Bellingcat

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Evidence Of The Syrian Army Using Munitions Linked To The August 21st Sarin Attack

Since the UN report into the August 21st sarin attack confirmed the use of a previously unknown munition in the attack, which I had previously named the UMLACA (more details here), there's been a lot of debate about whether or not the Syrian army has such a munition.  There's been multiple videos of the munitions posted online by the Syrian opposition, and they've been consistently described as being fired by Syrian government forces.  From those videos, I've been able to identify at least two types of these munitions, one type linked to the August 21st sarin attack and past alleged chemical attacks, and a second, high explosive, type.

The following video from Daraya, Damascus, published on Decemeber 29th 2012, was highlighted by @hesbol on a blog post attempting to discern the range of the UMLACA.  It shows what seems to be a high explosive version of the UMLACA being launched and detonating


As the camera tracks the flight of the UMLACA it's very distinct outline can be clearly seen


In the video it's claimed that the munitions are fired from Mezzeh airbase, and it's actually possible to confirm they are coming from the direction of Mezzeh airbase.  At the start of the video we see the launch, and the outline of the hills behind it.


Using Google Earth we can position the virtual camera facing north from Daraya, looking towards Mezzeh airbase, and it's clear the topography matches what we see in the video


The structure at the top of the hill is the HQ of Maher al-Assad's 4th division, which can be seen here on Wikimapia.  A report from the Institute for the Study of War examining the situation in Damascus in December 2012, shows that the area north of Daraya, including Mezzeh airbase, and the 4th division terrain to the north, were under the control of the Syrian army, and it seems, from what we can see in the above video, that the UMLACA was fired by Syrian government forces.  This not only shows the Syrian army have been using the munitions, but they've been using them since December 2012.

More posted on the subject of the August 21st attacks can be found here, and other posts on chemical weapons and Syria, including extremely informative interviews with chemical weapon specialists, can be found here.

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

5 comments:

  1. Nothing beats top notch "cannibals say..." reportage.

    You're serving a handy-dandy function to the heart-eating alCIAda and their fellow travelers like Agent Claiborne and Agent Proyect, "Brown Moses". Keep it up and maybe you'll get your bombing campaign after all.

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    1. Hah, you clearly have no idea what you are talking about. This is obviously a plot by the Lizard-People-Illuminati-Bildeberg-Group.

      alCIAda? What are you? A noob? The rabbit hole runs so much deeper, Alice!

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  2. Shawn, your stuff isn't even worthy of a reply. This is charity. Why don't you just give it a rest?

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  3. I don't think many people commenting here regularly actually advocate a bombing campaign or other intrusive military intervention, especially not by the West. What everybody is trying to do, is establish the truth and blow away some of the smokescreen of lies and misunderstanding which are being used to protect vested interests, including those of Russia, as well as the directly guilty men.

    Given the sheer volume of munitions, conventional and otherwise, which this blog has produced evidence of in Syria, an international blockade might be more appropriate, and ultimately more effective, than a bombing campaign. But that would interfere with the plans of certain parties just as much, so would be vetoed in the UN by the Kremlin.*

    The advantage of a blockade, as done with regard to Serbia as well as Cuba, is that it produces EVIDENCE as well as pressure. For example, if Russia regards it as outrageous that a particular ship should be challenged on its way to Tartrus, you know you're getting warm.

    Small arms will come across the Iraqi and Lebanese borders, but the sort of big stuff concerning us here probably cannot.

    *Funny thing: Russia has the same sort of "more equal than others" vote in the UN that Germany seems to enjoy in the EU. Almost as if we are seeing the emergence of ruler countries in international bodies, to replace ruling families within countries and principalities as in the 18th century. In the long run, this may prove to be the diplomatic equivalent of nerve gas.

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  4. Disconcerting as it must be for those who spend their days and weeks propagandizing for the "moderate" cannibals in Syria, the types of measures you support above, Medawar, including a number of flagrant violations of international law that would induce a world war. Moreover, anyone with a basic understanding of geopolitics realizes that a nation bordering Lebanon (ally), Iran (ally) and Iraq (ally, in spite of all the alCIAda head-choppers) cannot be blockaded.

    What you describe, in other words, is not a blockade at all but rather an aggressive military act, piracy on the high seas, against Russia. Both In bravado and the density of disinformation, your venom here for Russia obviously stands out. Apart from being factually incorrect--each Russian veto has been accompanied by a Chinese one--the statement demonstrates a profound ignorance of modern history.

    2 questions:

    1. Who has used the veto most often in the UN security council?
    2. In defense of which colonial settler state, called into existence by White Europeans in an act of diplomatic aggression, did most of these vetos arise?

    Finally, far more troubling than any arms entering Syria are the thousands and thousands of hired killers, church bombers, and liver-eaters shipped in from Chechnya and Libya. Perhaps you should redirect your ire to the three parties at the UN who continue to supply and train the alCIAda killers terrorizing Syria, and not the TWO parties standing before that 'august' body in defense of international law.

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