More than 16 people have died in the Syrian city of Aleppo following a barrel bomb attack on a group of people. According to a CNN report, the attack happened on a group of people that had assembled to mourn the death of several children following an earlier attack in the same area.
The initial figure of 16 dead individuals was reported by mainstream news channels. However, a local media group called the Aleppo Media Center has pegged the death toll at a far higher number with it reporting that the barrel bomb attack had left more than 24 people dead and 30 others injured. The report also added that there were not one, but two barrel bomb attacks that happened simultaneously.
— Al Jazeera News (@AJENews) August 28, 2016
Assad’s helicopters kill at least 15 when they drop barrel bomb on wake for children killed in previous attack https://t.co/FmcxfNY8yY
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) August 28, 2016
The barrel bomb attack was conducted by Syrian armed forces and happened in the rebel-held Bab al-Nayrab region of Aleppo. This is the same area where 15 people had died on Thursday in a similar attack. According to Mojahed Abo-Aljood, an Aleppo Media Center activist and witness, he was filming near the wake when one of his colleagues warned him of a helicopter above. Sensing trouble, he took shelter in a basement. Shortly after that he heard two loud explosions. There was panic all around. When he came back from the basement, the entire area was filled with a cloud of thick dust. He still had his camera with him and continued filming. He was horrified by the carnage and talked about seeing multiple dead bodies everywhere.
— Voice of America (@VOANews) August 28, 2016
“On my right and on my left I saw dead people and I stepped on top of one myself because I couldn’t see due to the thickness of dust. When the first barrel bomb hit near the wake, people started running toward the shelter where we were – then the second barrel bomb hit near the entrance of the basement shelter,” he said. “That’s why there were many casualties,”
There are reports of several children being killed in the attack, too. However, there are conflicting reports on the number of children that have died. A report by the Aleppo Media Center reported that five children were among the dead while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based out of U.K. put the number of dead children at 11
CNN has quoted Amnesty International who blames that barrel bombs are a common weapon used by the Bashar al Assad led Syrian regime.
Meanwhile, several videos have been posted online, which are said to be taken at the time of the barrel bomb attack. In the videos, people are seen trying to rescue survivors. Several others are seen searching for missing people as they dig through the rubble. Other videos showed people – men and women carrying dead bodies of children covered in dust and rubble. The authenticity of these videos, however, remain unclear.
Meanwhile, in another part of Syria, another 25 or so people were killed by airstrikes conducted by the Turkish military on Sunday. While Turkey maintains that all the dead were Kurdish militants, independent monitoring groups claim that the air strikes killed more than 35 civilians and just four militants. These latest air strikes by Turkey is part of the country’s military operation that targets both the ISIS and Kurdish militia. The country has named this military campaign “Operation Euphrates Shield”
[Image: Aleppo Media Center via AP]