Footage has emerged of the wreckage of an attack by Syrian fighter jets on a playground in a village near Damascus. Ten children are reported to have been killed.
The BBC reports:
Video posted on the internet showed children’s bodies on the ground with their mothers grieving over them. The children were killed when a MiG fighter bombed a playground in the village of Deir al-Asafir, east of Damascus, opposition activists said.
Intensive fighting has continued around the capital. Rebel fighters captured at least part of an airbase on Sunday.
Further footage of the playground attack showed what appeared to be cluster bomblets on the ground. In one video, two girls could be seen lying dead in a street while another showed a distraught mother standing, apparently inside a clinic, over her daughter’s lifeless body.
Here is some of the footage:
The BBC’s Jim Muir explains the damage wrought by cluster bombs – and the increasing desparation of the regime:
“They posted videos showing what appeared to be cluster bombs, or bomblets, these are weapons which come in a big cannister, the cannister splits open and then it sprays over a wide area these smaller bombs which are quite lethal and especially against personnel. In this case, it seems, they fell on an area where children were playing, so ten or eleven children were killed, and quite a large number injured.
“Certainly, there is the evidence, experts do believe that these are Soviet made, they’re old weapons, from previous times with the Soviet Union before it became Russia, and they have been increasingly in use according to activists and to video that activists have posted on the internet in recent months as the regime apparently becomes more and more back to the wall, lashing out as it loses positions, losing ground, around Damascus, around Aleppo and in Aleppo itself in recent months, it seems that the government cannot control a lot of territory, they don’t have the manpower to actually occupy and hold areas, they can go in, they can clean them up (of rebels), but then of course, they have to pull out, because they don’t have the manpower just to leave their guarding them, so this is why they’re resorting increasingly to air power and to other forms of weaponry, to strike back, but it doesn’t actually give them the strategic advantage.”
Reuters reports Syrian jets also continuing to attack rebel bases near the border with Turkey.
Children massacred by cluster bombs dropped on playgrounds… If Assad is left unchecked, expect more atrocities.