Source: Digital Journal

In the last couple of days the Syrian regime has continued to drop barrel bombs on opposition fighters in Aleppo. In neighboring Iraq the Maliki government is also using the same kind of weapon in Fallujah.

The Associated Press reported today that barrel bombs – essentially barrels packed with explosives and shrapnel – dropped by Syrian Air Force helicopters on opposition fighters in residential areas have killed about 2,000 people in the city of Aleppo this year.

According to the UK-based opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights 1,963 people have been killed by these bombs in Aleppo. This figure includes 283 and 567 people younger than 18.

On average these deadly barrel bombs kills 14 people a day in Aleppo.

World Tribune informs us that Iraq has become the second country to use these devices in combat. The Baghdad government is presently engaged in a war against Sunni Islamist militants in the Iraqi Anbar province. They are presently engaged in a major military campaign to reassert its control over the city of Fallujah.

Human Rights Watch informs us that,"Since early May, government forces have also dropped barrel bombs on residential neighborhoods in Fallujah and surrounding areas, part of an intensified campaign against armed opposition groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. These indiscriminate attacks have caused civilian casualties and forced thousands of residents to flee."

The United States is a major arms supplier of the Iraqi military. As reported here it has provided the Iraqi government with missiles, gunships, jet fighters, armored personnel carriers and main battle tanks.

Human Rights Watch contends that,"The United States in particular, which has sent military aid including Hellfire missiles, ammunition and surveillance drones to the Iraqi government since the Anbar conflict began, should warn Iraq that it risks losing military assistance if its unlawful attacks do not cease."

Human Rights Watch even quotes an unidentified security source in the province who claims that, "They [the Iraqi government] started using them [barrel bombs] because they want to cause as much destruction as possible. My government decided to destroy the city instead of trying to invade it."

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