At least 76 people are dead today, overwhelmingly civilians and including “as many as 28” children, after a series of barrel bomb attacks against rebel-held districts in the contested northern Syrian city of Aleppo.
The toll spans several strikes against at least 13 different districts, and the final count could be quite a bit higher, with some unconfirmed reports of tolls as high as 118.
The Syrian military is increasingly relying on barrel bombs in entrenched rebel areas in Aleppo. The makeshift munitions amount to little more than an oil barrel full of TNT, rolled out of the back of a helicopter.
The bombs are powerful, but extremely inaccurate, and tend to careen off target quite often, which in densely populated territory is a recipe for high civilian casualties.
This is the second major round of barrel bomb strikes in metro Aleppo this month, with a previous round targeted at a rebel headquarters likewise missing, hitting a nearby market and killing around 50 people.