The United States categorically condemns the barrel bombing of the city of Aleppo by Syrian government forces.
The United States categorically condemns the barrel bombing of the city of Aleppo by Syrian government forces. Two days after the Syrian Opposition Coalition and the Syrian regime ended the first round of talks in Geneva, and as plans for a new round was discussed, the regime of Bashar Assad yet again attacked its own civilian population.
Some 90 people were killed on Sunday, February 1st, as the Syrian air force attacked Aleppo’s Ansari district with barrel bombs. Another 60 or so people died over the following days, including 15 school boys, when one of the bombs struck a mosque that operates as a school.
Barrel bombs are home-made incendiary devices. Large containers, usually oil drums, are stuffed with shrapnel such as nails, equipped with a fuse and filled with gasoline. Incendiary weapons, which cause injury using flame or heat, are expressly banned in populated civilian areas by the UN Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons. The use of such weapons may constitute a war crime, even though Syria is not a signatory to the Conventional Weapons prohibition.
“While the opposition and the international community are focused on ending the war, as outlined in the Geneva communiqué, the regime is single-mindedly focused on inflicting further destruction to strengthen its hand on the battlefield and undermining hopes for the success of the Geneva II process,” said Secretary of State John Kerry.
“Each and every day that the barrel-bombing of Aleppo continues, the Assad regime reminds the world of its true colors. It is the latest barbaric act of a regime that has committed organized, wholesale torture, used chemical weapons, and is starving whole communities by blocking delivery of food to Syrian civilians in urgent need,” he said.
“Each and every barrel bomb filled with metal shrapnel and fuel launched against innocent Syrians underscores the barbarity of a regime that has turned its country into a super magnet for terror. Given this horrific legacy, the Syrian people would never accept as legitimate a government including Assad.