Bellingcat

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Collected Media And Links Of Munitions Linked To Alleged Chemical Attacks In Syria

Over the past weeks I've been collecting videos and images of munitions used in the alleged chemical attacks in Damascus on August 21st.  To encourage discussion and investigation of the material found so far I'm posting all the links to various galleries and playlists I've created, useful links, as well as some of the interesting images that need some further investigation.

Here are my blog posts on the subject of the August 21st attack, in date order.

A Mystery Munition - Syrian Army DIY Rockets?
DIY Weapon Linked To Alleged Chemical Weapon Attack in Adra, Damascus
Are These The Munitions Used In Today's Alleged Chemical Weapon Attack?
More Videos Emerge Of Chemical Attack Linked Mystery Munitions
Were The UN Inspectors Examining A Chemical Weapon In Medmah Al Sham?
Video Shows Assad's Forces Loading, Firing, Munition Linked To Chemical Attacks
Video Showing The High Explosive Variant Of The Chemical Attack Linked Munition
Photographs Showing Measurements Of The Munition Linked To Alleged Chemical Attacks
A Detailed Summary Of The Evidence On Munitions Linked To The August 21st Attacks
UN Inspectors Examine The Unidentified Munitions Linked To Alleged Chemical Attacks (UMLACAs)
The Mystery Component Of The UMLACA
Why The UN Report On Chemical Weapons In Syria Isn't Just About August 21st
Who Was Responsible For The August 21st Attack?
An Examination Of Videos Claiming Liwa Al-Islam Were Responsible For the August 21st Sarin Attack
Evidence Of The Syrian Army Using Munitions Linked To The August 21st Sarin Attack
Launchers For Munitions Linked To The August 21st Sarin Attack Filmed At Mezzeh Airbase
A Chemical Weapons Expert Responds To The Article "Questions Plague UN Report on Syria"
Things That Are Not True - Only Rebels Use Weapons Mounted On Trucks With Non-Military Colours
Kurdish Sources Deny Any Knowledge Of Videos Showing Liwa al-Islam Launching The August 21st Sarin Attack
Making Sense Of Russia's Evolving Narrative For The August 21st Sarin Attacks
Syrian National Defence Force Video Shows Them Using The Munition Type Linked To The August 21st Sarin Attack
Industrial And Economic Aspects Of Sarin : Why Poor Quality Is Not An Indicator Of Non-state Manufacture
The Syrian National Defence Force Provides More Evidence Linking The Government To The August 21st Sarin Attacks
Is The Syrian Military Using Another Type Of Chemical Weapon?
Volcanoes In Damascus - Was Hezbollah Involved With Developing Chemical Munitions?
New Key Evidence In Understanding The August 21st Sarin Attack
Syria CW Stockpile on the Move – Russian Help?
Sy Hersh's Chemical Misfire

Arms expert Nic Jenzen-Jones has also written to detailed and excellent posts on the subject
Preliminary analysis of alleged CW munitions used in Syria
Alleged CW munitions in Syria fired from Iranian Falaq-2 type launchers

My other posts on chemical weapons in Syria can be found here.

The August 21st Damascus attack Youtube playlist - Videos from the attack, including graphic images of victims.
UN Investigation in Damascus August 26th-27th Youtube playlist - I believe the 27th videos might be mislabeled, and actually took place on the 26th.
UN Investigation in Damascus August 28th Youtube playlist
UN Investigation in Damascus August 29th Youtube playlist
UN Investigation in Damascus undated Youtube playlist

M14 140mm artillery rocket Youtube playlist - Videos showing the M14 140mm artillery rocket, including videos of it being inspected by the UN.
Syrian Government Chemical Attack Linked Rocket Youtube playlist - All videos of the munition linked to alleged chemical attacks.  It's suspected that their might be two sizes of these rockets, and at least two payload types.
Photographs of the rockets used in the attack on August 21st
ITV's photographs of the rockets used in the attack on August 21st
Close up images of the rockets used in the August 21st attack

Here's a list of videos showing rockets, grouped by date, then individual rockets

January 4th Daraya
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68YeijuMHec

June 11th Adra
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HylX8OiczHk

August 2nd Khalidiya, Homs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThtLIc0iEzc

