The United States Department of State said Wednesday it was horrified to learn the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad dropped barrel bombs on the Abedin refugee camp. It called the attack “barbaric” as dozens were killed, mostly women and children. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the two barrel bombs killed at least 60 people and wounded dozens more in the camp near Habeet.
Graphic footage uploaded to YouTube showed charred and bloodied bodies laying among olive branches and pieces of nearby tents blown apart by the bombs. Paramedics and witness were shown desperately trying to save the wounded. “It’s a massacre of refugees,” a voice off camera said. An activist on the scene told Al Jazeera that no presence of armed groups were present in the vicinity of the camp. He said the dozens of injured people were rushed to a hospital 30 minutes away.
“We are horrified by the reports that the Assad regime barrel bombed the Abedin displaced persons camp in Idlib and the images we saw of the carnage against innocent civilians,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
The attack on the Abedin camp was nothing short of barbaric.
A barrel bomb is a type of improvised explosive device (IED). They have been described as”flying IEDs”, most commonly made from a barrel filled with high explosives, possibly shrapnel, oil or chemicals, and then dropped from a low-flying helicopter or airplane. Assad continues to drop barrel bombs on densely populated Syrian neighborhoods despite the United Nations resolution passed on February 22nd banning their use.
Psaki said these attacks are “only the latest act of brutality by the regime against its own people.”
“We’ve consistently condemned the Assad regime’s callous disregard for human life, particularly its violence directed against civilians,” she added. “We’ve been clear that the Assad regime must be held responsible for its brutality and atrocities against the Syrian people.”
More than 5,000 barrel bombs have been used since the conflict began in 2011, this according to the Syrian National Council. Despite threats made by the Obama administration, these type of attacks will likely continue.
Previous barrel bomb attacks