Explosive violence in Syria

Airstrikes in Aleppo, Syria, on Tuesday killed over 40 civilians

syria-bombingsAirstrikes on rebel-held neighbourhoods of Aleppo killed at least 41 civilians on Tuesday, October 13th 2016. Of those killed, five were said to be children. Elsewhere, it was reported that whilst over 40 were killed, more than 70 were also injured in the attacks, according to Amar Salmo, who leads the area’s civil defense volunteers.

Salmo also specified that at least 20 of the weapons dropped, were bunker-buster bombs and caused a lot of damage.

It took civil defense volunteers hours to sift through the rubble to pull bodies from the carnage. Whole families had been buried under the debris.

It was not clear whether the strikes were perpetrated by Russian or Syrian aircrafts.

The day after, similar attacks continued, with 15 killed in an airstrike on a market, and a further 10 killed in the surrounding neighbourhoods in Aleppo.

On Monday, 14 were killed by bunker buster bombs in rebel-held Aleppo.

Other airstrikes across the country on Wednesday, saw one killed and three wounded in Kfarbatna, Damascus, and a further 10 wounded in Saqba, Damascus. The airstrikes in Damascus were said to have been perpetrated by the Syrian government.

Non-state explosive violence, such as shelling, has also taken place in government-held areas of Aleppo, killing and injuring many. Wednesday saw five killed and 13 wounded in such violence. Similar violence had occurred on previous days.

Over the last five years, AOAV’s Explosive Violence Monitor has found Syria to be consistently one of the worst affected states from explosive violence around the world. A total of 36,224 deaths and injuries from explosive violence were recorded there between 2011-2015 – of these 86% (31,290) were civilians. Indeed, the only country worse affected from explosive violence in the last five years was Iraq.

Of these, 16,657 civilian deaths and injuries in Syria were from explosive violence perpetrated by state actors, predominantly Syria and Russia.

In the first half of 2016, AOAV had already recorded 1,755 civilian deaths and injuries from 78 air-launched attacks.

AOAV records casualties (i.e. people killed and injured) from explosive violence around the world as reported in English-language news sources. The data reflected here cannot capture the full scale of civilian suffering in Syria, but is indicative of the patterns of harm that exist when explosive weapons are used in populated areas.

AOAV strongly condemns the use of violence against civilians and calls upon all groups to reject the deliberate targeting of civilians. The use of weapons with wide-area impacts should also remain of concern; due to the severe impact these have on civilians. All actors must urgently address the civilian harm in Syria. The situation in Syria requires an urgent response to prevent further suffering of Syrian civilians, who have for too long borne the impact of the violence in their country.