As the Syrian military attempts to break the stalemate in Aleppo Province, they’ve tried to use their air power on rebel districts. In recent days that’s meant barrel bombs, and daily there have been large civilian tolls in such attacks.
Today was more of the same, with barrel bombs across the province killing 42 people, including a large number of civilians. The biggest strike was in Hanano, where the bombs targeted a rebel convoy, but killed civilian bystanders, including six children.
The barrel bombs 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.
Military and rebels have been contesting Aleppo for over a year, and while both were predicting imminent victory from the start, neither seems able to make much progress in recent months, and little territory has changed hands.