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Confirmed : Russian Bomb Remains Recovered from Syrian Red Crescent Aid Convoy Attack

September 22, 2016

By Eliot Higgins

Translations: Русский

Yesterday, Bellingcat published its report on the bombing of the Syrian Red Crescent aid convoy on September 19th. The report examined various aspects of the attack using open source information, including the comparison of what appeared to be the tail section of a OFAB 250-270 bomb that appeared in images from the attack, first published by CIT:

Conflict Intelligence Team comparison of debris found in crater shown in Fig 13 and an OFAB 250-270. Source

Conflict Intelligence Team comparison of debris found in crater and an OFAB 250-270. Source

Since the post was published the Bellingcat team has been in touch with the Syrian Civil Defence unit closest to the attacked site, who recovered and photographed two pieces of debris, including the object featured above.

img-20160922-wa0005 img-20160922-wa0004

In addition, an image showing the location of the debris was published, showing the likely entry point of the munition:

syria-aid-convoy-bomb

Based on this it is possible to make an accurate identification of the munition debris recovered as coming from the tail section of a OFAB 250-270 high explosive fragmentation bomb:

syria-aid-convoy-bomb2-1

OFAB 250-270s are unguided bombs previously documented as being used by both the Syrian and Russian air forces extensively in their bombing campaigns in Syria. These bombs, originating from the weapons factories of the USSR and Russian Federation, are not used by aircraft manufactured by NATO countries, nor are they used by Predator drones.

The identity of the bomb is clear from the above comparison, the only question that remains is whether it was Russian or Syrian aircraft that dropped it on the Syrian Red Crescent aid convoy.

Eliot Higgins

Eliot Higgins is the founder of Bellingcat and the Brown Moses Blog. Eliot focuses on the weapons used in the conflict in Syria, and open source investigation tools and techniques.

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370 Comments

  1. Mad Dog

    Really a lot of chaff there stranger. I thinkyou really need to do some fact checking outside of that box you call Mother Russia. Ukraine is 50/50 pro-anti-Russia? Wow, that is a new one on me and contrary to the facts out there. As for propaganda, it has been shown here and elsewhere that the biggest purveyor of false information is Russia, i.e. as dictated by the Russian government. That doesn’t happen as badly in the West and there are plenty of independent news sources (even RT is available….LOL). And I really wonder why you continue to believe that the attack on the convoy was staged?? That is a real laugh and perhaps you can give us an idea of how they (who??) did all that without aircraft in the air. You must really have trouble sleeping at night trying to dream up some of your replies.
    Further, it does not matter that Russia was ‘legally’ invited by the Syrian government because that government is not legal in any sense of the word. That is the problem. Any time the people come up with any grievance, they have been brutally repressed, but both Assad Sr. and his wayward son. Really disgusting that you can even think there is anything legal about that thuggacracy.

    Reply
    • stranger

      Mad Dog, I have been observing you for more than an year already. I’m still wondering, what is behind your absolute self-confidence in sometimes false facts and very narrow-targeted specific narrative which you are constantly trying to promote? What makes you feel you understand the Russian-Ukrainian subject? You are saying as if you do have some knowledge above an average, that might be so, but that is absolutely not obvious from what you are saying and needs some justification.
      Would you mind to give your sources of the information, the confirmation links and just explain your way of thinking, as I’m always trying to do, so that we would better see what your opinion is based on and is there any logical flaw in your considerations or that makes sense and to what extent? Because otherwise it’s like a conversation of a blind with a deaf. We are just repeating our (false) statements again and again with zero effect.
      You are from the States, that’s perfect, so please kindly tell us about the States’s involvement in all that subjects, which definitely has been deep enough, not necessarily always negative, don’t tell us about Russia, which we know better (unless you are originally from Soviets(?), which also might sound so from your comments, but you said you are not). You are avoiding that topic as if it is a taboo, as if you may not touch certain topics, which makes me wonder if which of the countries there is the democracy and in which the dictatorship.
      I apologize if it sound rude, or too personal, but we are actually talking just to the nicknames here. If you appear more personally that would give more trust or at least the understanding of the point of view.

      Reply
  2. Mad Dog

    You don’t sound rude. Can’t give you sources as there are far too many out there. Much more than in the USSR (LOL). So, now we have more sources for ya, the film Panfilov’s 28 Men, soon arriving at a theatre near you. Full of glory and sacrifice, heroes of the USSR, and published for all good Komsomols to read in class. Putin loves it and I am sure your buddies will too. But when Soviet (Russian State) Archive director Mironenko said the story was a myth, he got booted. Sad thing is, even the Soviet Union said it was a myth in 1948. Soooooo, you want sources from me? How about looking at your sources, especially these days when Putin is putting hishand in everything including the History (sic) syllabus for all Russian Schools. No dissent, no disputes, glory to the Motherland. As I said before, I really wonder about the lack of diversity in your country and what effect that has on thinkers like you. FYI, I have been looking at the Ukrainian issue for years, compelled by the famine and the treatment of the 44th Rifle Division by the Sovs. another bit of history long ignored in official histories but fully recorded in Soviet Archives. Did you know that any Ukrainian soldier who was able to escape the trap the Finns set were immediately executed by the NKVD. This was also true for POWs the Finns sent back. Do you have any sources on that?

    Reply
    • stranger

      In my understanding any mentioning of personality in an argument is rude. That’s how i was taught in a soviet school.

      But I have a better story for you. Anne Applebaum an American journalist and rather known Russophobe was fired from Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) after she had published an article in Washington Post where she doubted that the Polish plane with the former president of Poland was shot personally by Putin. The plane was crashed under Smolensk in 2010 or so, because the former president ordered the pilots to land, despite of the fog and the strong advice not to do so from the land dispatchers. The Russophobe was fired for not enough Russophobia. What’s an intrigue and a lack of diversity in your Motherland! Wanna the source?

      In Russia the question on the reevaluation of the history was closed in 90s, there is no any reason to return to it. The topic of WW2 is somewhat sacred in Russia and although everybody knows all the facts, nobody wants to take it too cynically as it was in 90s with Suvorov/Rezun revelations and similar. There is nothing even close to deep soviet times now in Russia and NKVD is irrelevant. You’d better analyze the new historical myths emerging in Ukraine like Russians are the ancestors of Mongols, and Ukrainians are the real Russians stemming from the Kievian Rus along. What year did you start looking at Ukrainian issues, hope neither 1991, nor 2013/2014?

      And really i’d expect you to be more open on the role of your own country in all those conflicts we are discussing, which was definitely profound enough without any conspirology and which you are trying to avoid by any means.

      Reply
    • stranger

      I’ve found his interview. Mironenko had some issues with his boss, not with Putin, probably related to his argument with the minister of culture on that movie 28 Panfilovtsev, and he quitted the director position in the Government Archive where he had worked for 25 years, but stayed as the Chief Scientist in the same organization.
      And as for the glory and sacrifice, if i’d give you multiple American movies where American soldiers are pathosly fighting the enemy up from Vietnamese and up to the aliens, Russian movies are still very far from that. That romantic sports and especially military mythology is something very intrinsic to the American culture itself. When you are saying Russia should feel ashamed for own military, while America is always proud of their military, that doesn’t sound like honest. Seriously

      Reply
      • Paul

        I guess I misjudged you stranger, I really thought you were trying to understand why Westerners hold the opinions they do, I was obviously wrong. You are simply trying to get Mad Dog into some kind of fight so you can justify Russian behaviour. It is the classic but, but, but, America did something wrong so that justifies anything Russia does wrong. It doesn’t.

        Reply
        • stranger

          No… First of all there are no mythical ‘westerners’, Poles, the usual Russophobes of the Europe (sorry, a bit of exaggeration) are so different from Brits and Germans and they are in turn so different from Americans, and the interests of those countries are so divert, that you cannot talk about some hypothetical ‘westerner’s opinion’ verses Russia.
          And my point is – judge it equally, if Mad Dog or somebody is saying ‘look there are so terrible things in Russia’, the answer is ‘look at your country and don’t project your own problems to others’ that’s it or be open about your country’s problems at the same time.

