Regime aircraft dropped leaflets on opposition-controlled areas in the Homs countryside, threatening the use of new highly destructive weapons and claiming that residents would not be safe from harm inside their shelters.
Al-Souria Net’s correspondent in Homs, Yaarib al-Dali, said that the regime benefits from the state of fear that has spread among residents as a result of the raids, in which Russian aircraft also participate. Russian warplanes carried out 50 air raids targeting the town of Telbeesa over two consecutive nights, causing a number of deaths and wide damage to local infrastructure.
Dali said that among the rockets targeting civilians were canisters containing cluster bombs whose destructiveness spread fear among civilians. Debate ignited among residents about the attacks and reached social networking sites, providing the regime with a chance to exploit the fear and organize a drop of the leaflets.
The leaflets state that the Assad regime is in possession of a new sophisticated weapon with a high capability in destroying buildings, and that its power will penetrate residents’ shelters.
Faris Abu Sharif, a media activist in Telbeesa and member of the local media center, told Al-Souria Net that the regime had dropped “cluster bombs on the city throughout the last 25 raids. There were devices containing cluster bombs, the first type weighing 1.5 kg, and the second weighing half a kilogram, and small steel pellets aiming to create a large amount of shrapnel to extend the damage among civilians.”
He added: “One device contains between 300 and 500 cluster bombs, which spreads at a rate of five meters between every bomb, and this was what caused the worst damage. The raids caused three casualties, including children, and on the following day one of the bombs that did not explode mangled another person’s hand.”
The activist said that all this caused “a state of fear among residents which the regime tried to exploit through the special leaflets. These were dropped only on Telbeesa, the affected area. If the regime was serious they would have circulated them in all the towns in the Homs countryside.”
In a related context, a witness whose house was hit by a cluster bomb said it was “not the first time the regime has tried to trick the residents. They no longer trust them.”
The witness said bomb shrapnel fell on his house, and that the steel pellets filled the house and caused widespread damage. “But this didn’t affect me. Death is the same whether caused by vacuum bombs, mortars or cluster bombs. There is no safety with the regime, and if they are able they will come and kill us with the shabeeha’s blades.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.