Syrian forces drop barrel bombs in 'indiscriminate' attacks, say activists

Smoke rises while Free Syrian Army fighters stand at the Karm al-Tarab neighbourhood frontline in Aleppo Photo: Reuters

Syria has been accused of using so-called indiscriminate "barrel bombs" in an attack that is thought to have left 83 people dead.

Pictures of the attack - which cannot be independently verified - appear to show huge bombs dropping and exploding on the northern city of Aleppo and a suburb of the capital Damascus.

Most of the victims killed since Friday have been civilians from the city's eastern districts, including women and children, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a broad network of sources across Syria.

The use of barrel bombs - oil drums or cylinders packed with explosives and metal fragments - has drawn international condemnation, including from Syria's opposition delegation and their Western backers at recent peace talks in Switzerland.

Harry Smith reports: