first published on January 3, 2018 by Will
A video montage shows multiple thermobaric parachute warheads rocking neighborhoods in the vicinity of al Lataminah, Syria.
The footage displays airstrikes by both the Russian Air Force RuAF as well as the Syrian regime’s aircraft. The location is centered around al Lataminah in northern Hama and southern Idlib. The Russian-backed Syrian troops have been waging a successful offensive, in terms of gaining ground, and they have captured dozens of enemy villages around New Year’s Eve.
However, the gains are coming at the cost of civilian lives. As one can see from the video, these are not precision strikes, rather, the incredibly devastating thermobaric munitions are coming down casually, rigged to parachute delivery systems. The method of delivery is far from precise, and subject to cross drift from wind. On December 28, 2017 over 20 civilians were killed around al Lataminah by these airstrikes and regime rocket attacks.
The Assad regime is claiming that they are nearing victory in northern Hama as they continue to surround and isolate rebel-held villages and bomb them to dust.
Thermobaric and fuel-air bombs are volumetric weapons that are commonly referred to as “vacuum bombs.” Unlike conventional warheads that rely on a quick blast that launches deadly sharp shrapnel, these thermobaric weapons operate by first exploding and dispersing an aerosol cloud that is then immediately ignited, causing an extremely devastating shockwave and incredible temperatures.
While the hard cover of walls and fortifications may stop shrapnel, the shockwave caused by the thermobaric parachute bombs penetrates these barriers internally damaging human organs and soft tissues. Additionally, the oxygen within the blast radius is ignited and depleted, causing lungs to collapse.
The strikes must be terrifying to those underneath. You can only watch as the munitions slowly and peacefully fall to the Earth. You can take all the cover you want, but you can’t escape it.