GHOST TOWN: The regime pounded the town of Darayya in the Damascus suburb of West Ghouta southwest of the capital with 11 barrel bombs on Monday, reported the opposition Darayya City Council on its Facebook page.
“The regime has suffered heavy losses against local Free Syrian Army (FSA) units during its many attempts to enter Darayya, and is employing a scorched-earth policy to try to subdue it,” Ahmed Quraytam, a member of the Darayya City Council, told Syria Direct on Tuesday.
Darayya has been under regime siege for nearly a year, however had been receiving food and medical supplies from the nearby town of Muadamyyat al-Sham to the west,” Quraytam said.
“The strikes targeted the area between the two towns in order to stop supplies from entering Darayya.”
The Syrian Air Force developed the TNT barrel bomb as a cheap but devastating means of inflicting widespread human and structural damage. The makeshift bomb can vary in form, but the general idea is to stuff TNT, oil, and metal shrapnel into a cylindrical object–anything from an oil drum to a water tankard–light the fuse, and push the object out the back of a helicopter. Accuracy is not the barrel bomb’s strong point, so as with the cluster bomb, destruction is indiscriminate.
The regime has increased its shelling of the city over the past month, dropping more than 60 bombs since the beginning of this month. Barrel bombs have hit Darayya daily over the past week, with 12 bombs dropped last Saturday alone, reported the Local Coordination Council.
“No casualties have been reported as a result of these recent attacks, in part because so many people have fled the city,” Quraytam said. “Only 8,000 out of the city’s original 250,000 residents remain.”
Darayya is one of the last rebel-held areas near the regime bastions of Damascus and the Mazzeh Military Airport.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has publically denied that his forces use barrel bombs.
-March 17, 2015
-Photo courtesy of DMC
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