CBRN Assessment

Syrian military allegedly used makeshift rockets in chemical attack

29 August 2013
The remnants of the one of the rockets that was allegedly used in the chemical attack in the Damascus area on 21 August. The warhead casing has been blown off, but the damage caused is inconsistent with the detonation of a larger high explosive charge. Source: PA Photos

There has been speculation that Syria's military used an unusual and crudely manufactured rocket in the apparent chemical weapons (CWs) attack carried out in the Damascus area on 21 August.

The remnants of this type of rocket have been seen several times in videos and photographs published on the internet earlier this year, but there has been a surge in the amount of imagery featuring the munition in the wake of 21 August incident.

The weapons are broadly similar in layout to what the US military calls improvised rocket-assisted mortars (IRAMs),in that they consist of a comparatively slender rocket motor fitted to a warhead of a far larger calibre.

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