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Watch Syrian Rebels Make Rockets Out of Assad’s Cluster Bombs
Spencer Ackerman, Wired, Dec 6 2012
Syrian rebels harvest unexploded cluster bombs for parts they can use in homemade rockets. In the video above, shot by the al-Farouq Battalions, the fuses from cluster bombs get recycled in makeshift weapons foundries for use inside short-range rockets. The Syrian rebels are now manufacturing their own rockets, much as they have other weaponry, even though Gulf Arab states keep weapons pipelines flowing. The unexploded cluster bomb here looks to be a Russian AO-1 SCH. A rebel digs up the bomb and disarms it by unscrewing the fuse. Back at the foundry, the rebels remove the tail fin from the cluster bomb, leaving the main charge, and then attach a homemade rocket motor. The rebel in the shot replaces the fuse and the rocket is good to go. The adapter plate fits neatly between the warhead and the rocket motor and seems to be well made. The quality of the rockets suggests the Syrian rebels know what they’re doing. Assad probably isn’t done firing cluster bombs on Syrian cities that the rebels have captured. But he may have something even more deadly in store…
Etc etc, bla bla bla. If you’re into the homemade geek menace as retailed by Mr Attackerman, the trendy Zionist from Wired, you may enjoy this too:
Iraqi Insurgents Once Mounted Rockets on Their Heads
Spencer Ackerman, Wired, Dec 7 2012
Iraq’s insurgents made all sorts of homemade weapons in their seven-year tangle with the US military. Some enterprising militants home-brewed their own rocket launchers. And some even mounted them on their heads. That’s what Matt Schroeder learned from a recent Freedom of Information Act request he filed. A weapons researcher with the Federation of American Scientists, Schroeder was at work on a joint project into illicit weaponry with the Small Arms Survey when he heard rumors of Iraqi insurgents putting together rocket launchers using spare parts. The last thing he expected to see was a Russian air-to-ground rocket getting fired off someone’s head using tape and a plexiglass visor, Schroeder says. The previously unseen photo Schroeder received from the Army in January isn’t dated, but Schroeder believes it’s from around 2009 or maybe a little earlier. It came from a report on a captured weapons cache that showed Iraqi insurgents using the Russian S-5k 57mmm rocket, usually fired from an aircraft rocket pod. The Iraqis attempted to turn it into a shoulder-fired rocket, probably after looting it from the stockpiles of the Saddam-era army. Improvised rocket launchers had already showed up in Chechen rebel attacks on Russian forces. But those showed a welded design with good durability, according to the Army report Schroeder acquired. The Iraqi designs weren’t as sophisticated. They would often be one to four metal barrels, about as long as an M4 rifle, strapped together with a metal band or a weld, powered by a 9-volt battery, and mounted on a couple of pieces of spare plywood that provided a grip. One unique design shows a makeshift shoulder harness that mounted four rocket barrels above the artilleryman’s head and protected his face with a piece of plexiglass. Schroeder said:
We heard a lot about improvised rocket launchers, but we didn’t hear about this. Maybe that’s because it didn’t have a tactical impact. Insurgents will work with what they have, and often get quite creative.
Insurgents also shot off rockets from tubes welded to the underside of a wheelbarrow. Iraq wasn’t the last place improvised rocket launchers have showed up. Insurgents in Libya last year welded together their own using scrap metal, a bit of wood and a few wires, as C J Chivers reported for the NYT, again for 57mm rockets. The video above shows Syrian rebels doing much the same thing. Here’s another video showing them using a three-barrel variation.