Bellingcat

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Video And Picture Evidence Of A "Scud-Type" Missile Attack In Syria

In December of 2012 NATO and US officials claimed that the Syrian military had begun using "Scud-type" weapons, which was then widely misreported as claims of just Scud missiles being used in Syria.  The officials were referring to the range of surface-to-surface missiles used by the Syrian military, which includes the notorious Scud missiles, as well as other, less well known, systems.  Since then a number of videos have been posted online claiming to show these types of missiles and rockets launched in Syria (most of which I've collected here), along with reports from across the country of these weapons being used.  However, whenever it's been possible to investigate these attacks no debris evidence has been found to prove these types of weapons were used in the attacks.

Today we finally have very strong debris evidence from one of these attacks.  Videos and photographs from the village of Belioun in Jabal Zawiyeh shows the remains of a weapon that reportedly landed outside the village.  My understanding is this village has not been the scene of fighting for many months, and only occasionally sees attack from air.  Here are the video and photographs from the village (thanks to Al'Thowra Souria for providing these images)







The 3rd photograph allows us to easily identify the weapon used.  The markings read "9Д19TC" and "9M21TC", with 9M21 referring to the rocket used by the 9K52 Luna-M/FROG-7 short-range artillery rocket system, and the 9Д19 referring to the solid propellant booster used as part of the 9M21.  It's likely the string of 3 numbers under each of those markings refer to the batch number, factory, and year of manufacture of the booster and rocket, putting the year of manufacture as 1983. The 9M21 rocket has a range of 70km and a circular error probable of 500-700m.  It can carry a 500kg high explosive warhead, as well as a chemical or nuclear warhead.

To my knowledge this is the first time we've had identifiable debris evidence of these kinds of large rockets being used on civilian populations, and that's not the only video seen today showing possible evidence of these rockets.  This video was also posted showing as yet unidentified remains of another weapon used in Syria




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

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