Bellingcat

Saturday, 27 October 2012

NPR Interview - Variety Of Weapons Increases In Syrian Conflict - Additional Information

This morning NPR broadcast an interview I took part in discussing the weapons being used in Syria, and in this post I hope to expand on some of the points discussed.

At the start of the interview I explain how tanks are being sent in with poor infantry support, making them vulnerable to RPG attacks, something that is demonstrated perfectly in this video film in the Hanano area of Aleppo in July


In this video we see the opposition fighters spotting a tank parked not too far from the corner they are hiding behind, followed by them waiting 5 minutes for another fighter with an RPG to show up, all the time seemingly unconcerned about being attacked by infantry.

After that we discuss weapons that have recently been spotted with the opposition, in particular multi-barreled rocket launchers, specifically Type-63's, which I wrote about at more length here.  I should point out when I said they had a range of 8 milies I actually meant 8 kilometers.  This example shows a slightly unusual example of a Type-63 that hasn't been mounted on a truck


As I say in the interview there's ample examples of weapons and ammunition being looted in great quantities, for example in this video we see Type-63 rocket launchers at a checkpoint recently captured by the opposition, and later boxes of ammunition being looted. In this following video we see another example of a huge amount of weapons and ammunition captured in an attack by opposition forces, including ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns and a partial SA-7 surface to air missile system


You can read more about the weapons used by the opposition in my article for Foreign Policy, Syria's DIY Revolt, and more about SA-7s in CJ Chivers article Heat-Seeking Missiles in Syria: The SA-7 in Action with Rebels.

I also discussed the use of giant slingshots to launch pipebombs, and this video shows an unexploded bomb being harvested for explosives used in these pipebombs


And this videos demonstrates that giant slingshots aren't always the safest weapon in the opposition arsenal


This post details some of the other DIY weapons used by the opposition.

Finally we went over the escalation in the air war, a topic recently examined by the Institute for the Study of War in their recent overview of the Syrian Air Force.  I examine the different weapons being used in Syria in a piece written shortly before the upsurge in cluster bomb use, The Weapons Of The Syrian Air Force, and look at the use of cluster bombs in Cluster Bomb Usage Rises Significantly Across Syria.

Related Articles
Cluster Bomb Usage Rises Significantly Across Syria
Collected ODAB Thermobaric Bomb Evidence
A Beginner's Guide To Identifying UXO In Syria
The Mystery Of The Syrian Barrel Bombs
New Bomb Identified In Syria
The Weapons Of The Syrian Air Force 

You can contact the author on Twitter @brown_moses or by email at brownmoses@gmail.com

1 comment:

  1. In the first video, those are T-72s. What's also interesting is that the tank @ 0:40 appears to have some sort of stand-off armor on the side. The first RPG shot @ 5:02 likely just damages or destroys this armor, and does not damage the tank itself. @ 5:36 an engine can be heard, almost certainly a tank's, likely the second tank moving up as a result of the first RPG shot. The second tanks is shown with the first @ 6:17. What's more, the first tank does not appear at the end of the video, means that it was able to successfully retreat, possibly because of its additional armor. The area that would most likely be hit by one of the RPGs in the video was the area with the additional armor. Based on the locations of the tanks, the apparently disabled tank @ 7:43 is the 2nd tank, not the first.

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