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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. Arya Stark

    they regularly blow up shells from world war 1 in france and they go sky high, just as they did 100 years ago.

    Reply
  2. Arya Stark

    Dude – September 24, 2016
    Low and High Order Detonation in Tetryl
    Authors
    G. A. Leiper,
    J. Cooper
    First published: December 1996Full publication history
    DOI: 10.1002/prep.19960210608
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/prep.19960210608/abstract
    Dumbass Randy Clown,
    I do not see how tnt is different in principle (if tnt indeed is the explosive used in the bomb in question?)

    who gives a toss about the properties of tetryl.

    Russian bombs are not filled with tertryl.

    Reply
  3. CARROLL HALL

    U.S. MadeTetryl is not the mass explosive of a general purpose bomb. That would be tritinol. Tetryl is the faster exploding material used in the nose or tail fuze such as the 904 or 905. Tritonal is the slower but higher explsive mass of the bomb.
    A delay fuze such as a .010 or .025 sec. would allow the bomb time to penetrate the roof before explosion. Frag bombs primarily to kill people not blow up buildings.

    Reply
  4. John Zenwirt

    Syria conflict: Russia ‘may have committed war crime’ – Johnson.

    UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has suggested Russia may have committed a war crime in Syria if it was behind an attack on an aid convoy near Aleppo.

    http://tinyurl.com/zlclzc5 (BBC)

    Reply
    • stranger

      They are using this fortunate informational occasion to their maximum. Last time if you remember it was a tube with white powder being shaken at UN meeting. You know the results.

      Reply
        • stranger

          Calm down, Yuri. People are watching you too, don’t lose your self control. There is a least one thing you are a specialist in.

          Reply
          • Yuri

            Of course, I am specialist in many things, stranger. And I have been calm all the time. And I don’t really care if “people” are watching me. Are you upset I implied you are a moron? I am sorry you feel that way. Nothing personal. I am not a specialist in morons.

          • stranger

            No, Yuri, I mean you are a specialist in lying, because your country is infamous by that skill, and for the nasty manners. Please call me whatever you want, that are just your ill-bred manners and nothing more.

          • Yuri

            You see stranger this is not even logical. You don’t even know what my country is, so your statement does not make any sense. And even if my country was infamous for some skill, why would that apply to me? And ill-bred, really?

            Anyway, as you have labeled and offended large groups of people, I think “moron” is well deserved. Thank you for allowing me to call you a moron. I will do so going forward, moron.

    • Ghostship

      It’s all bluster and windbaggery and nobody’s going to do anything least of all the United Kingdom. Putin gave the United States a chance for a political solution but in the certain knowledge that because of hubris and greed they’d screw it up, which they did while demonstrating their lack of any real power over their proxies.
      He is now applying his final solution to East Aleppo which will be brutal and violent but hopefully short because if the remaining terrorists have any sense, they will take any deal to evacuate East Aleppo which might be offered in the next week or so as further resistance is futile. By the time of the inauguration in January, it will certainly all be over if not before, and nobody in the West or the Gulf will have done anything about it.

      Reply
  5. stranger

    It’s a pity that Russian and US relationships degraded so much again. There was a window of opportunity when they might have become allies. The fighting with terrorism is the common problem.
    It is funny, that they call ‘anti-Americanism’ in the article everybody who don’t want to accept the interests of of US at own expense. Unfortunately or not, the problem (as well as a benefit, how to look) of US is the spirit of rivalry and missionary rooted deep in American culture and mentality.
    Unfortunately I’m pessimistic about future thawing of the relationships, regardless of who will be the president, in either country. Fortunately there is Europe which is closer to Russia in all aspects. Objectively, whether it is good it or not, US is unable already to play the role they think they must play in the world.
    I just wonder how deep the current crisis will go, because the most extreme scenarios may include the new Cold War or even a nuclear WW3. I don’t know, but don’t see any optimismistic way out.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/09/23/that-brief-u-s-russia-strategic-partnership-15-years-ago-new-interviews-reveal-why-it-derailed/

    Reply
    • Yuri

      Meh, USA and Russia are not in the same league, so this is just a blip on US’ radar. Just keep the relationship with Europe and China (which are the largest US’ business partners), and wait for Russian politicians to come to their senses.

