The Washington Post reports: The Syrians who reach this Turkish border town after escaping the northern city of Aleppo bring stories of horror about exploding barrels that fall from the sky.
The worst part is the terrifying anticipation as the barrel bombs are unleashed from warplanes roaring overhead, said one man who fled after three bombs demolished the street where he was living. The sight of rescuers scraping human remains from the sidewalk outside her home prompted another of the refugees to leave. A third Syrian, a grandmother, said she left simply because life had become unsustainable in the wrecked, rubble-strewn city, where entire neighborhoods have been almost completely depopulated.
“Aleppo is empty,” she said as she sat surrounded by luggage and children after arriving in Turkey this week. “There’s no one left — no shops, no markets, no life at all.”
As peace talks in Geneva ended in deadlock Saturday, with U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi setting no date for their resumption, the Syrian government’s barrel bombing campaign against the rebel-held half of Aleppo offers a glimpse of what may lie ahead for the country now that negotiations have failed.
The campaign, which began in December, intensified as the peace talks got underway last month, underlining one of the biggest impediments to a negotiated settlement, said Salman Shaikh of the Brookings Doha Center in Qatar.
“The regime feels it can win this on the battlefield and they feel they can win this politically,” giving it little incentive to compromise in the peace talks, he said. [Continue reading…]
It’s one thing to note an escalation in the use of barrel bombs but it’s misleading to describe their use as a “new tactic.”
The “barrel bombs” have emerged as an improvised weapon with the aim of causing maximum death and destruction, The Daily Telegraph can disclose, as the regime seeks to break rebel resistance in Syria’s second city, Aleppo.
That’s from a report published on August 31, 2012.