Reports out of the al-Qaeda occupied half of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo say at least 15 civilians were killed and dozens of others wounded when a pair of barrel bombs dropped by the Syrian military hit a hospital district in one of the neighborhoods.
A report from the Independent Doctors Association says one of the barrel bombs actually hit their makeshift pediatric hospital, destroying a single floor, while others reported the entire hospital was “destroyed.” Children are believed to be among the slain, but the exact number is unclear.
The UNICEF statement claimed three hospitals were attacked in the two bombings, and also claimed medical personnel were among the slain. Their report similarly put the overall death toll at 15.
The use of barrel bombs has been roundly condemned internationally. The bombs, literally just oil barrels filled with explosives and shrapnel and pushed out of helicopters, have served as makeshift weapons for militaries running low on munitions. They have chiefly been used in Syria, but also a few times in Iraq.
As unguided bombs, the barrel bombs tend to go places they aren’t meant to, often careening far off course and hitting residential districts, when they were initially meant to inflict casualties on rebel troops.
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