          Reply
        • stranger

          Excuse me my spelling again and a lot of errors in writing. The aspiration to fight and compete is also a very American feature, which Russians definitely ought to learn from them finally. But I’m really jealous to the ‘westerners’ who think they know what is right and what is wrong, who is the dictator and where is the democracy, whom you should bomb and whom to pour with money. Russia has not come to that state yet, the turbulence of 90s probably prevents us to believe in fairytales. But I would be happy if it finally will and the world will appear safe, understandable and predictable, like an idealia and utopia. CFL and Mad Dog don’t believe in fairytales either, they are too smart for that, but they are still promoting some own point of view like ‘for dummies’ instead. That is clear, and a bit of disrespectful for my taste, I wonder why don’t you see that.

          Reply
          • Paul

            Look at the post you are writing about. It is about something horrible that happened and it is providing proof that Russia did it….of course you will get comments that think that Russia did a horrible thing. I am sure if the post was about the American bombing of that hospital in Afghanistan there would be plenty of negative comments about America. I am sure Mad Dog was both disgusted and embarrassed by that incident.
            You are right, there is no one westerners opinion…if you assume that “The West” matches pretty closely with the liberal democracies in the OECD you are talking about over 30 countries with nearly 1 billion people.
            You say we are different but you paint us all with the same brush.
            The thing about your “fairy tale” is that the world has been much closer to that fairy tale over the last 25 years (since the US has been the sole superpower) than it has ever been before.

          • stranger

            When you are saying the world was so close to that utopia, do you include the Middle East or just ‘the golden billion’ countries?

          • stranger

            How do I paint ‘westerners’ ‘with the same brush’? I said westerners don’t have an immunity to own propaganda as Russians do due to the ideological swings in 90s and that the westerners enjoy the simple and understandable picture of the world and I’m jealous to them? That was not literally. That doesn’t mean I think all are the same. People are very different and countries have different traditions and interests, definitely. But overall not so different from Russia as some people might think.

  3. Mad Dog

    You just don’t get it do you. Who cares what CEPA does, the fact is she wrote an article in the Washington Post and no journalist was shot because of that. The whole thing about the 28 men is the film is proffered as fact, as a glorious part of Russian/Soviet history despite the fact that even the Sovs disowned the myth. Yet we have Putin sitting down with the Beast from Kazahk putting his own stamp on it. US films are about all kinds of topics and they usually have some kind of disclaimer or a ‘based on a book’ or ‘based on a true story’ at the end. However, there are some very factual films out the that stick to the history very closely. The big difference here is, and you should be aware of this, the US Government does not sit back and say here is the real skinny folks! The Sovs and now the Putinites do exactly that. If you look at critical reviews of somewhat historical drama you can see there are many well known movie critics and others who point out their problems with the facts as they are portrayed, but the government stays out of the fray. In your honorable country, that is not the case since many of those well known critics are castigated, intimidated or even assassinated for their views. But this leads us to the fact that in this case we have a Russian government denying they bombed this convoy despite plenty of evidence that they did. Reminds me of their games with MH17. I also take offense to your accusations that I am a Russophobe as I am far from that. But Russia has only a bleak future ahead of it with the cronyism that is endemic at present. Russia would have a bright future if the populace was allowed more freedom in the political and economic arenas. I cried reading about the excesses under Stalin and I wince at the excesses this psuedo-czar imposes on the population, but I have nothing bad to say about Russians in general. I am afraid the Chinese Dragon is going to rise up and bite you guys in the tail in the not too distant future.

    Reply
    • stranger

      But who cares if the 28 panfilovets’ story was based on real events or a myth? As long as people can look up Wikipedia and find it out. That is not a documentary and it should be treated correspondingly. Why are you saying Putin put his stamp on it? Even if patriotic movies are appearing after the chernukha and pornukha (black humor, grim, hopeless, complete cynicism) of 90s, why not? Again compare to healthy I hope patriotism of Americans. You are saying as if Russia is from the other planet, which it is not.
      I have never said you are a russophobic, I was referring certain authors who are known for their strict position in the mass media. I said I felt you are not always completely honest and are trying to promote own particular point of view and avoid other certain topics, that is not the same.

