The Syrian government has escalated its use of “barrel bombs” against densely populated neighborhoods near Aleppo in defiance of a U.N. Security Council resolution banning the indiscriminate and deadly explosives, Human Rights Watch reported Wednesday.

The report also appealed to Russia and China to cease blocking U.N. efforts to impose an arms embargo on the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad and to prohibit foreign servicing of the Damascus regime’s weaponry and warplanes.

In the five months since the Security Council ordered all parties in the 3-year-old Syrian civil war to stop using barrel bombs and other weapons designed to cause widespread human casualties, at least 650 new damage sites have been documented near embattled Aleppo that are consistent with barrel bomb explosions, the New York-based rights group reported. […]