first published on February 22, 2018 by Will
Russian and Syrian strikes are leveling entire residential neighborhoods just east of Damascus as the Assad regime attempts to crush the last remaining rebel strongholds in the region.
Over 300 people, almost all civilians, have been killed by Russian airstrikes and Syrian rocket artillery since Sunday across Eastern Ghouta.
The bombing and artillery is constant and indiscriminate. These are not precision airstrikes or GPS guided rocket artillery munitions targeting rebel headquarters or fighting positions. These are dumb bombs and showers of rockets meant to ravage as much of the neighborhood as possible. Residents are trapped inside their homes with nowhere to go.
Some of the videos show the use of thermobaric bombs. Thermobaric and fuel-air bombs are volumetric weapons that are commonly referred to as “vacuum bombs.” Unlike conventional warheads that rely on a quick blast that launches deadly sharp shrapnel, these thermobaric weapons operate by first exploding and dispersing an aerosol cloud that is then immediately ignited, causing an extremely devastating shockwave and incredible temperatures.
While the hard cover of walls and fortifications may stop shrapnel, the shockwave caused by the thermobaric parachute bombs penetrates these barriers internally damaging human organs and soft tissues. Additionally, the oxygen within the blast radius is ignited and depleted, causing lungs to collapse.
Although indiscriminate pro-Assad attacks against densely populated civilian centers is nothing new, Western media is really pushing the “atrocities” angle at the moment. The media’s sudden concern is comparable to the final fight in Aleppo, in which previously US-backed rebels and jihadists got routed out of the city. Meanwhile, NATO member Turkey is carrying out similar indiscriminate strikes against Kurdish neighborhoods in Afrin and the Western media remains silent.