Syrian helicopter bomb raids kill 42 in Aleppo: monitors

BEIRUT Sun Dec 22, 2013 4:36pm EST

1 of 9. ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF DEATH OR INJURY A man carrying bread walks past covered dead bodies lying on the ground after what activists said was an air raid by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, at Masaken Hanano in Aleppo, December 22, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Saad AboBrahim

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - At least 42 people, including children, were killed on Sunday when Syrian army helicopters dropped improvised "barrel bombs" in the northern province of Aleppo, a monitoring group said.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said separate air raids hit several districts in Aleppo, but the biggest toll was in Hanano, east of the city. At least six children were among the dead.

"They hit a convoy of cars on a road in Hanano, many cars were destroyed. There were civilians there," said the Observatory's Rami Abdelrahman.

Human Rights Watch said in a report over the weekend that barrel bomb attacks had killed scores of civilians in Aleppo in the last month. It described the attacks as illegal and said they had hit residential and shopping areas.

"The Syrian air force is either criminally incompetent, doesn't care whether it kills scores of civilians, or deliberately targets civilian areas," HRW senior emergency researcher Ole Solvang said in the report.

Barrel bombs are explosive-filled cylinders or oil drums that are often rolled out of the back of helicopters with little attempt at striking a particular target. They are capable of causing widespread casualties and significant damage.

President Bashar al-Assad's forces, battling rebels in a 2 1/2-year conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people, frequently deploy air power and artillery against rebel-held districts across the country.

They have been unable to recapture eastern and central parts of Aleppo, which rebels seized in the summer of 2012, but they have driven rebel fighters back from towns to the southeast of the city in recent weeks.

(Reporting by Mariam Karouny; Editing by Larry King)

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Comments (4)
Dropping bombs indiscriminately on civilians is indeed a barbaric way for a nation to wage war.

So … why did we do it to the Germans and Japanese during WWII?

(1,700 tons of bombs were dropped on Tokyo in one raid. Approximately 16 square miles of the city were destroyed and 100,000 people are estimated to have died in the resulting firestorm, more than the immediate deaths of either the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.)

Yes, yes, I know they did it first. But it didn’t even begin to end the war. Historians generally agree that the bombing of Germany only helped Hitler stay in power. And, two wrongs don’t make a right.

It’s easy to condemn others. It’s far harder to see yourself as others see you.

Dec 22, 2013 1:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
kenradke11 wrote:
President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, battling rebels in a 2 1/2-year conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people, frequently deploy air power and artillery against rebel-held districts across the country.
Huh! That has killed?) Rather “who” has killed!!
God knows how many more souls between now and January 22/14?!!
This is crazy and needs to be stopped now!! The Woman and Children mercilessly killed and maimed and tortured and raped and God only know what else…..

Dec 22, 2013 7:38pm EST  --  Report as abuse
Dron wrote:
@Kendrake, there is an easy way to end the bloodshed, just stop funding Islamic extremists from the USA and Saudi Arabia and the war will end in no time. Do you really think Assad wants to kill his own citizens and see the infrastructure of the country he rules destroyed further?

Dec 22, 2013 11:03pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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