August 5th Adra
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YLcqi_dE9SU

August 5th Adra
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0lzUvozF1c

August 5th Adra
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tzhhhv3uHio

August 21st Eastern Ghouta
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kllhsgFrgN0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pc6xL-N6f5M
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2uBpDxAoJA

August 21st Eastern Ghouta
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16qFgAfM5jg

August 21st Zamalka
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FilC4CIvWk

September 3rd Homs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SticZDmbaO8


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

23 comments:

  1. I made some rare calculation, and edited a very simple image about the rocket. You can check it here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/109527735/concept.jpg

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    1. Thank you very much, I've been really hoping that we could get a nice plan-view or schematic of the weapon and this looks like a good start. If there is anyone with the skills to make a more detailed version of such a drawing it would be appreciated. I was hoping for something along the lines of what Ugo Crisponi from AviationGraphic.com did for The Aviationist regarding the Stealth Black Hawk. (See here: http://theaviationist.com/2011/05/05/stealth-black-hawk-down-revised-sketch)

      Also, you might want to move the "42-44cm" to the right a bit, the dash is kind of hidden/confusing as it stands.

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    2. I'm working on getting precise measurements from the guy who sent me the photo of it with the Pepsi bottle. I've asked him to photograph the tape alongside the object, so it'll be the best possible evidence of it's size.

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    3. I made a better quality picture after you uploaded the measured images. Here you can check it: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/109527735/draw_rocket_saa_2.png

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    4. Excellent work! I thought it was odd that your first version had a conical nose instead of being completely flat. It's also apparent the dimensions are much more accurate in the second version.

      May I suggest including the 3-digit number and where it lies on the shaft of the rocket. I'm also curious why the switch to a black background.

      I can sit here and nitpick all day, but in the end you're the one doing the actual work - thank you.

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    5. I took mlacix's drawing, inverted the colors and attempted to make it resemble the munition as best I could. I hope you don't mind. (Link: http://postimg.org/image/gdoeh8to1/)

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    6. Thanks for the feedbacks. I will update the image, and will add some other feature on it at Sunday. Will post them here.

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    7. Ok, here are two updated image, one with black, and another with white background:
      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/109527735/saa_rocket_011_fin.png

      https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/109527735/saa_rocket_013_fin.png

      The reason why my images looks like this is simple, because i working on a CAD application, and these images are just screenshots from there. So basically it's an engineering draw, and every line is calculated after the images. Will update them in the next few days, adding some text, and soon we can start to make our own ones. :)

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    8. Wow, excellent work - much better than I did with an hour or two and GIMP.

      The only thing I still don't understand is why you depict the munition with a cone shape on the front instead of just being flat. I might have missed something, but I never saw any evidence of such a shape. I have to admit, the front is the most difficult part of the rocket's design to confirm because it is the most often missing or deformed section due to the fact that it is the first surface to strike the ground.

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    9. The cone coming from here: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hBjTMowJ_Mo/Uh5I-OterSI/AAAAAAAAFJw/kMVwEXbisr4/s1600/4.jpg

      I think it's empty because of this immage: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eLpEQWzK96k/UiCiQPvP90I/AAAAAAAAFP0/J0SQZenUArg/s1600/542194_571524046242023_1795514330_n.jpg

      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-TwdPznsDpmA/UiCRcFDDyQI/AAAAAAAAFNw/wnrtsEk86c8/s1600/3.jpg

      As it looks, the bottom of the cone, where it's connecting to the warhead is a strong solid plate, without holes for indicators or wires. My images are still not totally correct, because as i noticed, the HE warhed's center cylindert is much smaller then the FAE's cylinder. Also the indicator mechanism could be different in HE and FAE variants. We need to figure out somehow all the differents.

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  2. This tube is indeed a mystery. It is probably related to the dispersal mechanism or to the detonation mechanism of the FAE.

    As a detonator, it could be that the wires are connected to the mechanical clock we have seen in other videos, or to an impact sensor, and to a battery. Once the fuel has been dispersed as a cloud, and after the prescribed delay, a small charge goes off in the tube and the flames emit from the five (or more) holes with tremendous pressure in a streak, that ignites the cloud in many directions. The holes are not drilled but etched as a ring, so there is no leakage of the fuel into this tube which is open to outside. The small charge blasts open these holes.

