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In Syria, Civilians Are Targets

Black columns of smoke rise from heavy shelling in the Jobar neighborhood, east of Damascus, Syria, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013. Syria reached an agreement with the United Nations on Sunday to allow a U.N. team of experts to visit the site of alleged chemical w

“We call on the Syrian regime and their patrons to immediately stop the indiscriminate shelling of Jobar and countless other towns across Syria."

<p>In Syria, the civilian population is bearing the brunt of the civil war.&nbsp; The United Nations estimates that more than 190,000 people have died.&nbsp; In the country&rsquo;s northern and eastern regions, the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, has committed crimes against humanity with attacks on civilians, according to the Commission of Inquiry, an independent United Nations commission investigating potential war crimes and crimes against humanity in Syria.</p> <div class="tag_image tag_audio_link aa" contenteditable="false" mode="audio|link|2450779"><img alt="" src="../../../img/spacer.gif" title="This is just placeholder, it will be replaced on public site." />In Syria, Civilians Are Targets</div> <p>The Commission said that government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad continue to perpetrate crimes against humanity through massacres and systematic murder, torture, rape, and disappearances.&nbsp; But the most destructive weapon used by government forces against civilians is carpet bombing. &nbsp;</p> <p>Since the end of August, Syrian government forces have intensified their use of carpet bombing against opposition-held towns and suburbs of Damascus, disregarding the damage done to the civilian population.</p> <p>&ldquo;We condemn in the strongest terms the Syrian regime&rsquo;s indiscriminate bombing of a densely populated neighborhood in Damascus,&rdquo; said State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki:</p> <p>&ldquo;According to eyewitness reporting, hundreds of rockets have struck the neighborhood of Jobar . . . . This de facto carpet bombing has utterly destroyed entire city blocks of a neighborhood that has already been targeted by the regime before.&rdquo;</p> <p>To execute this carpet bombing campaign, the Syrian military has often used barrel bombs - large containers, usually oil drums, stuffed with shrapnel such as nails - equipped with a fuse and filled with gasoline. The fuse is lit, and the bomb is dropped from a helicopter or airplane.&nbsp; The vast majority of the victims of barrel bombing are civilians.</p> <p>&ldquo;As the international community works to counter the threat of ISIL, the regime is targeting communities that are also confronting the danger of ISIL and other extremist groups,&rdquo; said Spokesperson Psaki.</p> <p>&ldquo;We call on the Syrian regime and their patrons to immediately stop the indiscriminate shelling of Jobar and countless other towns across Syria. We have been clear that those responsible for such atrocities must be held accountable.&rdquo;</p>