Two Al-Qaeda Commanders were taken out by what is being called the “Ninja Bomb” AKA the Hellfire R9X missile on Sunday. It doesn’t use explosives, it uses knives, which produces a smaller kill radius. Qassam ul-Urdini and Yemeni Bilal al-Sanaani were killed in the US-led drone strike in NW Syria. The weapon has been used previously to take out terrorist leaders.
A US strike kills a notable al-Qaeda leader in Syria. A video of the car he was in. pic.twitter.com/5qtVukN5O1 modern weapons!
— Hassan Hassan (@hxhassan) June 14, 2020
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the strike was believed to have been carried out by the U.S.-led coalition, which has been targeting extremists in Syria for years.
The drone strike hit a vehicle carrying the two commanders — a Jordanian and a Yemeni — in the northwestern province of Idlib, the last remaining rebel stronghold in war-torn Syria. Idlib is dominated by al-Qaida-linked militants, and is also home to 3 million civilians.
The Observatory said the men killed were with the al-Qaida-linked Horas al-Din group, Arabic for “Guardians of Religion.” Horas al-Din are hardcore al-Qaida elements who broke away from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, the strongest insurgent group in the Idlib enclave.
Al-Mohrar Media, an activist collective in northern Syria, said the dead were Horas al-Din’s general military commander, known as Qassam al-Urduni, or “Qassam the Jordanian.” It said the second man was a Yemeni citizen known as Bilal al-Sanaani, the commander of the group’s so-called “desert army.”
The drone strike was not carried out by an explosive warhead, but a kinetic one.
We wrote about the R9X missile in May of 2019. It was developed in conjunction with the Department of Defense and the CIA. Also known as the Flying Ginsu, the R9X is kinetic rather than explosive. It slices through metal like a “Ginsu” knife, killing the target without the civilian collateral damage.
It’s a “secret weapon” that’s no longer “secret,” but the principle has been around since Vietnam.
“The munition with ‘knives’ has been around since at least the Vietnam War. The military term for the warhead is ‘flechettes,’ which are dart-like submunitions that are released and spread out in flight as an anti-personnel device. Munitions have had a variety of warheads since before the Civil War, where they used everything from classic exploding cannonballs, to dumbbell-shaped projectiles and ‘grapeshot,’ which was basically shotgun-shell BBs (only much larger) that used mass and velocity as the engagement mechanism,” he added. “It’s really not much different today. There are high-explosive, penetrating, and even inert warheads – that use mass and velocity as the engagement mechanism while minimizing collateral damage.” Col. John Venable, Heritage senior research fellow and former F-16 pilot in the Air Force (via Fox)
All in all, it’s lethal, and keeps the collateral damage down.
Featured photo: screenshot from Twitter via Hassan Hassan