Syrian chopper drops incendiary cluster bombs on rebels

As Assad loads chemicals into weapons, new footage (sent to me by Jake Snyder) emerges from Syria showing regime’s helicopters dropping incendiary cluster bombs on rebel positions.

The Mil Mi-25 Hind gunship (capable to carry rockets that can theoretically be loaded with chemical agents) can be clearly seen releasing  bombs leaving fanning smoke trails. Although the resemble flares, these are actually ZAB submunitions igniting upon dispersal, and falling near Deir ez-Zour.

Such subminutions are contained into RBK-250 cluster bombs.

According to the Rogue Adventurer blog, RBK-250 ZAB-2.5 (Zazhigatelnaya Aviatsionnaya Bomba; incendiary aircraft bomb) 250-kg cluster bomb contains 48 submunitions in total in three different variations: one with an incendiary (thermite) composition, one with a thermite + high explosive composition, and one with a thermite + jellied incendiary composition.

The Syrian regime is using its gunships to fire rockets, drop barrel bombs, PSYOPS leaflets, and even cluster bombs. That’s why they are the priority target of the rebel’s anti-aircraft fire.

H/T Bjørn Holst Jespersen for the help in identifying the bomblets

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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.