SNHR issued a report that documented the government forces use of barrel bombs two years after UNSC resolution 2139 was issued.
The report stated that UNSC resolution 2139 that was issued on 22 February 2014 called for “an immediate cease all attacks against civilians” and explicitly expressed “its intent to take further steps in the case of non-compliance with the resolution.” However, through daily documentation concerning the use of barrel bombs used, SNHR found no difference before that the Security Council resolution was issued and after. Government forces continued to shell residents with barrel bombs; a clear violation and insult for the Security Council and a dictatorial triumph over democracy.
The report depicts the toll of barrel bombs used, the shelling outcomes and aftermath, in addition to the most significant facilities that were shelled with explosive barrel bombs.
The report also stated that the only conflict party who possesses this kind of weapons is the ruling regime; however its officials deny the use of these barrel bombs as weapons just like they deny all their other crimes. Additionally, the current government prohibits all different kinds of media outlets or independent international organizations. This report depicts the use of barrel bombs by the Syrian government only, regardless of the other conflict parties like armed opposition, extremist Islamic groups and Kurdish Self Management Forces) since they do not possess airpower.
According to the report, not less than 19947 barrel bombs were dropped by government helicopters on different Syrian governorates since the resolution was issued. Those barrel bombs killed 8136 civilians including 2274 children and 2036 women according to SNHR documentation team.
It stated that barrel bombs were first used on Monday 1 October, 2012 in Idlib – Silqean town where a helicopter dropped a barrel bomb on a two-floor residential building which collapsed completely. The international community was not familiar with that kind of weapon yet. Barrel bombs sometimes weigh quarter of ton and rely on the free fall principle. These barrels are random weapons and locally made, since it is less expensive, causes massive destruction, and causes a great loss of lives. 99% of the casualties are civilians, where the percentage of targeted women and children ranges between 12 and 35%.
The report concludes that the Syrian government has, beyond any doubt, violated Security Council resolution 2139 and used barrel bombs in a widespread and systematic manner. Furthermore, the Syrian government perpetrated the crime of murder in a widespread and systematic manner according to Article VII of The International Criminal Court Rome Stature. Additionally, it violated many principles of the international humanitarian law and perpetrated tens of crimes that can be classified openly as war crimes through its indiscriminate and proportionate bombing.