      Reply
    • stranger

      Here is the Russian page on the Wikipedia on that movie
      ru.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Двадцать_восемь_панфиловцев_(фильм)
      It discusses all the controversial opinions on it and the citation of different known people. Who are intimidating the critics of staged movies?? You might have confused Russia with Ukraine or Baltics who care about the purity of the nation ideology. Mironenko was a particular story between him and his boss, not with Putin, and he kept a scientific position in his government service. If it was some abuse that is terrible and should have been made public, that is basically how you knew about this story.
      Even if there were no those particular 28 men, there were heroic battles for the defence of Moscow and other people who deserve to be recognized as heroes. That is not the worst history and not the worst heroes compared to some other certain country.
      And again the history of the ww2 is not directly connected to Stalin. That is remembered as a heroic deed of ordinary people. That is important for Russia and all post Soviet people of that generation and is a great unifying idea for the people of various nationalities and cultures who share that same victory paid by huge price, not splitting very different people but unifying. Why do you think it should be necessarily exploited by an abstract ‘putin’?

      Reply
    • stranger

      As for the Chinese Dragon, should it happen, Russia will be defending. That has not been in the manners of Chinese for the last couple of thouthands years and probably will not be for a couple more. If it will, who knows may be Russia and USA will be allies once again in the history. But that might happen only if your future neocon president and your generals have not waged the ww3 before that, starting from attacking Russians in Syria. So please keep your politicians from the thoughtless deeds, and learn to lose gracefully 🙂

      Reply
  4. Mad Dog

    Russian people suffered terribly in WWII and deserve much praise. The NKVD and Stalin deserve much condemnation for making those people suffer much more than necessary. There are many stories of heroic deeds in those annals, so I really question the need to put out this movie with the stamp of approval of Kazakisatan and Putin. And no gloria, Papa Joe was definitely linked to WWII. His pact with the devil allowed Poland to suffer terribly and bring both France and England into the war. It also allowed Shicklegruber to invade the low lands and defeat France. Papa Joe’s pact with the Japanese allowed them to devote more resources to China and South East Asian wealth, ultimately leading to Pearl Harbor. So yes, I blame Papa Joe for much of the devastation of WWII, including that brought onto his own people.

    Reply
    • stranger

      And you wanted Japaneese to go to the east instead of Perl Harbor? And may be even let US to stay away from ‘one more war in europe. 😉 Thank you very much.
      I have watched 28 men Panfilovets trailer – no any Stalin was shown. Didn’t see all the movie.

      Reply
    • stranger

      In Soviet memory that is also a victory, the sacrifice which was not in vain. That is important to understand, why it is popular. That is not only about the victims of the war.

      Reply
    • stranger

      Because you have a bit snobbish view: Russians suffered so much from the ww2 and from Stalin and NKVD. Russians together with Ukrainians and all other nations of USSR and together with the allies won WW2 and kept their country from the extinction according to H1tlers plans. So the sacrifice was not in vain.
      Stalin repressions and NKVD instead hurtled own people a lot, that sacrifice was not justified.
      That is why the former is remembered and movies are made and the latter is not.

      Reply
  5. Mad Dog

    There are plenty of real heroic stories out there. No need to dig up an already discredited myth….Doesn’t make any sense to me. However, I can understand the political implications and that is probably why Putin was shown viewing this film with his Kazakh brother in arms. Someone could do a real good movie on the women fighter pilots or on that very brave unit of women AA troops defending outside of Stalingrad (Galub???). A lot of stories. But as you mentioned, there are dark stories as well, betrayal of troops in Finland, betrayal of Allies first in Mongolia and then in Western Europe, etc. But here we have something different, betrayal of those deserving aid given by the UN. No apologies, just lies about staging, drones, rebels, etc. Pretty sick.

    Reply

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