Barrel Bombs: A New Form of Terror Emerges in Syria


Barrel Bombs have emerged as a weapon that has become widely used by the Syrian government forces as they continue to try and subdue the FSA and other rebel groups in Syria. These weapons are cheaply constructed from oil barrels and the like, packed with shrapnel and explosives, and shoved over the side of a helicopter. 

According to Human Rights Watch and the BBC, these barrel bombs have been dropped indiscriminately and deal massive damage to innocent civilians. The Assad regime has also been launching air strikes and artillery bombardments into civilian neighborhoods since the inception of the conflict. However, these new weapons constitute a cheap way of dealing massive potential damage, but are even less discriminatory than a traditional bomb or artillery shell.

The massive civilian casualties resulting from the Syrian Civil War have pushed civilians to a breaking point. Where at one time these people may have supported the government or the FSA, they now only hope for peace. The city of Aleppo is estimated to have lost over 70% of its population to civilians abandoning the city.

This indiscriminate violence only continues to destabilize the war and push more and more refugees out of Syria. The Syrian people feel abandoned by the international community, as their country continues to be torn apart and the conflict is continuing to be marginalized by the international media because it is “old news.” However, the conflict is still as important today as it was at its inception, despite the fact that it is not in the headlines as often. Continuing to follow the conflict and educate ourselves about the goings on in Syria is a priority we should all focus on.


Masters student in International Relations at Texas State University.

Posted in Analysis

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