Thursday 13 June 2013

A Mystery Munition - Syrian Army DIY Rockets?

Occasionally I've come across items that appears to be some sort of unexploded ordnance (UXO) that I've been unable to identify at the time.  Sometimes it's because they are damaged beyond recognition, or they are badly filmed, or they are just weird.  In the weird category was this video from Daraya, south-west Damascus, filmed on January 4th 2013

It shows what is supposedly some type of rocket or missile embedded in the ground, supposedly fired by Syrian government forces.  What's odd is it doesn't appear to match any design of rocket or missile I could find, and seemed as if it could be a DIY weapon.  It certainly didn't match any of the DIY rockets I'd seen used by the opposition, and I even suspected it could have been some random piece of junk.

Six months later and we now have this video from Adra, north-east of Damascus, of what's claimed to be a "chemical" missile

This appears to be the same design as the missile in the January video, and I'll just explain how I came to that conclusion.  It's really all about the tail fin, shown below

January Video
June Video
The one thing that stands out is the tail ring is missing a section in the June video, but I suspect this might be due to damage.  You'll note the tail fins are welded to the body of the rocket/missile in the same way, and have been cut in an usually right-angled fashion.  In the below picture I've taken the tail fin from each video and lined them up against each other, to check the proportion of the tail fin to the tail ring

It should be noted the below half is angled towards the camera, so while it looks like it's slightly longer you'll note the base of the tail fin is the same distance apart.  I've marked the below version of the picture to make it clearer

So it appears they share identical dimensions.  This isn't the only similarity, the rocket motor also appears to be identical in both videos

January video
June video
You'll also note in the above pictures that in the position of the bolt or screw between the tail fins in the January video there's a hole in the June video, possibly that once held the same sort of bolt or screw.

So it seems clear these are the same design, but the questions remains what exactly they are?  It doesn't appear to match any design of rocket or missile I can find, which would imply it's possibly a DIY rocket, or something locally produced that hasn't been seen before.  I'd even consider it's the same rocket in both video they've filmed twice after doing some additional damage, but so far it remains a mystery munition.

Related Articles
More Details Of Air-To-Air Missiles Used As Surface-To-Surface Missiles
Video Footage Of Air-To-Air Missiles Being Used As Surface-To-Surface Missiles In Syria
DIY Weapons In Syria - The Mobile Mortar Battery
DIY Weapons In Syria - The DIY Grenade Launcher
DIY Weapons In Syria - The Hell Cannon
Unexploded Cluster Bomblets Repurposed As DIY Rocket Warheads
Unexploded Cluster Bomblets Repurposed As DIY Mortar Bombs
Unexploded Bombs Used In A Truck Bomb By Jabhat al-Nusra

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


  1. Maybe an old WWII design? - assuming it's not home made or locally manufactured by the SAA.

  2. And speaking of DIY weapons, looks like the rebels have refined their propane-tank-mortar.

  3. I managed to get two still pictures from Daraya of similar rocket. These pictures were taken during the first week of January, 2013. How to send them to you?

  4. Thanks, you can email them to