Bellingcat

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

A Case Of Weapon Misidentification By Jihadists And Assad Supporters

Frequently in my trawls through social media and open source information I come across images where the group showing them is making one claim, but the actual facts are far more interesting.  For example, with the Croatian weapons story, state media was describing the weapons as Israeli weapons, completely over-looking the real significance of the weapons.  Along that same vein, the following picture was sent to me today by @Kgthetweet 


This picture had reportedly been doing the rounds in Jihadist circles, claiming to show NATO munitions captured by ISIS forces.  This story was then picked up by pro-Assad groups, that added an bit of extra spin to the story, and adding their own branding


There's actually two interesting things about this picture.  First of all, it actually shows Iranian munitions, not NATO munitions, examples of which I've detailed in this blog post.  From the above picture we can see the stencilling on the box and mortar matches other examples of Iranian munitions, as shown below



We can also make out in the "NATO" photo the fuze type, AZ111A2, produced by the Iranian Defense Industries Organisation.  Once listed on their website, the links have now been removed.  

The other thing is the manufacturing date, that can be seen clearly on the mortar, and somewhat less clearly on the crate.  These mortars were manufactured in 2013, during the conflict, and after it was reported Iran had already violated UN sanctions against Iran in 2012.

This goes to show, sometimes you can be looking so hard for something that what's actually there completely passes you by.

You can contact the author on Twitter @brown_moses or by email at brownmoses@gmail.com

3 comments:

  1. Both 60mm and 81mm are NATO sizes of mortar, but the Iranian had many UK (81mm) and US (60mm) supplied mortars at the time of the revolution and appear to have made their own since then.

    I believe that most NATO 81mm mortar rounds can be fired from a Russian 82mm mortar, or the French weapon that the Russian one is a copy of.

    Apart from the stenciling and fuse type indicating Iranian manufacture, UK Mortar rounds tend to be dark green with coloured bands to indicate filling, or white if illumination rounds and blue for practice. The ones shown here are not a usual colour for either the UK or Croatia. (Most Yugoslav ordnance is near the colour of mushy peas.)

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  2. The point is .... Bashar the butcher has international support and availiblity of munatiions but he is still loosing.

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  3. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Flickr_-_Israel_Defense_Forces_-_Fuses_Directly_Tie_Shipment_to_Iran.jpg

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