      US can be allies with Russia sometime in future. Its really not that important when.

      Reply
  6. Arya Stark

    If World War 3 starts then Bellingcat with articles like this one will certainly have been a contributor to starting it.

    Reply
    • Yuri

      Yes, let’s keep quiet about the Russian MoD and Putin lying. Because that will help for sure. I mean let them occupy some other countries and shoot down some more civilian planes. Because by telling the truth we will cause WW3. Tee hee.

      Reply
  7. Arya Stark

    UK citizens should be aware that the UK has virtually no air defences.

    So if the UK participates in any attack on Russian forces in Syria, Russia can retaliate directly at the UK.

    Reply
    • Encyclopath

      Surely they would also deny responsibility, and blame the attack on US drones, IRA terrorists or Ukrainian fighter

      Reply
        • stranger

          “So if the UK participates in any attack on Russian forces in Syria, Russia can retaliate directly at the UK.”
          Russia will never retaliate directly in UK. That would mean a global world war and the end of the world as we know it. I have no idea how Russia would respond IF coalition starts to destroy Russian forces in Syria as some US generals have already proposed. Most probably the coalition will try to incite their proxies from Arab worlds starting from Saudi Arabia to do this dirty job instead if they agree to be suicidal. But hardly that would end up by a global war.
          Instead IF NAT0 invades Crimea and that would start a local war which will be escalating and IF they later decide to fly to bomb Moscow as they did with Belgrade, that would be a real risk for the following nuclear Armageddon. IF that is started, all major cities at both sides will be destroyed and melted to the ground by multiple-megaton nuclear and hydrogen charges.
          But in anyway UK would stay away from the nuclear exchanges. The only risk for UK is originating from their location, the usual direction of winds and the ocean streams, which define it’s famous unfortunate climate. In the case of a global war, all radioactive contamination will be gathered in UK by winds and the ocean streams, just because it is always affected by any climate cataclysm. Even the Global Warming is going to change the Gulfstream flow so that while all the world will suffer from the heat, UK will be freezing instead. :))
          But I’m always pessimistic, but actually not that pessimistic.

          Reply
          • Encyclopath

            The entirety of the UK would be directly incinerated in the event of a full scale exchange. In fact, with the Russia’s illegal development of intermediate range nuclear cruise missiles, and the forward deployment of nuclear weapons in Kaliningrad, there may be no warning; certainly none for the public.
            But missile defense is the real threat to balance, right?

          • stranger

            Russia don’t need to violate the INF Treaty because it concerns only land-based missiles and doesn’t prohibit sea-based ones of any range. Russia has sea based cruise Calibers which were demonstrated in Syria. That’s why US also moved their Tomahawks to the sea.
            But: “there may be no warning; certainly none for the public”
            Really? And what will be the purpose of the first strike – to commit a suicide and take all the world with themselves? Russian military doctrine afaik prohibits using nuclear weapon for the first turn except when a conventional conflict threatens to the very existence of the state – if somebody decides to massively bomb Moscow for example inspired by Belgrade’s example. Btw US doesn’t limit themselves to use nuclear weapon even for the first strike.
            Nuclear weapon has been always supposed to serve a deterrence role to keep the balance of powers. The counter missiles in Europe would eventually break the balance. Well, I quite understand why everybody would feel safer with them. But firstly nobody would ever guarantee that 100% defense is possible to reach and secondly the illusive safety from the response strike may provoke and lure some of our partners to solve their political problems in a military way. So it is a big question whether it is safer to keep a power balance guaranteed by the nuclear deterrence or when one world power, even with their usual historical allies, may decide should it be a peace or a war.
            Aren’t you concerned by the modernizing of US nukes in Europe as well as air and sea based US cruise nuclear missiles?
            UK will never be a first target, as well as hardly UK will strive to play the first role in the hypothetical attack to Russia. Why UK?? Just because you want to paint a scarecrow from Russia?

