Bashar al Assad’s regime has dropped almost 70,000 barrel bombs on Syria during the country’s near seven-year civil war, according to a report released this week.
The report, published by the non-profit Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), is perhaps the most extensive study into the use of the indiscriminate crude weapon and tracks how it became synonymous with the Assad regime’s brutal war apparatus.
According to Kyle Orton, an analyst at the British think tank Henry Jackson Society, the effect of the bombs goes beyond the material damage and casualties they cause.
“Barrel bombs in conventional military terms are not especially useful. There is little ability to direct a barrel bomb, and their use against military hardware is limited,” Mr Orton told The National. “But it is these characteristics that have proven so useful for the pro-Assad coalition: barrel bombs are used to terrorize, and the fact (that) they are indiscriminate and most useful against unarmed civilians is a feature, not a bug.”
Read more on The National (UAE)