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Barrel Bomb
February 3, 2014 5:00 PM   Subscribe

Assad Barrels, graphic film about the past few weeks barrel bombing in Daraya.
posted by stbalbach (28 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Daraya was an early hotspot for anti-regime protests and subsequent regime oppression. It has been hotly contested with control falling back and forth between regime and anti-regime forces.
posted by stbalbach at 5:02 PM on February 3


Assad’s barrel bombs kill 85 in Aleppo
posted by jeffburdges at 5:33 PM on February 3


This has to be one of the more depressing lists on Wikipedia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_heritage_sites_damaged_during_the_Syrian_Civil_War
posted by cell divide at 5:39 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


I wonder why no one was using a SAM or heavy weapons to fight off the helicopters... Although I suppose these were civilian areas...
posted by KokuRyu at 5:46 PM on February 3


I wonder why no one was using a SAM or heavy weapons to fight off the helicopters... Although I suppose these were civilian areas...

One of the links explains that they fly the helicopters above 7000 ft to avoid shoulder launched weapons.
posted by planetesimal at 5:51 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


That goes from "woah, shit" to "holy fucking fuuuuck" real quick.

Viewer discretion indeed :(
posted by slater at 6:06 PM on February 3


The Syrians couldn't deploy a rain barrel. You can bet this is all Russian...
posted by jim in austin at 6:08 PM on February 3


> You can bet this is all Russian...

If you read the third link it explains that they're already dropping tons of Russian-made bombs. They had to tinker with the fuses on the barrels to get them to explode at the right altitude. It's all pretty DIY and amateurish, and I doubt the Russians are helping them specifically with barrel dropping logistics.
posted by planetesimal at 6:10 PM on February 3


It's actually pretty good evidence that the Russians haven't been helping the Syrian government, at least as much as the Assad regime would like. If they could buy all the Russian bombs they wanted there'd be no need to improvise with barrels and auxiliary fuel tanks.
posted by Kevin Street at 6:21 PM on February 3


horrific stuff. Humans... we really suck...
posted by greenhornet at 6:23 PM on February 3


Humans... we really suck...

Trust me, the people dropping those bombs suck a lot more than I do as a human.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:27 PM on February 3


There's not a lot of heavy ordinance designed to be pushed out the back of helicopters. It's only feasible because the opposition lacks the weapons to stop it. But it's Russian helicopters with Russian trained crews dropping probably Russian designed ordinance using Russian explosives and Russian detonators. Yeah, it's a Syrian thing...
posted by jim in austin at 6:33 PM on February 3



It's actually pretty good evidence that the Russians haven't been helping the Syrian government, at least as much as the Assad regime would like. If they could buy all the Russian bombs they wanted there'd be no need to improvise with barrels and auxiliary fuel tanks.


It's a logistical issue. You can fly armaments from Iran over Iraq, or from Russia over Turkey, but both countries are less than keen on this and liable to intercept any plane they suspect is carrying armaments. Or you can deliver it smuggled in standard shipping containers and hope the Turks don't catch on right when your ship is coasting past downtown Istanbul.
posted by ocschwar at 6:35 PM on February 3


Yeah, it's a Syrian thing...


Nazis versus Islamists with innocents stuck in the middle.
posted by ocschwar at 6:36 PM on February 3


Sickening. Does anyone know if these barrel bombs are what's causing the majority of the damage you see in pictures and videos where entire city blocks of buildings are missing their facades?
posted by jessssse at 6:44 PM on February 3


The use of chemical weapons crossed some imaginary line in the sand but this shit is apparently okay, judging by the lack of outcry on this side of the planet. Functionally, there seems little difference in terms of the terror, death and suffering achieved although the gas probably caused less property damage.
The voice caption in the video "God is the greatest" when the barrels explode was likely just an unfortunately translated OMFG but it was saddening nonetheless.
We're animals with bombs and gods.
posted by islander at 7:50 PM on February 3


> One of the links explains that they fly the helicopters above 7000 ft to avoid shoulder launched weapons.

The helo at the beginning third of that film wasn't over 7000 feet up. It's a big bird, but not that big.
posted by kjs3 at 7:55 PM on February 3


> The helo at the beginning third of that film wasn't over 7000 feet up

Unless that first scene was in slow-motion, the ballistic flight time for the barrels was about 30 seconds, which seems consistent with an altitude of 7000 feet or so.
posted by Dimpy at 8:23 PM on February 3


Trust me, the people dropping those bombs suck a lot more than I do as a human.


Not that it matters, you can't know who you'd be if your entire was life different from day one.
posted by codswallop at 8:33 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]


Wow okay yeah he just was holding a dude's spine. That's pretty graphic. Yikes.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:43 PM on February 3


Humanity: FAIL! That scenes like this continue to happen in Syria and elsewhere at the hands of nutcase despots who leverage their connections to the "strategic interests" of one weapon-supplying nation against the "strategic interests" of other weapon-supplying nation - and that those weapon-supplying nations participate in this slaughter by fiat, by supplying said weapons - is beyond the power of negative adjectives to describe.

Who wins? Weapons manufacturers; middlemen; the despots; the cowardly leaders of nations whose pride (disguised as "strategic interests") keeps them from taking a higher road to stop this senseless slaughter. What the hell is the matter with us?
posted by Vibrissae at 11:23 PM on February 3


That's not a knife. This is a knife
posted by vicx at 12:11 AM on February 4


The voice caption in the video "God is the greatest" when the barrels explode was likely just an unfortunately translated OMFG but it was saddening nonetheless.

It's a literally correct translation but shorn of its cultural context shouting "Allahu Akhbar" might not make much sense.
posted by atrazine at 5:17 AM on February 4


But but but the rebels are terrorists!

It's a literally correct translation but shorn of its cultural context shouting "Allahu Akhbar" might not make much sense.

Think of it as somebody yelling "sweet Jesus!"
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:23 AM on February 4


That's not a knife. This is a knife

The difference is that was a precision strike as opposed to just dropping explosive randomly over a civillian area. Also, it stopped. We didn't do that for months and months on end.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 5:27 AM on February 4


Yeah, the bombing of Baghdad was very precisely planned in advance. It's an example of just how much real-time intelligence you need to target ordinance properly - like the location of every power plant, bridge and enemy barracks. Almost the exact opposite of kicking barrels out the back of a helicopter. And even then the bombing didn't capture Baghdad, it just crippled the city.

You can't win a war with bombing, unless we're talking about Dresden or Hiroshima level obliteration. You can "teach the enemy a lesson" by crippling their capacity to fight back, but even then you're killing civilians and giving the survivors new reasons to hate you. EG: drone strikes in Pakistan.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:18 PM on February 4


I still believe that shutting down Assad's air force with $200 million in cruise missiles is the morally correct thing to do. Not to the degree it was three years ago, but still one of the very few positive military interventions the United States could perform.
posted by Ryvar at 8:05 AM on February 5


Isn't Assad fighting Al Qaeda too? The Free Syrian Army gets little kids to decapitate civilians. One Free Syrian army leader cut open a dead soldier's chest and ate his heart. I can't believe that after blaming Al Qaeda for 911 we would do anything to support Al Qaeda 12-13 years later.
posted by millardsarpy at 6:50 AM on February 9


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