    • stranger

      Bellingcat is trying the surf the current wave of anti Russian hysteria by providing the informational support for their patrons. That works for the escalation of situation, not for any solution or discharge. That definitely makes closer any possible new Cold War or even a nuclear war. If hopefully this political and informational wave is rolled back finally, the multiple propagandists will be swimming against the ‘rip currents’ or change their position together with the general line change.

      Reply
        • Encyclopath

          Oh really? By whom? And who will judge what the truth is, how to punish offenders, and under what authority?
          If there were some supernational entity that could do this, they’d be in a better position to actually punish sovereign nations commiting illegal acts. Better yet, they could prevent their commission.

          I think what you’re trying to say is “I don’t like what this guy says, so no one should be able hear him.”

          Reply
          • stranger

            That is a good question. What is your answer, who is to decide what the truth is and how nations should behave and develop, unite or split, and who is to serve the police functions of the world’s court decision enforcement at the level beyond the sovereign nations?

            Unfortunately the problem is that countries pursue own interests in the first turn and try to judge others based on some own understanding of what is right and what is wrong, frequently incompatible with culture, traditions or simply economical interests of other countries.

            Not everything is regulated by the international laws, there is a huge grey area, particularly what concerns a foreign influence of some countries to the others including propaganda and foreign NGO and up to a foreignly induced or supported coup d’etat as the extreme.

            There are so vivid recent examples of all of that in Syria and Ukraine.

      • Yuri

        I wonder what caused that wave of anti-Russian hysteria. Could it be liars like Putin, Lavrov, and Russian MoD? We should not call them out on their lying because it will definitely “makes closer” any possible even nuclear war. Because you know the liars could get mad.

        Reply
  8. HAF

    Picture 2 clearly shows a fragment from the nose of the bomb, and looking at the size and shape it’s clearly that the bomb didn’t detonate.
    A deflagration might have occurred or the bomb has simply been torn apart on impact.
    The tail part would not be so ‘intact’ if a detonation would have occurred…. period.

    Reply
    • TJ

      Who did the cannon strafe attacks on the area? The Russians messed up when they had the chance to muddy the waters. All they could come up with was that a US Predator was over the area. I bet that they are kicking themselves that they didn’t pop in an A-10 or two or some other Coalition manned aircraft? Are we to believe that the detected the Predator and missed the likes of an A-10 and or other Coalition manned aircraft?

      Aircraft cannon fire at 1:05, 1:40. 2:21 missile strike? Aircraft jet engines can be heard as the aircraft pull out of their strafe runs.

      Reply
      • stranger

        TJ, have you ever heard about the Presumption of Innocence? Or otherwise, might be you are not from the western civilization?

        Reply
        • TJ

          Well somebody conducted a sustained aerial attack on the compound/convoy that included cannon strafes. The Russians dangled the US Predator claim and it was taken up in some circles and claimed to have been a Predator/Hellfire strike. That spin is exactly what the Russian wanted to happen in order to deflect and muddy the waters. Are we now to assume that the Russians completely failed to monitor that manned Coalition aircraft were also in the area and that they missed a sustained Coalition aerial attack? Now that more claimed footage from the attack has been released will the Russians now “re-analyse” the air picture or will they just hand waive it away?

          Reply
          • Bruno

            What proof that it was the Russians or Syrians? the images that bellingcat posted doesn’t look anything like a Russian oh and yeah ironic how the medical supplies are undamaged and dont have any dust on them.

      • Bruno

        “Russians messed up when they had the chance to muddy the waters”

        I still dont hear any jet fighters in that video, Russian jet fighters sound very loud as do Syrian ones.

        Reply
        • TJ

          Really? No jet engines? Seriously? You can hear the jets pulling out of their cannon strafe runs in the video. You can hear the distinctive aircraft cannon burp and the sound of the jet engines. How can you not hear that? Aircraft cannon strafe and jet engines at 1:05 and 1:40.

          Reply
          • Encyclopath

            Must be part of that momentary spontaneous blindness and deafness epidemic that is sweeping through Russia. Sadly, the hands and mouth are unaffected.

          • Yuri

            The Russian apologists trying to pretend their flying tubs are quiet. I mean these people will convince themselves of anything. If anyone doesn’t know about Mathias Rust, you should look it up. Will tell you all you need to know about Soviet / Russian military capabilities.

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