Bellingcat

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

The Syrian Franken-bomb!

I'm often sent videos and pictures with requests to identify the weapons shown, and one I've been seeing a lot of in the last 24 hours is this video from Qalaat al Mudeeq, near Hama


This screenshot gives you a full view of the weapon


The men in the video seem a bit confused about what dropped this, one claiming a MiG, the other a helicopter, but it's likely they are both right, as what we're seeing here is the remains of two totally different bombs.

The bottom half clearly belongs to a RBK series cluster bomb, used widely in that region, an example of which can be see here.  Note the number of tail fins which extend beyond the metal ring at the end of the bomb


The top of the bomb is a less commonly seen weapon an ODAB, which I've written about before here.  There's not many examples of the ODAB where the nose cone is with the rest of the bomb, this being one of them, but if you compare the following two pictures of ODAB variants to the nose cone in the Franken-bomb video you get an idea of what they look like

Source

Source
Here's a close up for comparison


So what are we seeing?  Some DIY hybrid dropped by the Syrian Air Force?  That seems unlikely, as while this bomb has a nose cone and tail it's missing the all important payload, which makes it only really effective if it lands on top of someone and crushes them to death.  What's more likely is the men in the video have mis-identified two pieces from different bombs as belonging to the same weapon, and inadvertently created the Franken-bomb we see above.

Related Articles
NPR Interview - Variety Of Weapons Increases In Syrian Conflict - Additional Information 
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. Check this vid out. It's a video of an FSA artillery crew using a captured M-46. What's interesting is that the gun is clearly not fully functional, probably being disabled by retreating regime troops before it was captured. To compensate for this, the rebels fire the gun by apparently lighting a fuse that protrudes from the breach of the gun - 17th century style. See for yourself:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpPClsyPupQ&feature=player_embedded

    ReplyDelete