of conflict has descended to a level of depravity that shames all of us-this is what is happening in our time on our watch and this is what we are handing the coming generation-devastated mangled children who hold up severed heads on social media and on the other side mass execution of the parents of those children and indeed, doing the same to the children while taking the women as booty, spoils of war. All decent people in the world need to stand up to this and say enough is enough. Unfortunately, the only powers capable of influencing the situation through the use of force are Western and they are reluctant to act because of the series of destructive messes they have left in the wake of their past interventions.
    This is now different, it is no longer a political struggle for dominance, this is now a genocidal force of extreme brutality in the mold of Khmer Rouge. Mass murder as a way of being-a hundred here, dozens there then several hundred which then jumps to thousands al la Schrebrinitza (sp). As a psychologist I can see a total loss of the sense of the value of human life in this equation and the total loss of boundaries between impulse and murder which is one of the most extreme forms of numbness to mass murder and bestiality. The image of those young men and children being herded towards their psychopathic mass murderers-these are the new ethics of governance in a new Middle Eastern entity, the caliphate fantasy in action, with control over an area the size of Texas. They are expansionist and if they are thwarted in the North, they will focus on Lebanon and Jordan to the Southeast. If this is not a Kuwait 91 what is? If this is not a Cossova, what is? If this is not a Cambodia 74 and a Ruwanda what is? It is indeed a fusion of multiple delusions and mass murder dynamics which converge inevitably with circular cross validation much like Animal Farm and Pedagogy of the Oppressed describe. A nightmare scenario-the one many have spent their lives fearing it could happen,, and now it has actually happened and the confrontation is inevitable, today, tomorrow or next week, month or year and the wisdom now is how to get the job done skillfully and effectively. After so many murders it becomes routine and becomes something like a blood ritual every day occurrence at the square or at the stadium much like a theme park of ritualized murder and sexualizing the murder of women by stoning them for allegations of sexual misdeeds, so that the sadistic crowd can be numbed and kept in a fear state. From there the decent is to somewhere I can’t even imagine, hell itself or even worse.

https://dailynewsegypt.com/2014/08/17/use-barrel-bombs-syria-iraq-devastate-civilians-lives/
Breaking News

No current breaking news

Daily News Egypt Android App Available for free download on Google play
View
Daily News Egypt Ios App Available for free download on APP Store
View