Syrian regime targets ISIS with barrel bombs

Regime helicopters drop barrel bombs on ISIS-held city of al Bab in Aleppo Province

Photo by: Syrian Activist Groups
Photo by: Syrian Activist Groups

Ruins of buildings in city of al Bab in Aleppo Province following barrel bomb attack

Syrian regime helicopters on Friday dropped barrel bombs on areas in the ISIS-held city of al Bab in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo Province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has reported.

According to the SOHR no casualties were reported following the attack, but activists posted a video online showing an ambulance taking injured people to hospital. Residents of what is to be al Bab appear in the video, searching for casualities under the debris of buildings destroyed by the bomb.

Activists on social media said that at least 15 civilians were killed by five air strikes conducted by regime forces on the city. 

Al Bab is controlled by ISIS and is situated about 40 kilometers northeast of Aleppo city. The east of Aleppo city is in the hands of the Syrian opposition.

Fighting is taking place between ISIS and regime forces and pro-regime militiamen in the villages of Tal Riman and al-Salhiya in the eastern countryside of Aleppo. The SOHR has reported that the regime forces have advanced and taken control over Tal Riman village.

On June 2 barrel bombs dropped by Syrian regime helicopters in al Bab killed 84 civilians, including women and children.

The SOHR has documented 33,376 air strikes being carried out by the regime air force from October 20, 2014 to July 20, 2015. The airstrikes targeted several villages, towns and cities in 13 provinces.

According to the SOHR, helicopters dropped 18038 barrel bombs on different areas in the provinces of Rif Dimashq, Aleppo, Homs, Hama, al- Hasakah, Deir Ezzor, al- Quneitera, al- Suwaydaa, Daraa, Idlib and Lattakia. The organisation reports that barrel bombs have caused the deaths of at least 5499 civilians, including 775 women, and 1122 children and have wounded about 30,000 other civilians in total.

The SOHR also said that the barrel bombings and air raids resulted in the deaths of 2698 Nusra Front, ISIS and rebel fighters, while wounding thousands of others.

The civil war in Syria started in 2011 following a brutal crackdown on anti-government demonstrations and later developed into a multi sided conflict between five main factions - the Syrian regime, opposition groups, the Al Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front, ISIS, and the Kurdish YPG militia.

The UN has said that some 250,000 people have been killed in the conflict and an estimated 7.6 million are internally displaced within Syria. More than 5 million others have fled the country to neighboring Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq as well as Europe.

TRTWorld and agencies