Watch the video some say proves Assad’s indiscriminate use of barrel bombs

Published May 21st, 2015 - 12:03 GMT
Emergency responders rush following a reported barrel bomb attack by government forces in 2014. (AFP/Tamer al-Halabi)
Emergency responders rush following a reported barrel bomb attack by government forces in 2014. (AFP/Tamer al-Halabi)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has consistently denied the government's use of barrel bombs, just like he consistently denied the now-confirmed use of chlorine gas. If his words ever seemed true, it's certainly more difficult to persuade us now that this video's out.

Pro-rebel YouTube channel SMO Syria and Al Jazeera posted this footage of regime forces appearing to indiscriminately dropping barrel bombs over Syria. The aircraft is low-equipped — the pilots seem to navigate the helicopter with an iPad — showing the lack of precision and care they took in using these brutal weapons. 

According to Reuters, Britain's Foreign Office said the footage was found on a mobile phone in the rubble of a government forces helicopter crash and given to an Al Jazeera journalist in Aleppo on May 14. The breast insignia of the co-pilot in the video adorns a Syrian flag, and opposition fighters in the country aren't known to have access to any helicopters let alone barrel bombs. The evidence seems to point overwhelmingly to Assad.


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