With global attention focused on the fight against jihadists, Syria’s regime has in recent weeks stepped up its use of deadly barrel bomb strikes, killing civilians and wreaking devastation.

In less than a fortnight, warplanes have dropped at least 401 barrel bombs on rebel areas in eight provinces, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group.

Activist Yassin Abu Raed, from the town of Anadan in northern Aleppo province, has seen his house hit three times in barrel bomb attacks. […]