Watch this video: did a Russian Su-24 Fencer drop a cluster bomb over Aleppo?

Oct 05 2015 - 11 Comments

Is it a cluster bomb, illumination flares or something else?

The following video shows a Su-24 Fencer (a Russian Air Force one based on reports) dropping *something* on Aleppo.

Since these shouldn’t be illumination flares that do not burst but burn for a few minutes and whose use in daylight conditions it’s at least weird, the one depicted in the footage appears to be the series of exploding cartridges of a cluster bomb.

Watch by yourself:

In particular, according to some of our readers, these could be submunitions of an RBK-250 or 500 cluster bomb.

Once ejected from the RBK container incendiary ZAB-2.5 fall down burning. In this case, there is only a quick mid-air burst that could be the visual effect of the ignition of the ZAB 2.5Ms rocket: once accelerated by the rocket, the submunitions can penetrate in the ground and then explode (from 0 to several minutes after the impact).

However, there is no evident sign of impact of the incendiary submunitions with the ground, therefore it could be a cluster bomb for anti-personnel shrapnels or flechettes (or something else, like mines or even leaflets). Any other guess?


H/T @JulianRoepcke for discovering this video and @BabakTaghvaee for the analysis


  • Wolle

    Looks like RBK-500U OFAB-50UD or RBK-500U BETAB-M. It works like the Matra Durandal.

  • Jon Kriet

    Sky looks different after showing plane, possibly 2 videos spliced?

  • Simon Tan


  • Superfly

    Looks like airburst cluster ammo.

  • krasnov

  • Jan Schmidt

    looks like RBK-500 PTAB-1M anti personnel cluster bombs …

    other cluster munition attacks in syria from 2014:

  • Jan Schmidt

    If memory serves me right, one of the cluster munition packages was capable of deploying dozens of area denial munitions (anti-personnel mines) upon detonation/dispersion. But I’m old and that was a Soviet armament so I could be wrong.

  • Michael

    No it looks more like BETAB accelerators to break up concrete.

  • disqus_STXkrV9NGc

    The man filming the video said “Russian Air Force using new weapons in Syria”. Not conclusive evidence, but still something.

  • krasnov