Monday 3 December 2012

Sky News Arabic Misidentifies Weapons As SA-24 MANPADS

A number of people have sent me this video from Sky News Arabic, showing what they claim to be "AS-24 MANPADS", by which I assume they mean SA-24 MANPADS (Man-portable air-defense systems) , describing them as "heat seeking missiles"

Now as followers of my blog will know I'm very interested in videos that show MANPADS, especially SA-24s, the most advanced system used by the Syrian army.  The problem with this video is what they are showing is definitely not a SA-24.  To begin with here's a reference picture of a complete SA-24, plus it's missiles

From the "missiles" shown on the video we can see they don't belong to an SA-24, and weapon itself seems far too thick.  As I highlighted in this post about SA-7s in the hands of the opposition, SA series missile tubes tend to come in pairs in a very particular kind of crate, and the single weapon shown is in the wrong kind of crate.

So what is it?  The projectiles appear to be the same type used by the SPG-9 recoilless gun, and this image gives a fairly clear view of the weapon

In this picture from the Sky News Arabic video we get a show of the weapon from the top and rear end of the barrel

And a close up

This appears to show the black strap and what I believe is the sight of the SPG-9, and in my mind clearly shows this is not an SA-24 as claimed.  SPG-9s are now a fairly common sight in the conflict, in particular in and around Aleppo, so this sighting really isn't very exciting, and an SPG-9 is certainly no threat whatsoever to any aircraft.

It's very important when reporting on weapon sightings in Syria to be sure of what you are actually seeing.  The opposition often misidentifies weapons, be it accidentally through ignorance, or a purposeful attempt to deceive, and we've often seen L-39s described as MiGs, or a whole variety of small arms described as AK-47s.  While this might not seem like a big issue it does confuse matters, and when the opposition gets their hands on a working SA-24 that's very significant, so it pays to be 100% sure.

Related Articles
Evidence Of New Incendiary Bombs Used In Syria
First Evidence Of Incendiary Submuntion Cluster Bombs Used In Syria  
Clear Evidence Of DIY Barrel Bombs Being Used By The Syrian Air Force
Heavy Weapons And Surface To Air Missiles Captured From The 46th Regiment Base
Video Shows Captured SA-16 And SA-24 Surface To Air Missiles
Unexploded Cluster Bomblets Repurposed As DIY Rocket Warheads

You can contact the author on Twitter @brown_moses or by email at

1 comment:

  1. Reports coming from Syria is not made by professionals
    the people who are uploading these videos on youtube are normal people who has a mobile with a camera or a professional Camera in special cases!!
    So it is very normal for those people to confuse between MIG and L-39