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Saturday 30 May 2015

Barrel bombs killed 71 people today: Call for action

BBC News reports at least 71 people killed by barrel bomb attacks in Aleppo province today.

The Syrian Observer translated a report this week about how barrel bombs are made:

Banias is home to the “barrel factory”, as Nazih calls it. An employee at the Banias refinery for a decade, the 40-year-old engineer claims to have never presumed something secret was going on within its walls.

When Syria’s oil production decreased by 90 percent following the rise of ISIS, which seized a majority of Syria’s oil wells in the process, work at the refinery stopped.

“They are using the maintenance and pipelines welding workshop to make these barrels,” says Nazih. For around a month, Nazih has been aware of the factory’s true purpose, but it is clear from his behavior that he is still in a state of shock.

“One of my tasks required me to visit to the headquarters of a maintenance and welding workshop. I saw the construction of vast empty barrels in the rear yard, there was no need for further explanation—it was clear,” Nazih continued.

Nazih headed to his colleague, an engineer and the chief of the workshop. An Alawite man in his 50s, Nazih finds him witty and enjoys drinking tea with him from time to time. When Nazih inquired about the barrels, the workshop chief simply replied: “We are manufacturing barrels to kill the dogs and burn them.”

“I tried to explain to him that the barrels are a random and blind weapon, he did not listen… he was perhaps annoyed,” Nazih says. The chief of the workshop explained the details of making the barrels with pride. He talked about the bolts, the large nails and the sharp metal triangles added to the barrel full of explosives, Nazih said.

Curious, Nazih asked: “How much does each of them cost?”

“Less than 20,000 Syrian pounds (75 USD),” the chief replied.

The UK has the ability to stop this happening. Write to your MP here.

Download and share our demand for action: Ongoing chemical weapons attacks and bombing of civilians by the Syrian Air Force: A call for action (PDF)