Home | News | Free Syrian Army: A make-shift catapult and a child grinning by a tank - images from the heart of civil war

Free Syrian Army: A make-shift catapult and a child grinning by a tank - images from the heart of civil war

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By Sam Webb

PUBLISHED: 12:00 EST, 14 October 2012 | UPDATED: 12:33 EST, 14 October 2012

Members of the Free Syrian Army strain as they use a primitive catapult to fire homemade explosives into an area believed to be occupied by Assad's loyalist forces.

A child clutches bread and beams as he cradles the barrel of tank's cannon in his arm, while a tense soldier perches his feet on a sofa as he scans the streets down the scope of a sniper rifle.

These incredible images were taken by photographer Rick Findler and provide a haunting insight into the internal conflict that has engulfed the Arabic country.

Determined: Free Syrian Army fighter use a jury-rigged catapult to fire homemade explosives at Assad's soldiers in the war-torn city of Aleppo.

Determined: Free Syrian Army fighter use a jury-rigged catapult to fire homemade explosives at Assad's soldiers in the war-torn city of Aleppo.

Innocence: Young boys play on a destroyed tank in the Syrian towen of Azaz. The town suffered catastrophic damage two weeks ago at the hands of President Assad's fighter jets and helicport gunships

Innocence: Young boys play on a destroyed tank in the Syrian towen of Azaz. The town suffered catastrophic damage two weeks ago at the hands of President Assad's fighter jets and helicopter gunships

Overwatch: A sniper belonging to the Free Syrian Army sits patiently in an abandoned fifth-story bedroom in Aleppo

Overwatch: A sniper belonging to the Free Syrian Army sits patiently in an abandoned fifth-story bedroom in Aleppo

The pictures come as an international human rights group said it has obtained new evidence that Syrian troops are using banned cluster bombs.

The munitions are prohibited as they pose a grave risk to civilians because they burst into bomblets over large areas and often linger on the ground, detonating only when touched.

Steve Goose of U.S.-based Human Right Watch said cluster bombs 'have been comprehensively banned by most nations, and Syria should immediately stop all use of these indiscriminate weapons that continue to kill and maim for years.'

Rage: A picture of Syrian President Bashar Assad is kicked and defaced by members of the Free Syrian Army

Rage: A picture of Syrian President Bashar Assad is kicked and defaced by members of the Free Syrian Army

Carnage: A young boy looks toward a damaged building in Azaz. The town has been bombed heavily by forces loyal to Assad

Carnage: A young boy looks toward a damaged building in Azaz. The town has been bombed heavily by forces loyal to Assad

Combat: Members of the Free Syrian Army get a lift to the front lines of the battle between FSA and soldiers in Aleppo

Combat: Members of the Free Syrian Army get a lift to the front lines of the battle between FSA and soldiers in Aleppo

HRW had previously reported cluster bomb remnants found in Homs and nearby Hama this summer.

'Syria's disregard for its civilian population is all too evident in its air campaign, which now apparently includes dropping these deadly cluster bombs into populated areas,' said Goose, who is HRW's arms director. Syrian government officials had no immediate comment.

There were also new signs of the mounting tensions between Turkey and Syria, two former allies who have become bitter foes since the outbreak of the 19-month-old rebellion against President Bashar Assad.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced that Turkey is barring Syrian civilian flights from Turkey's airspace, a day after Syria issued such a ban for Turkish commercial aircraft.

Davutoglu said Syria is 'abusing' civilian flights by using them to transport military equipment.

Last week, Turkey forced a Syrian plane coming from Russia to land and confiscated what it said was military equipment on board. Russia said the plane was carrying spare radar parts, while Syria accused Turkey of piracy.

Bolt: A sniper belonging to the Free Syrian Army changes location to avoid return fire from Assad's army

Bolt: A sniper belonging to the Free Syrian Army changes location to avoid return fire from Assad's army

Haunting: This sniper peers out of a window while walking up a stairwell in the city of Aleppo, Syria. There is a vast number of snipers in the city, creating extreme danger for anyone roaming the streets

Haunting: This sniper peers out of a window while walking up a stairwell in the city of Aleppo, Syria. There is a vast number of snipers in the city, creating extreme danger for anyone roaming the streets

Bombs: A soldier passes a comrade a bag of homemade explosives for the make-shift catapult.

Bombs: A soldier passes a comrade a bag of home-made explosives for the make-shift catapult.

After a week of exchanges of fire across the volatile border, a Turkish newspaper reported that Turkey has reinforced four naval bases along its Mediterranean coast north of Syria.

In an unattributed report, the Hurriyet daily said Turkey sent frigates with cannons, as well as anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles to the naval bases.

Turkey has been retaliating for Syrian shells and mortar rounds hitting Turkish soil.

Life goes on: Women walk past a destroyed tank lying at the side of a road in the Syrian town of Azaz. The town was destroyed by aircraft belonging to President Assad

Life goes on: Women walk past a destroyed tank lying at the side of a road in the Syrian town of Azaz. The town was destroyed by aircraft belonging to President Assad

Horror: A member of the Free Syrian Army shot dead by a sniper from Assad's army lays in an Aleppo street

Horror: A member of the Free Syrian Army shot dead by a sniper from Assad's army lays in an Aleppo street

Tension: A member of the Free Syrian Army uses a periscope to locate enemy soldiers while avoiding gunfire

Tension: A member of the Free Syrian Army uses a periscope to locate enemy soldiers while avoiding gunfire

Despite Turkey's recent measures, Syrian opposition leaders say Ankara and other foreign backers of the rebels are not doing enough to help them break the battlefield stalemate.

Abdelbaset Sieda, head of the largest opposition group, the Syrian National Council, said the international community is doing nothing more than managing the Syrian conflict.

More than 32,000 people have been killed in Syria since a revolt against Assad erupted. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the fighting between the rebels and the army, which has been using missiles, tanks and warplanes in strikes that devastated whole neighborhoods.

Earlier today, Syrian gunmen fired on a bus transporting workers to a blanket factory, killing four and wounding eight, a Syrian official said. He said the attack happened at the entrance of Homs. He gave no other details and spoke anonymously as he was not authorized to make statements to the media.

A member of the Free Syrian Army walks down a deserted road in the city of Aleppo. The city has become abandoned as fighting is forever increasing against President Assad's army

A member of the Free Syrian Army walks down a deserted road in the city of Aleppo. The city has become abandoned as fighting is forever increasing against President Assad's army

Ingenuity: FSA members show a home-made firing weapon which is controlled by a Sony Playstation controller

Ingenuity: FSA members show a home-made firing weapon which is controlled by a Sony Playstation controller

Relaxation: A dartboard hangs up among weapons and belongings where FSA members sleep inside the city of Aleppo

Relaxation: A dartboard hangs up among weapons and belongings where FSA members sleep inside the city of Aleppo

Wide-eyed: Jack, 13, from Idlib looks through the fencing of a refugee camp on the border of Turkey and Syria. Jack fled the violence in Idlib with his family four months ago and has been in this camp in the town of Killis ever since

Wide-eyed: Jack, 13, from Idlib looks through the fencing of a refugee camp on the border of Turkey and Syria. Jack fled the violence in Idlib with his family four months ago and has been in this camp in the town of Killis ever since

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