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  3. All you need to know and more...
    http://www.google.com/patents/US4273048

    The last picture is part #72
    Second to last appears to be what remains of section #64

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    1. I think you nailed it.

      http://www.military-today.com/engineering/slufae.htm details the experimental system that fired the rocket and has a picture where you can clearly see one being fired. Shape is the same. There's a band on the warhead, although it seems to be green rocket with white band. Dimensions roughly match what's been seen in Syria.

      http://bit.ly/15EMl4O seems to be a cancelled US military specification for the propellant for the HE version of the rocket.

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    2. The significant difference is the burster charge is axial and central. It would be destroyed when operated.

      The Syrian units have an intact central column so that could not have been the burster charge.

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  4. A possible diagram of the construction of the barrel rocket:

    https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1UoLwyBjx812yR3S7r9BmTNpBCysJdGm8lqyr8wy2JDo

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    1. Very good diagram. Couple notes; The warhead burster is in the center void (fuze compartment)in front of the rocket motor. I am 99 percent sure, also that's pretty much the location of bursters on all ordnance. The diagrams "fuze compartment" would be where the fuze and its integral detonator/booster would be mated (in contact with) the warhead burster. I also think that there is only one weld point on the warhead skin and that weld would be on the outside.

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  5. Jody - pls. see version 2:

    https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1lqckAYQXr6ZLYI8w0XARh4wz7t9DQ0boNIiiTT3Ir7k/edit?usp=sharing

    Regarding the weld points - I understand that each of the front and back barrel plates are made of two layers of 5mm malleable metal welded together - hence the double weld point.

    If it were not two layers and only a single layer with a machined lip, then how can you build the back end plate with two returns - one making the back of the barrel and the other return that goes over the light green solid ring and is bolted.

    Same with front end of barrel which has a return mating with the solid dark blue front plate and a lip that fits the groove of the light blue plate, and then also become the central tube.

    How would you construct the two ends?

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    1. It is still my opinion that the base plate assembly and nose plate assembly are one piece. Other components are welded and/or bolted to these assemblies. I may be wrong on these components and if I am my hats off to you.
      Additional stuff; On the nose assembly there are two bolt patterns of 6 bolt holes each; an inner pattern and an outer pattern for a total of 12 holes. There is also 1 additional hole. These two 6 hole patterns are probably for attaching a nose cone/nose fairing and connecting the burster tube assembly to the nose plate assembly (could very well be wrong about this to). The stand alone 13th hole may be the forward access point for the warhead internal plumbing.

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  6. Do you recognize these artillery rockets fired by rebels in Jobar in June from right next to the Teachers' Tower?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxoGe5IcI-0

    Ten rockets are fired in parallel from portable, Qassam style open rail launchers.

    The rocket is either the 140 mm Soviet BM-14
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BM-14

    ...or the 107 mm Chinese Type 63
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_63_multiple_rocket_launcher

    Normally the rocket would be launched from short tubes in a multiple rocket launcher, but in Afghanistan insurgent have launched it from mud ramps.
    http://motherboard.vice.com/blog/107

    There are three versions of the video on YouTube with same English language title. They have been viewed a total of some 200 times.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJvuml4SltE
    The original may have been posted reposted by Yalla Souriya, but is now deleted.
    http://yallasouriya.wordpress.com/2013/07/05/syriadayofrage-07-04-13-damascus-rebel-katyusha-rockets-target/

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    1. The rockets are home-made sugar and saltpetre rockets - probably more dangerous to the firers and immediate down-range than the target.

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  7. The Washington Post has their own version of the rocket design from other sources. It has a number of differences.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/what-chemical-weapons-does-syria-have/2013/09/14/b81bab16-1d9f-11e3-82ef-a059e54c49d0_graphic.html

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  8. Two words you need to consider unless you don't mind being a stooge..
    False, flag

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  9. We added a link to this article here - http://www.politisite.com/2013/09/21/ap-reporter-says-mint-press-syria-article-was-fictitious/

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