By Ishaan Tharoor February 16
People inspect damage at a site hit by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo’s district of al-Sukari on March 7, 2014. (Hosam Katan/Reuters)
“It’s a childish story that keeps repeating in the West,” smiled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in an interview with the BBC last week. He was dismissing allegations that his regime is attacking Syrian civilians with barrel bombs, crude devices packed with fuel and shrapnel that inflict brutal, indiscriminate damage.